Friends younger than I.
Friends older than I.
Friends related to me by blood.
Friends related to me by the blood of Christ.
Friends who talk about weird things with me.
Friends who are quiet with me.
Friends who hug just when I need it – and promise to never let go.
Friends who send an email or a text to see how I’m doing or let me know they’re praying for me.
Friends who challenge me to go farther and deeper.
Friends who keep me accountable.
Friends who don’t try to fix … just be there to comfort.
Friends who turn my eyes back to my Savior.
Friends who laugh at the same jokes and love the same movies.
Friends who sing with me.
Friends who dance with me.
Friends whom I can visit and we just decide to both nap for an hour together.
Friends who share the moment with me.
Friends who delight in making memories with me.
Friends who make adventures out of the smallest things.
Friends who never criticize no matter how bad I am at something.
Friends who forgive.
Friends who love unconditionally.
Friends who pick up right where we left off – sometimes two or three years ago.
Friends who give gifts … who write notes, and leave me some of themselves to be remembered by.
There’s this thing called the bond of kindred spirits. It’s beautiful and doesn’t always happen with everyone. But those whom I am blessed to call my kindred spirits … thank you for making a difference in my life. Thank you for praying for me when I didn’t know … I definitely felt it. Thank you for giving me encouragement … although you didn’t realize, it was at a low point in my life when I needed it the most. Thank you for calling me out and humbling me … I needed it. Thank you for rejoicing with me at great opportunities. Thank you for listening when I just needed to talk. Thank you for loving me even when I didn’t deserve it.
I could name a list one by one of people I consider to be my friends, but I know I’d forget someone because truly … if you have any ounce of caring in your being for me, I am deeply touched and feel appreciated as a friend. All of you – the people I’ve known for seventeen years and the people I’ve known for just a few short months – have made a difference in my life, and a smile comes to my lips knowing what we’ve shared together.
Those memories – they light up my days like drops of sunlight falling through a cloudy sky. Memories made on the beaches of the Black Sea … or by fireworks at Disneyland … or in a sheep pasture in England … or on a lit stage in front of an audience … or driving in a car late at night … or in a certain CYT Studio … or just across the border in Canada … or upon a bridge in London … or in front of a little white, steepled church from long ago … or at a high school whose mascot was the Highlanders … or on the red and black university campus … or in so many homes playing games, drinking tea, watching movies, laughing till our sides hurt, and talking till late at night – they can play like a film strip upon command, and I savor each one.
I think there’s so much to be celebrated in friendships, and while you won’t ever be friends with everyone, you can probably find at least ONE thing in common with each person you come into contact with. That doesn’t mean you have to be besties with them, but at least you can acknowledge that you are both human beings who can relate to one another. Just try it – I dare you. Have a conversation with someone and see how long it takes you to find one thing in common. It usually takes me about three minutes of talking to someone I’ve just met. Friends will come to those who show themselves interested in someone else … so take the time to invest and care about someone else, and see how your friendship will flourish.
Life is too short to be “too busy” for friends. Put on the tea kettle, bake the cookies, go ice skating, share your favorite books, take lots of pictures, pray together, and listen deeply. Understand that we all have certain demands in our lives, but that friendship should always be made room for on the calendar. You won’t regret it when the hard days come and you need someone to be a text away to pray for you and come to your side. Life is sweeter when shared together.
And always … always remember to laugh together.
To laugh with another person is to share in what makes their soul delighted.