What kind of friend can change your life forever? “You meet thousands of people and none of them really touch you and then you meet THE ONE and your life changes forever”.
Mila is one of those friends. And we had the rare treat that our hubbies were also friends. Mila and I met when we were both pregnant, 40 years ago. She was our Lamaze coach and her daughter and our son, the Guitar Guy were born 3 weeks apart. We grew in the Lord together through Bible study, prayer, and fellowship. We ate together, sang together, cried together, laughed together, and shopped together. We moved away from East Texas in the early 80’s but have remained close friends in spite of the distance.
When we (me and Mila) were shopping during our (me and Joe) last trip to their home last Christmas, “we” found this sign. Neither one of us bought it then. It spoke volumes and we asked the shopkeeper to take our photo. And then to my surprise and delight, she purchased it in May and gave it to me when they came for Hubby’s funeral. They drove 8 hours to be here for his homegoing. The gift of their TIME was precious.
As I have thought back over the years of our friendship I wanted to share with you some qualities of a true friend, the kind of friend or friends that can change your life forever. I am blessed with many close friends and that is a rare treasure that I do not take lightly.
What kind of friend can change your life forever?
1. The kind of friend that shares your faith.
You can have a lot of things in common but to have a Godly girlfriend is a blessing beyond measure. The theology might vary but sharing the core truths of Christian faith are vital to a strong, faithful friendship.
This is a group of Godly Girlfriends serving alongside “Love is a Verb” feeding the homeless in Akron, Ohio. 22 of us traveled from Texas to Ohio. What a trip!!!
Ephesians 4:4-6“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
2. The kind of friend that can sing your song back to you when you forget the words.
How often do we preach and share our hopes, dreams, and convictions only to find ourselves in a dark place, needing to hear a reminder of what we know? We lose hope. Dreams are shattered. Promises are broken. And our convictions waiver. A friend is one that reaches into our darkness and reminds us that we are loved and helps us put the pieces back together.
2 Peter 1;12-13“So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body…”
3. The kind of friend that encourages you to be your best – a cheerleader.
When we fall into the comparison trap or we feel small and “less than”, a true friend reminds us to do our best and be our best self. They see the potential and give the prompting to never give up!
Encourage definition: give support and advice to someone so that they will do or continue to do something (persuade, coax, urge, press, push, pressure, pressurize, prod, goad).
Colossians 1:9-10“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God…”
4. The kind of friend that loves you even when you are unloveable.
Some days we can be pretty difficult to be around. We say and do things we regret. We are too quick with our words and too slow with our actions.
Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times…”
5. The kind of friend that keeps your secrets.
What happens when you need to vent, share a far-fetched dream, plan a surprise party, or work through a tough situation? You need a safe place to share and bear your heart.
Proverbs 11:13 “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.”
6. The kind of friend that inspires you.
Inspire definition: fill someone with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative (stimulate, motivate, encourage, influence, rouse, move, stir, energize, galvanize, incite). They help you to dream big, to step out of your box, and to believe for the impossible. I love the line from the song “Spirit Lead Me” by Hillsong – “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders”
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,”Hebrews 10:24 “
7. The kind of friend that challenges you.
They care enough to confront us when we make the wrong decision. They are brave enough to question us.
Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
8. The kind of friend that listens and has good advice.
The letters of the word “listen” are the same letters as in the word “silent”. A true friend truly listens to you and the hear more than just your words. They hear your heart. They share your joys and your sorrow. Not only is my mom my mom and my sister my sister, but they are also my friends. They listen and they hear my heart.
James 1:19a “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak…” Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”
I am so very blessed that I have many true friends. They are not Facebook friends even though some are on social media. These are real face to face relationships. Most of the friendships did not happen overnight. And some of them got off to a very rocky start. There has been an ebb and flow. Not all relationships last forever. Some are for just for certain seasons. And true friendships evolve. Because we are constantly changing a true friend gives up room to grow and change. We need to give our friends the grace to change also.
One of my favorite things about my friends is the different circles of interest. There are my junkin’ buddies, my art friends, my Bunko Babes, my GG Retreat tribe, and well, my friends. Sometimes those relationships intersect. A couple of my junkin’ buddies are also art friends and some of the Bunko Babes are also part of the GG Retreat tribe. Friendship is not one way. It’s giving, sharing, and caring. To have a friend you need to also be a friend.
This sign now hangs in a prominent spot in my home along with my little clock collection.
These friends are precious and have changed my life. But the one that made all the difference and caused the most radical change in my life is Yeshua – Jesus! If you have not met my best, Best Friend, I would like to introduce you to Him. I would love to hear from you.
Please feel free to share this with your friends.
’til next time,