I have truly been blessed with some wonderful friends over the years. Throughout my life, some amazing people have shown up, stuck around, been there for the best and worst, or simply popped in at the most God-divined moments that I feel the need to write and share with the blogging world. Maybe you, too, have had some similar situations?
The friends of my youth: These people met me when my parents’ marriage ripped apart, my world collapsed, and I was learning how to be Humpty Dumpty by putting all the pieces back together again. I tended to categorize my friends geographically or by activities… those I knew through one HS or another, those I met in marching band, those from Camp Robin Hood, those who knew me through plays and musicals, or those who knew me at church. Many of these groups of people didn’t coincide, so my opportunities for knowing a large number of people was great… I just wish I had realized that at the time. I wasn’t a particularly unkind child, but I do wish that I had paid attention more in those formative years. Having the gift of seeing these people now that we’re adults provides a glimpse into the life I lived then and allows me to use hindsight to foster better and more lasting relationships with some really terrific people.
The friends of my college years: The people from my college years saw me though the most important and formative years for my personality. I loved and lost… I triumphed and failed… and I was slowly able to craft myself into someone of whom I could be proud. Not “proud” like, “look how cool I am”… but more along the lines of taking pride in creating a person on whom others could trust and depend. I learned to make my word not only matter, but make it meaningful. I found people who helped me learn self-respect and taught me to expect that from others. I truly believe that my four years at Hood College, and the friends who meant the most to me, helped form me into the person I wanted to become as an adult.
The friends of my adulthood: These people have watched me grow as a new wife and mother… new to the transitional life in the military… and learning to be “an adult” instead of a child. It was the women I met in these years who demonstrated to me the attributes I most wanted to emulate and incorporate into my own life. Seeing how other couples treated one another in public offered me the insight, however misguided, into how I wanted my own marriage to be seen by others. Being honest, trustworthy, dependable, loving, caring, and forthright, all those “white knight” characteristics I had so admired in my darling M during our college years, became the structure from which I endeavored to build my own life.
While the Navy, and subsequent moves, would add and subtract people from my day-to-day life, it has been the friends who stick with me that matter most. The words of a well-loved poem (of disputed origin) come to mind when I think of friends… it goes something like this:
People always come into your life for a reason, a season and a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.
When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, or to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or even spiritually. They may seem like a godsend to you, and they are. They are there for a reason,you need them to be. Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die, Sometimes they just walk away. Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.
When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season. And like Spring turns to Summer and Summer to Fall, the season eventually ends.
LIFETIME, relationships teach you a lifetime of lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people (anyway);, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas in your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant. Thank you for being part of my life…..
I am grateful for every friend I have ever made. As Facebook changes and redefines how we term someone as a “friend”, know that I am blessed and forever changed by every person who has ever allowed me to lay claim to the term “friend”.
The thing about friends? They are what makes the world go on… the sunshine seem brighter… and life seem that much sweeter. Open yourself up to a friend and you will be forever changed. Allow yourself to be affected by a friend and your life will be made that much richer because of it.
The fabric of our lives isn’t cotton…. the fabric of our lives is friendship… that’s the thing about Friends.