I've never considered myself an emotional person. In the sense that you won't catch me crying, like ever and I can hardly say anything sentimental without the usage of some weird accent or something *Cue British accent while I tell someone how much I appreciate them.*
However, over the past few years things have changed. I've recently been thinking about my life and the faithfulness of God. I've been reflecting on all the things He's done and the relationships He's brought into my life. And the only word that comes to mind is, Thankful. My heart beats really fast and I get teary eyed thinking about the amazing people I’m surrounded by. I love that God cares about my friendships. He cares about who speaks into my life and who has influence on me. Isn't that comforting? To know that He has your back and wants you to be surrounded by people that love, encourage, uplift and challenge you?!
In the past, I've taken friendship for granted. It wasn't until I moved away from some of my closest friends, about two years ago, that I realized friendships are the lifeblood of community. And community is what the Church is all about. A group of people coming together for one purpose!
I believe distance really does make the heart grow fonder, because the longer I’m away from my friends the more my love and appreciation for them, grows! I want everyone to experience great friendships like the one’s I’ve been blessed with, so today I thought I’d share some things I’ve found important when looking for a close friend.
Four things to look for in a friend:
1. An encourager.
Does this person support your dreams? Do they speak life to you? Are they excited about the things God is doing in your life? I think an encourager is one of the MOST important things to look for in a friend. Someone that will remind you of God's faithfulness. And will speak God's word over you. I'm thinking of my closest friends, right now, and honestly, one of my top favorite qualities about them is that they encourage and support me. There's nothing like having someone who knows your heart and dreams come in and reassure you, when you're discouraged. Or having someone validate your dreams or thoughts with an encouraging word or scripture.
2. A giver.
Does this person give? I'm not talking money here. I'm talking about do they give of themselves? Are they selfless and caring? Or are they constantly talking about themselves and their problems? Nothing is a Debbie Downer quite like a self-centered complainer. You want your close circle of influence to be a safe place for you to be vulnerable and open about what’s going on with you and to do that, you need an open ear.
3. A Challenger.
Does this person call you out when you’re in the wrong? Do they hold you to your word, when you say you’re going to do something? You need someone in your life that calls your bluff and doesn’t sugar coat it.
4. A Sense of Humor.
Some people might think it’s weird that this made my top 4 list, but hear me out. There is nothing quite as joyful and exciting as a good time with people you care about. I truly believe laughter is the universal language. If we can laugh about things together, then we’re going to make it! Now, this is not a proven theory (that I know of). However, I have to tell you, my friends and I laugh a lot. Like A LOT. That’s what keeps our friendship fun! Plus, it’s so refreshing when you’re going through something and your friends can help you laugh it off. This is an amazing gift to those of us who tend to overthink things and make issues out to be a bigger deal than they really are (I’m talking to myself here).
Now, that you’ve asked yourself those questions let me pose this question; are you all of those things too? Are you an encourager? A giver? A challenger? And are you able to laugh things off? Friendship is a two-way street, like any relationship. You both have to give and take. You have to invest and nurture the friendship.
I believe the people you surround yourself with determine where you’re going. And the cool part is, we get to choose who we surround ourselves with!
I love what Ecclesiastes 4:12 says; with a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn't easily snapped.
So, Here's to you my beautiful friends! I am thankful and appreciative of you, always!