This was the first song I learned in Brownies:
“Make new friends,
but keep the old,
One is silver
And the other gold.”
I dropped one of my lifelong friends at the airport after a long weekend visit. We sat at the curb, in tears as we parted.
Good friends are hard to find.
Our 30+ year long friendship was born in the fire of nursing school, back in the day when verbal abuse was common place and no one thought to bring law suits against the professors. As Christian young women in a secular university, we held each other up with prayer and popcorn study sessions. We learned pharmacology by acting out side effects when we needed comic relief. We fell in love with our patients and these long years later, we agree they’re still the best part of the job.
She is the kind of friend that although we are separated by hundreds of miles, whenever we get on the phone or in person together, we pick up exactly where we left off. The kind of friend who during a visit a couple of years ago, when I found out my dad had to have emergency open heart surgery—I could leave my home quickly and know she’d be able to handle everything fine before she went home.
Throughout our lives we have shared broken hearts over boyfriends, favorite recipes and countless family dramas. We have encouraged each other in our faith, counting blessings and confessing sins.
I often hear women lament that they don’t have a friend to “do life” with, and so they carry on in quiet isolation. Desperately wanting friendship, but for one reason or another, not sure how to go about finding it. I am convinced with my whole heart that women were created to be in friendship with other women. It makes us better wives, better moms, better workers and adds a richness to life that no other relationship offers.
Thinking back to my girlhood days, when my mom would coach my sisters and I through friend issues, I realize that the truths learned then still work today. I’m sure my mom didn’t realize she was quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson all the times she told us:
“The best way to have a friend is to be a friend.”
I cannot count all the ways that my friends have enriched my life. Next to my family, the relationships I share with my friends are what bring me the greatest joy on this earthly journey! That’s probably because so much of a woman’s world, men just can’t wrap their brains around. We are created from the beginning to be different. I know countless gals agree…their girlfriends are one of the irreplaceable parts of daily life.
But maybe you’re one of those gals who could use a few more friends, maybe you’ve just moved to a new area, maybe the change of life season has taken you out of your old circle of friends -the people you were involved with as a part of your kids activities…and you’re no longer sitting next to them in the bleachers, or driving car pool. Maybe you have struggled your whole life with finding true friends…..I want to encourage you to not give up the search.
A good friend is a great find! Lets continue exploring this important topic.
Coming up next blog post: 5 Ways to Grow a Friendship at Any Age