"A friend is one who strengthens you with prayers, blesses you with love and encourages you with hope."
This quote carries much value for not only friendship, but life. We have strength, prayer, blessing, love, encouragement and hope. If you have a friend with all these qualities you are blessed indeed.
A friend prays for you. They know your needs, as well as your heart. They can read you like a book. As each page turns, they are glued to each word. As chapter brings a new journey, they too are there to walk the road with you. And as that last page is read, you know there is going to be a sequel, a continuation of the bond you share.
A friend helps you when you are hurting the most, asking those important questions that no one else will. They reach in to the depths and pull you out, setting you on solid ground. You know your friend will walk the valleys with you. A friend may not understand all, but they will encourage you to be the best. They will love you when all others seem to walk away. A friend will give you hope when it looks as though the door is closing. They will point you to the open door, and help you see the morning sun.
For me, I think the most important value of a friendship is trust. If that trust is broken, the bond therefore you held so dear is crushed. But a friendship grounded in Christ can survive anything. When we realize we ourselves are not perfect, and we will not expect others around us to be perfect. But we must be the friend we want for ourselves. So with that comes forgiveness. A friendship will have those ups and downs, twists and turns, but a true friendship will stand the test of time. Friendship is like a good pair of flip flops. They are not going going to rub you the wrong way. They are not going to break just when your going up a huge hill, and they will be comfortable in the rockest of places. They will make you feel free to wiggle your toes. And if your really blessed, you will have one of each color to match everything you are!
A friend values you. A friend honors you. A friend respects you. And with that respect, is this; "Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend." Honesty is what friendship is grounded in. With a friend you should be able to be honest, and you will be if you care deeply for that friend. If there is not honesty, can you really have a friendship? Honesty goes a long way. If I have a little something in my nose I want my friend to tell me, not just stare at me with a smile. That's what strangers do. If I take a dive off the deep end of the pool, I need a friend who is going to jump in after me, bringing me to safety. A friend is one you know is always there with you. They are there on those good days. Those days where you think the sun will never shine again. They are there, standing next to you in those celebrations, cheering beside you. In those life changing moments, they are there praying with you, giving you hope, and encouraging you through each moment.
A friendship is not just about one, it is about two people making a connection, building a bond, a life long, unbreakable bond where you not only have a friend, but a sister. A sister is honest. If she sees you slipping, well, believe me, she is going to be there to help you stand. She will share her heart with you. She will cry, laugh, and talk all night long if you must. In a relationship you sharpen each other. You build your relationship strong in Christ, and nothing can break that. You bring the best out in one another. You lift each other up. You share your deepest dreams, and your longest struggles with a friend. You depend on them to be honest always. That doesn't mean honesty always feels good, but you know with wisdom and love, it is good. Honesty grows us, bears all things, and when you have an honest friend, you are truly blessed.
In speaking of all the qualities of a friend, we don't have to share those that do not build a friendship strong. When we make Christ the center of our lives, all else seems to fall into it's place. I love talking about Christ with my friends. I love sharing in His hope. Christ will be that best friend for you. He will stand in the gap. He will answer the call. He will never be late. He will forever be honest, and He will lead you with wisdom in a love all of His own. He will pray for you. He will be there throughout the night, and when the sun comes up again. He will cry, laugh, and cheer you on, like no other. You will forever have a friend in Jesus. And the amazing thing, well, He is the One who chose you! He chose me! Jesus is our example for friendship. In Him we can find all we need to know how to love, respect, and nurture a friendship into something beautiful.
Friendships take time. As they grow, we grow. As we learn about our friend, we too learn about ourselves. My mother always told me, "If you have one good friend in your lifetime, you will truly be blessed." I must say, "I am one blessed girl." The Lord has been good to bring those friends into my life that cheer me on, lift me up, and dream big with me. I cannot say I just have one best friend, for I am blessed with many who make an impact on my life. As each one adds something unique to my life, they also add to who I am. The Lord always seems to know where I will be, and just where another will be for our paths to cross. I love it when He brings new friendships into my life, and builds those older ones even stronger.
As Jesus walked with twelve disciples they were in His circle, but within that circle He had those He was closer to. He gave us a beautiful picture to plant ourselves where we are at. Grow with those around you, and bloom where He has set you. When we step out of that box, we will find friendships in the strangest of places, and just might find ourselves being blessed by those we never expected. Always expect the unexpected, and you will see the greatest blessings!