Love and faithfulness of a friend

I am so thankful!  I am so blessed!  I have so many friends, so many treasured friendships.

My friends are absolutely amazing.  They are filled with mercy, with grace, with love, with compassion and with faithfulness.  They are there to share tears in times of crisis.  They are the laughter in times of joys.  They are among the greatest gifts of my lifetime.  My friends are all so beautiful, yet at the same time each one is so precious and unique.

If you strolled with me while I described each one, it would be as if we were walking through a garden in the blooms of early summer.  There we could enjoy their captivating radiance and soak in their full glory as the summer sun pour over them.  Each flower is a relationship that needs tender care to really experience all that it has to offer.

If friendships really were flowers, I’d be in desperate trouble.  I am no green thumb.  At all.  It’s not an understatement, it’s the truth.  There is not a living plant in my house.  To bring one in is to sentence it to death.  Even though friends are not flowers, they are certainly precious gifts that do need care.  I’ve still got such a long way to go to learn how to care for my friendships.

I know that people come into our lives for different seasons and different reasons.  I have been so extremely blessed to have some many people come into my life.  Many have stayed quite a while.  Some for only a bit of time.  I know that I have done the same.  I have come into the lives of others.  Staying for lengths of time that vary so greatly.

As I sit here today, I can’t help but wonder how it all happens, why it all happens.  Why do some come and stay?  Why do some come and go fairly quickly?  How many friendships can a person handle?  What happens when you or one of your friends moves?  When do you fight for a friendship across time and distance and circumstances?  When do you let go of a friendship?  How do you pick up where you left off?  How do you know when to do what?  How many times can you ask for forgiveness for dropping the ball?

I sure hope you are not expecting to find answers to these questions coming next, because the only one I have is, “I do not know”.  I just do not know.

Right now I feel like a pretty crappy friend.  I have voicemails to return.  I have emails, texts and facebook messages to respond to.  I have cards to write.  That’s before I get to all of my well meaning intentions of reaching out to others that I have not heard from in a while.  Then I start thinking back.  With some of my friends, it has been months since I made an attempt to reach out to them.  How horrible is that?

Here’s something really silly.  I put crazy expectations on myself.  I come up with these big plans to dedicate lots of time to pursuing and enriching my friendships.  Then I fall short of my own expectation.   Then I seem to increase my intentions but I find more confidence in missing that mark than hitting it, so I do nothing.  Nothing, that is, but tell myself that I should do something bigger and better.

Do you know I would never put those expectations on a friend?  I love them all so, very, very much!  Whether it’s one day from now or one year from now, I will be so excited to hear from them.  I totally understand how easily time slides through our finger tips.  I know how precious and important family times is.  Those relationships are far above friendships.  I get busy times at work, those can be seasons where we just need the reminder to breathe in and breathe out.  Yet I can not seem to get over that I do it myself.

I am just so sorry for all of the times that I fall short.  It breaks my heart to think that there may be friends out there who think I have forgotten about them or that I am disregarding them.  I apologize for my lack of follow thru and with the most sincere heart, I ask for forgiveness.  I am sorry.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing”. 

Thank you so much to all of my precious friends.  Thank you for pressing on, for encouraging me and for building those around you up.

“A friend loves at all times.” Proverbs 17:17

What a blessed gift that is!  I sure appreciate those people in my life who have loved me through it all, good and bad.  And, if I’m really honest, the down right disgustingly ugly.

I may not know the answers to all of my questions.  But, I do know the ONE who knows all that was and is and is to come.  I’m going to start making sure I go to Him and ask Him to reveal what I should be doing and when in terms of each of these relationships.  I’ll pray for those I have let down.  I may humble myself to ask for forgiveness as many times as is needed.

To all of my dear friends who are reading this, I love you so much!  I love you the best that my work in progress, fall short self, can.  I’m trying to be better.  I hope to move in a positive direction, but if you notice something that needs work, please let me know so that I can see it too.  Sometimes I just miss things.

I sure appreciate you sticking with me!  You bless me in some pretty amazing ways!

Dear and Beloved Lord,

Please bless all of the friendships in the world!  Lord, what a glorious gift it is to have a friend.  What an awesome responsibility and privilege it is to be one.  Thank you so much for the opportunity to live a relational life. 

This side of heaven there are so many precious people who make the days absolutely fabulous!  I know You see each individual as an absolute treasure.  Thank You for the ways we get to see glimpses of that through our friends! 

You are so good God.  So very, very good and worthy of praise!  In Jesus’ name, amen. 

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