A friend I haven’t talked to in a while contacted me yesterday. We reminisced about one of the best friends we’ve both ever had. What a joy to wake up to more sweet memories this morning!
Lynn, Deborah and Me
As spring arrives, memories of Deborah Smith flood my mind and my memories on Social Media. Pictures of the time she challenged me to do the Cooper River Bridge Run and our wonderful mission trip to Ecuador showed up this very week. She loved spring, plants, the great outdoors, the beach, get togethers, travel, friends, families, church and mission trips. My yard and home constantly remind me of her impact on me as I have her gift of plants around me and pictures and paintings from our travels displayed.
Deborah and Shannon in Africa
This is something I wrote and shared on Facebook in 2014 that I still find relevant and helpful. Friendships are important. Good reminder for me and hope you find it helpful!
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Proverbs 17:17 ESV
Been reflecting on friendship this week and read a few things about friendship. Still sorting out my thoughts, but here are a few:
1) Those we are closest to greatly influence our lives and either lead us closer to God, good and our goals or further away. Choose wisely. You can love and pray for someone from a distance if what they have going on is too negative, a drain, harmful, wrong or too drama filled for you to be in the middle of the situation. But, tell them the truth!
2) Friendship doesn’t mean that the other person TOTALLY supports your every move in life, but that they are honest enough to give you an honest answer when you ask, whether you like it or not. Some of the toughest, but BEST advice I’ve ever received has come from friends who told me the cold, hard truth.
3) Friendship doesn’t mean constant communication and companionship. Sometimes everyday life and responsibilities require our greatest attention. Doesn’t mean we don’t love our friends or don’t think about them, but does mean we have responsibilities and desires outside that friendship and that friendship shouldn’t consume us. People have spouses, children, responsibilities and jobs. The one you write off for not being there may be in the biggest crisis of their lives and you know nothing about it.
4) The best friends are those who weave in and out of your life and you just pick right back up where you left off.
5) If you only call or need me when you have a problem, I’m not your friend, I’m either your counselor or your enabler. If you’re always the one doing the talking and never the listening, again, that’s not true friendship.
6) Things change and people drift apart. No foul on either part – just happens. Let it go.
7) New friends come along and like spring flowers, just make you smile and are a new beginning and a blessing. : )
8) Some people are acquaintances – we serve a purpose in each others lives, have a few good conversations, something in common or a situation in common. Enjoy those but don’t worry if it just ebbs and flows.
9) Some people are in your live for a season and even if it ends poorly, remember the good times and learn the lesson.
10) Friends from childhood that remain, are usually your cousins! : ) If you truly have one deep friendship that lasts throughout your life, it is rare and you’re truly blessed.
11) Enjoy friendship with the people in your circle where you spend the most time. Some of the people I love the most are former co-workers of mine.
12) Sometimes those we were tight with for one reason or another disappoint or hurt us deeply. Forgive and move on.
13) As Jim Rohn says, you are a combination of the five people you spend the most time with…choose carefully.
14) Cut friends slack who are in new relationships, going through a breakup or divorce, having a hard time of some sort and especially if they’ve lost someone close to them.
15) If you’re the friend in the hard time or crisis, find a friend that you can share openly with, but don’t consume ALL their time and only whine about things. Share the GOOD, the bad and the ugly, not just the bad and the ugly. Honestly, this may be the time to seek good counseling or a support group of people who understand you situation and can help you heal.
16) And, finally, if you don’t have friends, maybe a look in the mirror and some reflecting would be in order. Are you a good friend? Trustworthy? Kind? Always needy? Negative? Maybe it is time to make a few changes and be more friendly!
The good news is most of us have a large number of friends from different areas and walks and that’s what makes the world go around. Don’t get hung up on those that are in a different place right now. Cherish the friendships you have right now, build some new ones and be a good friend.