…Friend that You Wish to Have and Keep

Friendship Quote

As my husband and I have rejoiced over the new, wonderful season we’re walking into, many of our closest friends have in turn rejoiced with and for us. Recently, NS gifted us with a wonderfully, wise book; LM surprised me with a pretty bouquet of flowers in my favorite color; SH followed up with an Edible Arrangement that I didn’t know I needed in my life (until that moment); KS thought enough of us to speak such life and encouragement via text at the crack of dawn one morning; BS & VS have given their hearts and unending support; and amongst other caring gestures, we’re so thankful that countless friends have offered their prayers and extreme excitement (specific shout out to my CF for her shouts).

I’ve mentioned before that I have the greatest friends, here. In the last several weeks, their aforementioned expressions of love have reminded me of just that. It’s both funny and heart warming to think that just years ago, I actually prayed for genuine, ride or die and selfless friends. It was at a time that I felt as if a lot of those that I called friends didn’t have the same heart for me, and a time when I did not have any ‘true’ friends in my local vicinity. But, boy, has God answered in ways that have far exceeding my expectations. For lack of a better term, He weeded out the people who were less than the greatest influences with ease – just because I asked; He revealed to me the hearts of longterm friends and He gave me an amazing, new addition of friends – just because I asked.

All in all, I am grateful for my true, loving, lasting, fruitful relationships. And, as with each gift, comes the responsibility of stewarding over it well. To consistently be the friend that I wish to have and keep, is my goal, and to in turn, actively appreciate the gifts God has given me.

Some time ago, my college roomie, EE, shared with me practical ways that her Pastor encourages us to be the type of friend we’ve been called to be. These practices have influenced and blessed my life, and helped me to strive toward my goal. Therefore, as we ask and thank God for the meaningful relationships that we have, let’s be motivated to continually be the following kind of friend.

Note: These tips have been loosely adapted from the Pastor’s guidance.

  • Committed – There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24 (NLT)
  • Confidential – A gossip can’t be trusted with a secret, but someone of integrity won’t violate a confidence. Proverbs 11:13 (MSG)
  • Honest – An open rebuke is better than hidden love! Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy. Proverbs 27:5-6 (NLT); An honest answer is like a kiss of friendship. Proverbs 24:26 (NLT)
  • Edifying – Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Ephesians 4:29 (NLT)
  • Enhancing – As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)
  • Prayerful – …Pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16
  • ForgivingLove prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9 (NLT)
  • Loving & Selfless – There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13 (NLT)

To each of my friends chosen family, you are literally an answer to my prayer. Thank you for exactly who you are and the role you play in my life. I pray that I am the friend to you, that you are to me. Love you mucho.

…Memorial Day Thank You

memorial day

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13 (NLT)

Jesus Be A blog thanks those who gave their lives in the military line of duty, as the ultimate sacrifice, for our freedoms. My prayer is that we appreciate the meaning of the Memorial Day holiday and together, pray for the continual comfort of those families affected.

…Clique

Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:5-6 NKJV

I’ve always struggled with the desire to be accepted. And, the craziest part about it is that I didn’t actually realize the pursuit of acceptance was a constant thread in my life, until recently.

From early in my childhood, I never truly felt like I “belonged”. I attended school with almost no one (I mean, no one) that looked like me until I entered middle school. Then, when my family moved to a new area and I began middle school, I really didn’t “belong” anywhere. Everyone else seemed to already know one another from elementary school and I was thrown into a demographic that I wasn’t all that familiar with. Yet, I adjusted and became a part of the crowd and developed my own cliques…throughout high school, and throughout college.

Fast forward to present day, and I realize that I have strived to excel in my education and in my career with the goal to be regarded as intelligent; to be desired and sought after for my skills, gifts and talents; and to be accepted into what I view as “the leaders” or the creme de la creme in my industry.

My heart tugs towards receiving approval and acceptance into something of meaning and importance. He’s created us this way, and He’s made it clear that He allows us to realize our acceptance in Him (Ephesians 1:5-6 NKJV).

In Him, is the only clique that I’m now actively desiring to be and remain a part of. And more than anything, I am thankful to God for the heart for just that.

We are accepted.

SM.