Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver, and the other is gold.
Living in the parsonage next door to my church brought with it a fierce temptation to run for cover on Sunday mornings. At war with my longing for good friends was my compulsion to avoid awkward post-service conversations. I loved my friends; it was the process from acquaintance to bosom friend that killed me. Voices in my head told me the happy groups chatting in the foyer didn’t need one more person. But I was in a new place with new people as a mom of two preschoolers. To build a life here, I needed friends.
God always knew I needed friends. The proof started before I was even born as my mom discovered one of her Lamaze classmates attended the same church she did. My first friendship was born before I was.
Kim and I grew up together. She was the blond to my brunette, the laughter to my serious, and the active to my laid back. She provided an anchor of belonging to my little heart. I can’t remember my elementary school days without Kim’s face connected to fun times.
God added another layer when I tested out of my reading group in first grade. The school wanted to advance me further than my mom was comfortable. The compromise was to advance me with another girl to a level that made both moms comfortable. It turned out Gretchen didn’t only go to my school; she also lived four blocks down the street from me. We wore a path between our houses experiencing the best and hardest pieces of growing up.
Going to a new school for eighth grade—alone—felt like torture. I held my eyes open wide as we drove so tears wouldn’t drop onto my carefully mascara-ed eyelashes. I’d never had to make friends on my own before, and I felt sure the only ones I had were a result of my two besties’ sparkle. But God had a plan. Within two weeks, I had friends. At graduation, we took a group photo, and I told my mom, “It would be impossible to ever find friends this good again.”
God might have laughed just then.
I couldn’t see his hand yet. It took a few more years of perspective for my rearview mirror to clear...
Please join me at The Glorious Table to continue reading about the ways God has over and over again given me the gift friendships.
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