It was a long journey here yesterday. After the flight to Utah, Megan and I could barely keep our eyes opened. I think our excitement gave us the adrenaline to travel in the car another hour and a half to Logan from Salt Lake City. It was dark out by the time we landed, so the beautiful mountains were hidden by the night sky. If you looked really hard though you could see their outlines in the sky. Awesome.
Megan and I had traveled far for a friend’s confirmation this weekend. We traveled 1400 miles just to see her because we know this is a special day. As Pete and I have moved from state to state in our marriage, we have come across several powerful friendships that have changed our life. After being in Utah for three years, God blessed us with the friendship of Lisa and Quinn and their family. Megan hadn’t seen Lisa and Quinn’s daughter for way too long. It had been several years since we made the trek out here from Indiana. You could see as Sarah and Megan greeted each other last night their excitement was worth the trip.
Friendships can change your life – in good and bad ways. True friends lift you up in life, they somehow teach you lessons that ultimately make you a better person. If your friends are not doing this, you may want to evaluate your friendships. Friends do not hold grudges. Friends are trustworthy. True friends are a gift from God. Lisa and Quinn have been this for us throughout the decade that I have known them. Even though Lisa and I are both bad at calling each other – when we do – it is like we just spoke yesterday.
Ensuring that a friendship is a positive experience can be difficult. Most of us have experienced some pretty tough relationships, but I venture to guess that most of the time there were signs that the friendship really wasn’t God-centered. True friendships are found with the Wisdom that God gives us. If we open our heart to God’s Wisdom, it would be life changing. Wisdom is the key to finding and developing good solid friendships.
Proverbs 4:8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.
Chapter four in Proverbs is a lovely passage about Wisdom. Friendships are essential to our Christian lifestyle, and friendships are found with Wisdom from God.
I can remember in junior high and high school thinking that I had such great friends (and some of them were great friends), but unfortunately sometimes I made some very bad choices. Those friends led me down pathways that were not good for my soul. They certainly were not lifting me up to be a better person. In fact, they were dragging me down, and I didn’t like the person I was becoming.
I do my best to remind my kids that you don’t need lots of friends, but you do need a couple of true friends. Friends that give you goals that make you a better person. Friends that embrace the unique person that God made you to be. Friends that enrich your life and you cannot help but want to enrich theirs.
Lisa and Quinn have been this for my family. They are the instigators of a lot of things in my life. I don’t mean that in a bad way. Lisa made me really think about my faith, questioned it, and embrace it by gaining Wisdom. Lisa encouraged me to read the bible, to pray, and more importantly to pray with each other. Lisa with her sly little comments gave me joy, peace and Wisdom through some of the darkest days of my life. She filled me with hope even when I was faced with a very sick child. She confirmed to me that God was still present even when I wasn’t really sure He was anymore. She guided me along so I never felt alone.
Don’t miss out on the great friendships that God provides you with. Don’t let thousands of miles stand between you. When I left Utah that October morning in 2006, I never thought I was leaving Lisa behind. I felt as though God had prepared me to move on in life, to continue my friendship with Lisa, but to share my faith with others too; the faith that Lisa had helped produce within me. Lisa is my sister in Christ. There is a bond between us that nothing can break, because we have connected through God, and God will continue to use us in unique ways to spread His Word. Now that is a blessing.
“Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter:
whoever finds one has found a treasure.
Faithful friends are beyond price;
no amount can balance their worth.
Faithful friends are life-saving medicine;
and those who fear the Lord will find them.”
–Sirach 6:14-16 NRSV