Jan. 18, 2018

A friend indeed!

“A person who has many friends may be harmed by them, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24

I am blessed and I know it. I have friends that I met the minute I started school who remain my friends. I have friends that I’ve known since elementary school, junior high school, and high school that I still see. I have friends that did not care that our life stages stopped intersecting. We may not have kids in common or see one another at the baseball field any longer, but we’ve stuck together.

I have friends that I’ve argued with and much time passed, but we eventually made up. The friendships are different, but the friendships remain.

I have friends that I worked with in years past that remain my friends. We don’t see one another every day. In fact, some of them do not see me in person at all. We stay in touch by telephone or social media. I have former bosses that I still hear from on a consistent basis. I have employees that I managed in former roles that remain accessible to me.

Sadly, a few of my past jobs ended abruptly and not always on friendly terms. Despite that, I remain friends with people from some of the past jobs. Other jobs did not produce long-term, real friendships. It’s okay. Real friends stood by me and carried me through the rough spots that occurred because of those jobs.

I have friends that I went to church with over 20 years ago. Our friendship didn’t stick because we see each other every Sunday. Our friendships remain because we love one another regardless of the church we attend.

I have new friends at my new church. I love my new friends. It’s hard to make new friends when you cross a certain age and life stage. My new friends at my new church welcomed me with arms open wide despite my bad history with religion. They love me even when I voice my anger at religious failures.

I have wonderful friends that do not agree with me spiritually or politically. We still love one another. I must admit there are rough spots during this time of great national division, but I refuse to give up a friend over a politician or because my friend decided church isn’t for her.

I’ve discovered that I am at a point in my life that I am okay spending time alone. I am okay with a small circle of friends. I am okay settling into this stage of life without a lot of fanfare. I have many friends my age that agree. We are sticking together even when we choose to function apart.

I want to thank you for being my friend. There are times that stress and disappointment made us unlovely, but we loved anyway. You’ve got a friend in me! Or should I say you are stuck with me?