How To Be a Friend

This morning it is humid, muggy and hazy in VA. And as a result, just like the Grinch’s heart, my hair grew two sizes the minute I stepped out into the weather. Frizz is not your friend.

Oh the complicated relationship I’ve always had with my hair. I challenge you to find one woman who doesn’t have hair envy. As a child my hair was straight with bangs that swooped oh so pretty over to the side. It’s been said jokingly that puberty hit me so hard it made my hair curl. And to think I still married my husband after that comment…

dad_HL build

Now well past those teenage years I’m a little more adept at taming the hair. Wish I could say the same about my emotions! But that’s why God gives us grace, hats and headbands.

What’s been escaping me nowadays other than keeping my grays covered or my haircut current is coming to terms with the ebb and flow of friendship. My words feel jumbled and messy today kind of like my hair but I’ve had more than a few thoughts on this lately through my own encounters and stories of others so it must be something pretty common. Thankfully God’s been ever so gently showing me a few truths…

Some friendships end on bad notes. There may be disagreements followed by mutual parting of ways. But what of those sweet relationships that maybe are just not so fragrant anymore? No falling out occurred. No ill will was done. No reason for relaxed contact is given. Where does that leave us?

More and more I’ve heard and seen that even with the best intentions some relationships fall flat or fade out all together. I’ve been through times in my life where I was surrounded by friends, oh junior year of high school you were the best…even if I did have weird overly curled bangs. And on the flip side there were times when I felt like I couldn’t find a single one. I’ve had close friends come and closer friends go. I’ve had a fair amount of acquaintances and the small select few who have come to stay no matter how the hairstyles change.

With all the connecting capabilities we have now -cell phones, texting, Facebook and Instagram- I sometimes wonder is the art of face to face friendship lost? Are we fooled into thinking because we have 322 FB friends that we are really known? But if only 4 people like our IG post then we must be dull, unexciting human beings? Those things alone do not determine our worth. And if certain friends stay close or become lost or distant, well that doesn’t determine our worthiness either.

The more I think about all this, I know God has a purpose in the comings and goings. I surely wouldn’t sport the same pig-tails I would have when I was 6 so it stands to reason I probably won’t have the same friends either. In our adult lives schools progress, jobs take us to different cities, marriages, births, and other moves play havoc with our proximity to one another physically and emotionally.

grandma alice mabel and friends

{My Grandma Alice and her cousin with their friends sometime in the late 30s or early 40s… I really dig her shoes by the way…!}

His word says that for everything there is a season. And I have to believe he meant it for friendships too. He also calls us as made for such a time as this. We may be in the exact spots we’re in now to speak life and hope to someone close to us and it’s not an accident. People need people plain and simple to come stand in the gap for them. To intercede. To share. We’re not meant to do life by ourselves and we’re not meant to be stagnant in our walks and attitudes either. Growth is always God’s plan for us and he can use friends to accomplish his will.

Friends remind you that you’re not alone. Share good and bad hair days with you without batting an eye. Pray scripture. Make you laugh. Lighten the load. Give great hugs. Listen. Make great chicken salad. Encourage you to pursue your dreams.

Someone who may have been exactly what you needed for one stage of your life maybe isn’t suited for where you are now so God grows up someone else to wave that flag in your corner.

Do I think of long lost or forgotten friends often? You betcha. Do I still pray for them. Yep. And maybe one day when we both don’t have so many irons in the fire God will lead us back around to a divine restoration and we’ll pick right back up where we left off.

So what do we do in the meantime with our friends near and far? Here’s just a few suggestions but I bet you can think of more: Lift them up in prayer. Keeping God at the center of any relationship is key for a three stranded cord is strong. Reach out with a note of encouragement or a funny picture when we feel the spirit’s leading. Be available to the best of our ability even if it’s just to sit and cry with a friend over the phone if need be or share a quick cup of coffee on a porch swing. The old saying still holds true- to have a friend you have to be a friend. It’s work sometimes I know but it’s well worth it.

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{image via Pinterest…}

I’ve heard, and maybe you have too, that we are a composite of our five closest friends. We pick up mannerisms, ways of speech, maybe even habits–  good and bad. This can be great if your life is full of inspiring people who spur you on in your pursuits. Good friends will take you far, just like good shoes or a rockin’ hair day. Bad ones not so much…

But what a friend we truly have in Jesus! Is he included in our five? Are we close enough to him that we’ve picked up some of his traits? Do we desire to be better versions of ourselves because of him? Do we recognize how He’s moving because we’re familiar enough with face to see Him in our lives and in the lives of our friends? Do we show him appreciation and adoration like we should? Do we really know him?

I encourage you not to let your emotions get tangled over friendships. It’s harder as adults to make and even keep friends some would say, but it’s not impossible. And never forget the friend that sticks closer than a brother. He will never leave you or forsake you.

How can you be a friend today?

Sharing with some friends at Holley’s place today…

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18 thoughts on “How To Be a Friend

  1. I love what your observations of a friend is. Having moved many times in this life I have lost so many friends. {before all the modern technology} but I have also had the wonderful privilege of making some new friends. God seems to know those that are exactly what we need and I pray what they need and placed us together. This blog has kept a few of my friends in touch and I love it. Thanks for making my day. {love the cat}

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    1. Isn’t God great! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your sweet sentiments! I know blogging has opened the door for me to also become real life friends with some dear people too! I have a thing for cats… this one just cracked me up when a friend sent it to me a while back : )

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  2. Well, hi, Heather! Thanks for coming by to introduce yourself …. and leave some tender words. It’s so good to meet you, and I love what you’ve done here, weaving together the mysteries of hair and challenges of friendship.

    Just so cool!

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  3. Oh I just love that vintage photo — LOVE the shoes! What wise words you have penned on the seasons of friendship. I believe that true friends who walk along with you for a lifetime are rare, and to recognize that God gives us friends during different seasons of our lives and that we are able to let them go if we need to, is such a wise perspective. And how glad I am that we have a friend who will never us too! I also relate to your hair and humidity issues — but try living in Florida year-round! 🙂

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    1. Me too!! I dug it out of the archives of my old laptop and I wished my grandma was still around to tell me who the other girls were!! Yeah I don’t think my hair would be happy in FL but I know I’d have a good friend there ♥♥

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  4. oh wow……YOU inspire as always.   I’ve always heard that everything—-including FRIENDSHIP is not only in seasons (Ecc) but also tied to your life stages (kids, mates, etc. and how you live life.)  Someone like you will ALWAYS be my friend, no matter what stage I’m in—we just don’t have the TIME to do as much ‘friending’ as I’d like with all the other tugs and demands. have a good one!!!!!   Debbie ThompsonMinister of Music, May Memorial Baptist Church Encounter God ~ Embody Community ~ Embrace the World (h) 6126 Cartersville RoadPowhatan, VA 23139804-502-9521 (C)

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  5. I can’t say enough amen’s to this post. Excellent and so well articulated on a tough subject. I have some women who 20 years ago I was so close to and now, it’s like they feel off the face of the earth and I’m not even sure “what” happened! I’m looking up their addresses and sending cards THIS WEEK. Thank you. I am your neighbor at Holley’s parked in #36.

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    1. Aww thank you so much for you’re kind words! Yes!! Do send those cards! I did that with a college friend last year and even though we didn’t start our friendship right back up the joy I got in sending her a hello and receiving one back unexpected a few months later was priceless! I’m so glad you stopped by!

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  6. Girl, you are so wise for your years. You are so right about friends. They come and go but Jesus is there always. All we have to do is call on him and he’s there. The good old song What A Friend We Have in Jesus. There is no better friend. I love reading your blog. It gets me thinking and pulls me back where I need to be. Love you girl and keep up the good work.

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  7. As always, Heather, your posts come at the right time. This past week or so it has been friends that have been on my mind. Some will continue to be so – even at a distance and seen only on occasion. Others have drifted away. The ones that have done so inexplicably continue to be on my mind. Sometimes, I suppose, there must be closure – even when there is no closure.

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    1. Aww Bill… I think it was your mention of drifting friendships a few weeks back that sparked this post. It seems after that point, I just kept encountering different folks with the same story. I hope that you can come to some peace over time with what God has in store for all your friendships. Take heart my friend!

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