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What makes friendships run deep…

I’ll never forget sitting in the classroom and hearing the final school bell ring, signaling the onset of the weekend.  I was in the sixth grade, and the big party day was finally here!  One of the coolest girls in school had invited me – shy, nerdy, awkward me - to join the large group of girls at her house for a sleepover to celebrate her birthday.   I felt like I had arrived.  After all, these were the girls that the football boys picked to cheer them on at recess.  And I was going to the party.

The present had to be just right.  I was a saver, so the thought of spending my own money made my cheeks flush for sure, but this was an extra special event.  I hemmed and hawed and surveyed each aisle carefully until I finally found it.  The perfect, most beautiful  Pepto-Bismol-pink-colored purse.  Oh yes, I can close my eyes and see it now.  The price was more than I would have normally spent, but it was a sacrifice this sixth grader was willing to make, seeing as how my reputation was on the line and all.

I ran to my locker and grabbed the gift I had picked and wrapped with so much care, then rushed outside to find my friend and the rest of the party girls congregating at the bus’s folding doors.  But as I approached them, their faces looked confused. In an instant, my feelings of elation turned to despair.

I’m sorry, I changed my mind.  Maybe next time. You understand, right?”

I sobbed all the way home and then late into the night on my momma’s lap, with the Pepto-pink purse laying beside me as a reminder of my fresh wounds.

And I learned that friendships solely based on shallow, worldly things – and my own selfishness - often lead to disappointment and emptiness.

_________________________

college girls

Fast forward a few years to a secular college campus.  We were eighteen and thought we could conquer the world, until the world humbled us big time and we recognized our great need for Jesus like never before.  Our futures were uncertain, our flesh was weak, and our resolve was challenged.  So we studied our Bibles together.  We circled up and sang worship songs and held hands and prayed late into the night about things like college majors, boys, and begged for God to save us from Organic Chemistry. And we gave Jesus every bit of us, this time in full surrender.

And I learned that just as iron sharpens iron, so one friend sharpens another (Prov. 27:17).

hot mommas2
Fast forward a few more years to a life changing phone call, too late in the night to resemble anything close to good news.  We had just begun our families, and these amazing young mommas were quickly becoming my lifeline to sanity amidst spit-up and sleepless nights and toddlers who wouldn’t obey.  Following that devastating phone call, God bound our hearts together in ways that went much deeper than play dates and the swapping of maternity clothes.  We begged God to carry our widowed friend, and cried out to our Sovereign Father to be a father to the fatherless.  We swapped meals, home improvement projects and met needs over and over.  We held each other’s hands through hard diagnoses, sick children and through spiritual battles warring for every last ounce of our strength.

And I learned that especially when you know the love of God, it is an honor to lay down your life for your friends (John 15:12-13).

Tammy chemo
Fast forward a few more years to a doctor’s office waiting room.  I waited impatiently for her appointment to be over, praying the entire time that it would be nothing.  A harmless lump and nothing more.  But God had something beautiful in mind.  Friendships taken to even deeper levels, strengthened by a great God who can even use cancer for good.  There were pre-chemo pedicure parties, encouraging Bible verses written on 3×5 cards, a shopping trip dedicated to wigs, head scarves and lots of laughter, and desperate post-chemo nights when all I could do was pray, read scripture aloud, and run my fingers through her thinning hair.

And I learned that two are better than one, because one can help the other up (Ephesians 4:9-10).

Growing up is hard.  But growing up in Christ – hand in hand together – is worth the fight.

Bear with.

Build up.

Believe in.

Wrestling for on our knees, all the while, looking to the One who holds us in His hands and binds us together as we grow and evolve and change more and more into His image.

Oh that I would lay aside myself, and love like you, Jesus.  And this is what makes friendships run deep… 

 

At His feet,

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Comments

  1. Askia jackson says:

    What an awesome and inspiring example of how our relationships evolve and change as we grow in Christ. The things that used to matter don’t really matter as much anymore. But the people that matter are there to help you grow and learn what a true friend is as well as how to love unselfishly and with your whole heart. Your friends are lucky to have you in their life!

    Askia Jackson

    • Thank you so much for joining us Askia – yes… things that use to matter don’t really matter as much anymore. I know I have my own tales like that from grade school. Blessings, Martha {GMG Leadership Encourager}

  2. Oh Whitney, not only is what you are saying incredibly beautiful, but HOW you are saying it is, too. The Lord has brought out such a gift of writing in you and I so enjoy reading your heart. Thank you for sharing and for allowing Him to flow through your pen (er, keyboard).

    His,
    Shari

    • Oooooh Shari…
      I love reading Whitney’s beautiful words… most of the time I cry while reading her posts..for they touch deeply!!! Thank you for joining us here!
      Blessings, Martha {GMG Leadership Encourager}

  3. Oh wow. What an amazingly beautiful post! Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I’m so grateful for sisters in Christ!

  4. The love of God covers all fears. Thank you Ms. Whitney for sharing this beautiful story and blessing my heart today.

    Friends are wonderful and God tell us that a true friends stick closer than a brother. Let us all love each other as Christ loves us.

    Peace to you.

    • Elissa,
      Beautifully said… yes, let us ALL love each other as Christ loves us! Thank you for sharing today! Blessings, Martha {GMG Leadership Encourager}

  5. Chaleur et confort sont les deux mots d’ordres pour passer un hiver confortable !

    Être habillé chaudement tout en préservant la facilité de mouvements pour être à l’aise dans ses vêtements, voilà
    ce que nous recherchons pour la plupart.

  6. This is so true! Friends help us through many situations and when you can share the love of God with your friends, that is even more special. I thank God for all my friends. :-)

  7. What a wonderful living portrait testimony of Ephesians 4:9-10. Thank you so much! Just last week, listening to 6 of my core group girlfriends in Bible Study I asked, When did we change from Happy Jesus Girls to Women Warriors for Christ? Over time, in Christ, in His word… together.

  8. ANGELA Scott says:

    Wow, thank you so much Whitney for sharing. This was a powerful testimony. I sure hope to continue to be a blessing to my circle of friends, for whom I am eternally grateful to have in my life.

  9. Beautiful! You’re so blessed to have such amazing friendships.

  10. So beautiful, Whitney ! Reminds me of my sisters in Christ back when I live in the dorm as a freshman in college. We love The Lord together, we cry together, we sing together and we pray together. So many things to share. But after 10+ years, I only have frequent contact with 1 of them, whom I shared a room together. I really miss those days, friendship, all sisters, loving Jesus together.

  11. Whitney, thanks for sharing your heart and a beautiful glimpse into friendship. It is a loving, sharing relationship that is truly a gift.

  12. What a beautiful story of how friendships change throughout our lives. I too have a story of sixth grade. I was new to the school and was assigned to a desk twice my size. I was teased for being short much of my grade school years. I moved through the year as the new short girl in class. I made some friends and was adjusting again to a new school. I was invited to attend a sleepover birthday party with the popular girls. I caught wind that the girl who invited me was receiving a bad time from the others for inviting me. So I approached her and said that I could not attend and I understood if she did not want to invite me. She politely told me that she wanted me to attend and she did not care what the others thought.
    I am happy to say, this special girl has turned into my best friend of 40 years! We have been through so many good, bad and ugly times. Our children have grown up as cousins. There is too much to share of how the Lord always brings us from afar to be together when we need each other. Friendship is what we need and is truly a gift from Jesus!

    • Ooh very touching story Cindie! Thank you for sharing it with us here. ♥
      I have a similar friendship – 40 years strong too!
      Blessings, Martha {GMG Leadership Encourager}

  13. I too, would like to thank you, Whitney, for sharing on friendship over the years. I have many fond memories of friends and although our relationships have all evolved as well, I am so glad to have become the woman that I am today. Blessings!

  14. My mom is one of my best friends on the planet. Her best friend (besides my dad) is very near her final days after an unexpected and not very long battle with liver cancer, and seeing their friendship blossom through the storm that is that terrible, awful disease has been beautiful and inspiring. I’m so sad to be losing such a beautiful woman, who was like a second mom when I was a little girl, but to have been able to see such a beautiful lifelong friendship has been such a gift from God.

  15. Jody A. Forbes-Sheppard says:

    Beautiful! Simply beautiful♥

  16. Denise Ross says:

    Wow! Inspirational. Makes me wish for friends like these. Hand in Hand, walking the road toward home. Walking through challenges together, through valleys and climbing up and over the mountains together. Just beautiful.

  17. Beautifully written! A perfect picture of friendships through the years.

  18. Donna Torrado says:

    This story was beautiful. I wish I had a friend like that nearby. It is a beautiful gift. My prayer is that God bless each of you. Thank you for sharing your story.

  19. This is beautiful! True and Godly friendships.. Thanks for sharing :).. God bless u.

  20. Such beautiful and insiring writing. I have a few close friends but non that I consider to be true godly women. I long for those friendships so badly. Until then, I am reminded that God is the one I should be turning to first anyway. Every time I am feeling down, it never fails that none of my friends are available to talk, and then I am gently reminded that there is always someone available to me. The one I should turn to first. Must be the lesson I am supposed to be learning.

    • I agree with what you’re saying. I wish I had the friendships described in this blog; it’s often a lonely feeling not having people to turn to. I’ve had the same thought about how I shouldn’t be longing for a tangible friend, but that I should be turning to the Lord first as he is the one to bring comfort and guidance…but I still feel lonely. I’ve recently been going through some downfalls in my marriage, and it isn’t easy not having people to turn to so I could just let it out. Yes, I’ve prayed but I just wanted someone to hold me (or to just be there as described in this blog).

  21. Wow! How beautiful to have friends like these! God has truly blessed you! My Mom was my best friend. She went home to be with Jesus 2 years ago & I am lost without her. Praying God to fill the empty void of a girlfriend in my life.
    Blessings~

  22. Wow! This is, by far, the best blog written in regards to the realness of friendships. We’ve all been through each of these stages in friendship. The first story is an example of something I often tell my daughter, warning her of petty (girls) and aspiring to find and create those strong, lasting friendships. I wish I would’ve found such friendships. I’ve longed for the beautiful friendships you’ve described, but lack in trusting and truly connecting with people. And now as an adult and mother, I long for Godly friendships with people who will be there for me both spiritually and emotionally, who will help strengthen my faith, and who will give me support in building the faith in my children. I am going to share the highlighted quote with my children and let them use it to work in their hearts and discover their relationship with the Lord.

  23. Hi there, its fastidious paragraph regarding media print,
    we all understand media is a enormous source of information.

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