The one certain thing in life is change; it is inevitable. I have been thinking a lot about the evolution of friendships. Here are my friendship categories:
Category 1 Agape Friends: Agape friends are the people I attended elementary school with. Agape Christian school was the name of the school that I attended Pre-Kinder - 6th grade. During that time there were approximately 18 of us, who lived, breathed, and were everything to each other. There were no real outsiders. We had all basically known each other from birth, and even though we had our tiffs, we were always united against the enemy. (The enemy being any teacher aide that did not treat us right, two come to mind!) To this day, I can talk to any one of these friends, and it is if no time has passed and we still share a real love for one another.
Category 2 Jr High and High School friends: These friends share a common tragedy. We lived through the worst school bus accident in the history of Texas. It was September 21st and 21 students died. Each one of us can remember where we were when we got the news of our fellow students dying. We can remember the chaos and sadness of the days that followed. As the graduating class of 1995, we may not have all been friends or for that matter even got along well, but we all were uniquely unified in shared grief, loss, and love.
Category 3 College Friends: These are the friends I remember my mom saying are your "lifetime friends." I am confident that I definitely have a few lifetime friends from college. After all, how many people will you trust to take you out drinking on your 21st birthday? (Insert disclaimer here) I am not, nor have I ever been a huge drinker, but I did celebrate my 21st birthday with two and half drinks! That is all it took before the word UP fascinated me for approximately an hour. My college girls are the ones that were destine to help shape who I was going to be, and according to one of my roommates,"God sent me to you, to thaw your cold cold heart!" That still makes me laugh.
Category 4 Church and Mommy friends: These are friendships that I am still developing. Friends that I share the commonality of our children being the same age. Friends that share our Faith in Jesus. Friends that are willing to let me play Bunco with them even if I can not count and talk at the same time. These are friends that I hope will someday be the people I can count on to pray with me through my daughter's teenage years!
The thing about friendship is you grow up, and you grow apart. Time passes and you realize it has been about a million years since you have talk to your "friend." There are those that you can talk to and it is like no time has passed, and you can still share and laugh as though your time together was yesterday. Then there are friends who you just loose contact with and when you talk, you realize that you don't know each other anymore. I think the key to lasting friendship is love. I may not know you anymore, I may not know what you are doing every day, but I still love you. I still think of you from time to time and remember the wonderful times we shared. Change is inevitable, but love can last forever.
This weekend, we heard of a dear friend that passed away very unexpectedly. He was a friend of my husband. He was a groomsman in our wedding. We have daughters the same age. When I heard the news I cried; I mean, I broke down and cried. It wasn't because I knew him well. It isn't because his wife and I are close friends. It is because the love found in sharing a brief moment of life together. It is because he was one of my husband's best friends, and he was kind, caring, and a good friend to him. Life changes, but love doesn't end.
While crying this is the verse that came to me, "Jesus Wept" John 11:35. To give a little context: Lazarus was dying and Mary and Martha, his sisters, had sent for Jesus to come and heal him. Jesus did not come to their home until after Lazarus had died. Jesus was greeted by Martha who told him that Lazarus was dead. 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” After Martha said that she believed and took Jesus to the tomb where they had laid Lazarus to rest, that is when you read, "Jesus wept." I read a commentary about this passage, it said how interesting it was that Jesus wept, knowing and having already said that Lazarus would rise and live again. You see Lazarus was no stranger to Jesus, neither were Mary and Martha. They were some of Jesus' dedicated followers and I would include friends. While Jesus knew that Lazarus was dead, His love for him remained. Jesus knew with the power of the holy spirit that Lazarus would live, but it still made His heart hurt. Jesus' love remained.
Friendships they come and go. People grow up, they grow apart, they move away, or they pass away BUT love is the only thing that doesn't change. My husband and I often say,"God calls us to love one another," but how are we really loving one another? It occurs to me, that sometimes love is not about the words, but it is equally about the actions. "Jesus wept." What a powerful statement of friendship and love. Friendships don't have to be an every day all the time conversation. However, they do have to have a genuine love for one another exemplified by the emotional support we give each other.
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