Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Power Of Friendship

1 Samuel 1:6~8 So Peninnah would taunt Hannah and make fun of her because the LORD had kept her from having children. 7 Year after year it was the same~Peninnah would taunt Hannah as they went to the Tabernacle. Each time, Hannah would be reduced to tears and would not even eat. 8 "Why are you crying, Hannah?" Elkanah would ask. "Why aren't you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children. You have me~isn't that better than having ten sons?"

Ok, if you're like me, don't ya just want to smack Elkanah for being so insensitive?? I do. Anyway. Back to the story. Elkanah had two wives, Peninnah and Hannah. Peninnah had children, Hannah did not. And don't you just want to walk up to Peninnah and smack her, as well? Who needs women like that in their lives?

Praise the Lord, not all women are like this. I have had my share of friends over the years. Some from when I was a little girl {my childhood best friend Stacy Croft~who I still communicate with, by the way}, some from school, then church friends, high school friends, ones I met in college and lived with in the dorm, single friends, married friends, friends with no kids, friends with kids. Some of them are still around, some are not.

I have so many amazing friends. If I had to narrow it down to one best friend, I couldn't. In fact, I don't really think I've even HAD a best friend since high school. And looking back, I am not sure she was that great of a friend. I struggle with the term "best friend" because I always had a hard time narrowing it down to just one. All my friends are my best friends. I know there is usually just one that that term goes to, but for me, it's never just been one.

Even when I was a little girl, the best friend I mentioned above was not my only best friend. She was my best church friend, my other best friend was from school, and her name was Farrah Young. I didn't have Farrah in my life as long as I did Stacy, but she was there nonetheless. So what is the big deal about all this? Well, from someone who has always struggled making friends of the women variety {because of ridiculousness comments like the one above from people similar to Peninnah}, I've come to a startling conclusion.

It kind of all goes back to the fact that none of us are created alike. And while some of you reading this may truly have ONE best friend, more power to you. I am not that person. I have determined that God has brought many amazing women into my life for a very specific time or function.

Let me explain. If I'm hanging out with the kiddos, bored out of my mind and need to get out of the house, I call my friend Sunny. Even though she works now and it's harder to meet up with her and her kiddos. If I am really frustrated and had a bad day, I call my Mom. Because she is also my friend who listens to me the best. If I am not in the mood for other people's kids and want company, I call Phyllis. Because she is not only my mother~in~love, but a friend who is always up for company. If I have an unexpected night alone when Todd volunteers for the sheriff's department, I call my friend Christa. If I need to feel uplifted very quickly, I call my friend Sharon. One of the greatest friends I have ever had lives right next door to me. Katie is gentle, kind and a rock. She is inspiring to me. I am surrounded by amazing friends in church~our Sunday school class and choir are 2 perfect examples. These are the people we are surrounded by on our walk in life. They are there through the good and through the bad, slow to judge, quick to pray.

Our Pastor had a message several months ago on friendship. He gave us questions to ask ourselves, or with a friend, so we could evaluate our friendship. If I had them next to me I would write them out, but they're in my last finished journal somewhere upstairs. {And the kiddos are still asleep, so no way am I walking up those stairs.}

The questions were ones that made us step back and assess our friendship. Things like, will this person be there for me? In the good and the bad times? Is this friendship healthy? Do we pray for each other? Lift each other up, encourage one another? Is this friendship one~sided, or two~sided? Can we confront each other with an issue we may have and still be friends after? Could we gently admonish, if the need arose? Is God pleased with this friendship? What about what we talk about? Are our conversations pleasing to Him? What about what we do together? Do we glorify Him in all that we do? These are all things to seriously contemplate.

I am blessed to have many friends. And not just the facebook kind of friends, although some of them are on there, too. God has brought me many different women in my life, and I am thankful for each and every one of them. I hope that you have been blessed with the same kind of friends. Some of these women were a very long time in coming, but they were worth the wait.

***Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for these women I have mentioned and the ones that were not. You have truly given me some amazing friends in my life, and I am so thankful. May everything that we ever say or do together please You and glorify Your name. I love You, Lord, and I ask this in Your name. Amen.***

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