We’ve been friends for 25 years – since I started at Craig Middle School when I was 12.

So far we have weathered two different colleges several states away, living on opposite coasts for four years thereafter,  three marriages, one divorce (mine), a mother’s death (her’s) and five, almost six, babies.

She’s due in October.

And though we live an hour away from one another now, I know if I needed her, she would get in her mama-van and be here quicker than I can say “We both caved and bought mini-vans.”

Of course, I’d do the same.

I’m dumbfounded by the encouraging responses I’ve received regarding this friendship series.  This is not a “she’s-gettin’-too-big-for-her-britches” moment.  This is a “wow-look-at-what-a-joy-and-what-a-struggle-this-topic-is-for-many-of-us” moment.

It has struck a chord and so a symbiotic relationship of mutual benefit has been born.

On Monday, we broke apart the “what” of friendship and turned to where I go when I’m confused about anything and just need some good advice – the truth.

The B-I-B-L-E.  The Good Book.  The Ultimate Self-Help Book.  The Mother of All Mothers.

Now hear me when I say this:  I believe we all need to be drowning, literally drowning, in the word.  For the record, I’m not.

But I most certainly strive to be.

I’m not a theologian.  I am not a pastor or a priestess (what is a priestess anyway?  I feel like I might have just typed something very much not pure…) or even an associate.

I’m just a girl rich in nutso-ball experiences in her 37 years and since I didn’t decide to walk hand-in-hand with Christ until I was 27, I still sometimes struggle with what this truth looks like in application.

So let’s put some skin on this stuff and see what these verses look like in living color, shall we?

A friend lifts you up and sometimes you will be called to lift him/her up, too. (Ecclesiastes 4:10)

I once saw a card that said “A friend is someone who carries you when you forget how to fly.”  One thing I have learned in my journey of blessed friendships is that our God is so good that rarely two friends are fighting in Desert Storm at the same time.

God has brought together EXACTLY the right people who  can further His Kingdom and glorify Him. 

Sometimes YOU will be the one to drop everything at 5:40 p.m. as the macaroni is still boiling and your yoga pants are stuck to your unclean posterior to get to that friend RIGHT NOW and other times someone will do the same for you during the same circumstances – or perhaps they will be clean.

But regardless, it’s crucial that we are there.  Just simply there and reliable.  There is a handful of women in which if they called me and needed me, I would drop it all and get in my mama-van and drive to them come “hell or high water”.

I’d prefer the high water but I love them that much that I would risk the former for them.  And the best part?  I know they would do the same.

A friend forces us to grow, to think, and to walk closer to Him. (Proverbs 27:17)

I have a wide diversity of pals.  I believe He does this intentionally and I am so very grateful.  I’m friends with people who are agnostic.  I’m friends with those who believe many things and practice different lifestyles. Those who doubt. Those who reject God.  Those who are so hurt by a loss that they can’t even consider Him.

Because I get it. I get those feelings of doubt.  The wondering if there really is a God who loves me so much and yet still subjects me to so much pain.  I lived it ten years ago. 

Then I have girlfriends who are walking close to Him and know “the word” and can offer up advice based upon how I choose to live and force me to be more Christ-like just in the way I handle life.

And as iron sharpens iron, both kinds sharpen me – the former by keeping my grip on reality, on what is really out there in this upside down world while the latter keep me grounded in truth.

Both critical.  Neither more important than the other and yet so very necessary.

A friend shows love.  No matter what.  A friend also trusts and confides in one another. (Proverbs 17:17)

There is no vindictiveness.  No envy.  No ulterior motives or attempts to “keep-up” or hidden rage.  And just as a friend confides in you, so you must confide in them and share vulnerabilities for your relationship to be mutually-benefitting because eventually doing all the giving or all the taking takes it’s toll.

A friend is loyal.  Period. (Proverbs 18:24)

Pity the fool who trash-talks you to your loyal friend.  A thumpin’ they will get – quicker than they can add 2 + 2.  One of my sisters and I were recently out on a walk when we saw a woman who had gossiped about my friend.  And not about what she wore the other day – about something BIG.  Something that really mattered.

I boiled inside yet remained calm on the out.  It’s about as instinctual as the “mama bear” that emerges when someone messes with my children.

Because she messed with my friend, foo.  I’m wearing gold chains and have my top button unbuttoned.

A friend shares the truth with love and compassion – even when it hurts.  Even when you don’t like what he/she has to say. (Proverbs 24:26 and Proverbs 27:5-6)

I just walked through this and it was a bit hairy to say the least.  This in itself deserves it’s own post and that will be the next in this series.

Because I know I’m not the only one out there to see the death of a friendship and experience pain because of it.  You all have told me I’m not alone.

We’ll pick up there on Tuesday when we’ll talk about friendship boundaries, what the Bible tells us about unsafe people, conflict in friendship, and grace.

Because, really.  Though we all strive to be these kind of friends, we do sometimes fall.  And we need forgiveness, right?

Awesome.  Get lots of rest for this is, of course, a very light topic.

I’m joining in with my dear friend Erin because she hosts the wonderful “Mama’s Heart” meme on Thursday because our friendships are a piece of the puzzle that make us who we are and believe it or not, they can impact the kind of mama we want to be.

I’ve seen it.  I’ve lived it.  I know.

We get by with a little help from our friends.

Hope to see you back on Tuesday!



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