Thursday, May 2, 2013
A Hard Lesson to Learn
I recently had the pleasure of reuniting with some good friends a few weeks ago, and we had some great conversations. One belief we agreed on was that there is nothing more valuable than the relationships we form with other people. It is a great challenge that should be accepted by all. The ability to connect, share, listen, and learn from other humans sets us apart. It took me 26 years, but I have finally learned what a good friend is. It was a hard lesson to learn, because I wanted to believe that everyone values friendship the way I do. Unfortunately that simply is not true.
I have some truly great friends. I am thankful for these people more than I think I can humanly convey to them. I do try to let them know how much they mean to me, and I like to let them know I am thinking of them. I think that is important. It is important to stop what one is doing and let one's friend know that they are loved and missed. One big lesson I have learned is that friends are not only friends when it is convenient to be friends. We actually had some people in our lives that we called friends who used us for TV because they didn't have cable. This actually went on for a few months. As soon as they moved and got cable, they all of a sudden stopped coming over and didn't even return text messages. Needless to say we have not seen them in about 6 months. For a while I was very sad. Then I decided to realize what I do have. I have some friends in my life that even though they do not live in Dothan they care about me and I care about them. It is actually a two-way street. I let them know when I am thinking of them, and they let me know when they are thinking of me. We have things in common. We listen to each other. We share advice and experiences with each other. We are not friends only when it is convenient or only when we see each other. We are friends everyday of the year. We accept each other for who we are. We share some of the same beliefs. We include each other in our lives. AND one of the most important things to me is that we are not in competition with each other.
It took me 26 years to realize that competition is one of the issues I have had with friendship. One of my guy friends actually pointed it out. When a bunch of us reunited a few weeks ago I was sad that I didn't have that many friends that are girls. I talked with him about high school and college friends, and he pointed out that in his observation of women we can be too competitive with one another. This totally made sense. I realized that most of my friends were Michael's guy friends because I could be myself around them. Isn't that funny? I also became very thankful that since college I have met and befriended a couple of ladies that I completely connect with. We do not even have to live in the same town, and we are there for each other. I know that if I need them for any thing, they will respond and help me in the best way they can. Not only am I thankful for these ladies in my life, but I have become more appreciative of what God gave several years ago. I guess he completed the gift almost 18 years ago. That gift came in 5 individual packages. I am so thankful for my brothers and sisters. I want to cultivate a stronger relationship with them. I know that I can trust them with anything. I hope they think the same way. I am so proud of the young men and women they are becoming. I thank my God for entrusting them to my parents and therefore sharing them with me. I know I have not always been the best example, but I am trying to better my life everyday so that I can be a leader for them. While it was not an easy lesson to learn, I know that I can not give up on making friends. I know that I have so much to be thankful for. I have an amazing husband, family, and friends that God has blessed me with. I look forward to how God will use us in each other's lives in the future. True and healthy relationships should truly be treasured. I know that I am very grateful for the friends that I have in my life.