You've Got a Friend in Me

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Friend: a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.

The topic of friendship, in and of itself, is not necessarily deep or a new concept to most, or any. You interact with dozens, maybe hundreds of people on a daily basis who are acquaintances or strangers, but you have a small collective group of  “friends.” Those people, or that person that you can run to no matter what because they are there for you. Or do you?

I admit that throughout most of my life I thought friends sounded like a novel idea. I was in fact close to my family and considered a bit eccentric by most, so friends never came natural to me. Don’t get me wrong, I had friends, just not the kind I wanted to spend my days off with, go on adventures with, and share my life stories with; I had the convenient friends. You know, the ones who work at the same job as you, or go to the same church, so that’s why your friends, friends.

It is a crazy thing to be alone. I know the Lord says we are never truly alone in Deuteronomy 31:6, but unfortunately, the Lord doesn’t occupy space the same as people do. So no matter how hard you try to imagine it, He doesn’t come over for dinner, go shopping with you, or give you a hug when you’re sitting on the ground crying.

I realized this first hand when I moved across the country, by myself, away from my family, the only best friend I ever did know, my mother, and everyone I had ever met. I was alone.

I went to work alone. I slept alone. I ate alone. I went to movies alone. I did everything alone. I had no friends.

For the first time in my life, I realized the importance of friendships. I realized everyone needs a friend. When that realization happened, I didn’t even know where to begin?

I slowly, but surely made friends at work, but I wanted God-fearing friends, the ones who you can surround yourself with when you feel alone and pray for you no matter what. 

So…I began to pray…an unrelenting prayer of friendship. I want to say it was eloquent and well thought out, but I am pretty sure it was more like me sitting on my bedroom floor crying out to the Lord because I felt I had no one. People like to say the Lord doesn’t answer their prayer when they don’t get what they want, but I can assure you first hand He always has your best interest at heart. 

Enter the boyfriend…

I thought I had finally found my friend! FYI…significant others, whilst they should be your best friend, don’t count. I poured my focus into him and a few short months later, I was without a friend again and was mad at God for taking this person away. What I realized quickly after was that right before I started dating this guy, I had joined a singles group at my church and met some really incredible people! I could have easily become friends with them, but instead saw the bright lights of a relationship and ran toward that. 

After the breakup, I reluctantly went back to singles group and met up with some of those same people I had met earlier. So here I was, thinking the Lord had answered my friend prayer with a boyfriend, when in reality, He had answered it with real friends. 

I started hanging out with a group of people from church, doing events with them, small groups, outings, and from that time together I started to see friendships form. One person in particular became a rock of sorts and we started hanging out more, texting each other, talking about the Lord, dating, being away from family, pretty much everything. We created a bond and I now call her one of my best friends. Don’t get me wrong, this did not happen instantly, it has been over two years in the making, but for the first time in my life, at 28, I have someone who I invested time in and is an intricate part of my life.

I never realized how important friendships were until I didn’t have any. Although the Lord isn’t physically here, I have come to learn that through people He can be. Instead of sitting alone crying, I can cry with her and she with me. 

Never underestimate the power of friendship. I know it doesn’t come easy to all, but it is worth it to invest time in someone. Friends will come and go, but it is important to have people surrounding you who you can call on at any time because you know they will be there. It isn’t a novel idea, it is for sure real and for sure needed.

I am so thankful the Lord fulfilled my prayer of friendship, because it has quite literally changed my life. I am certain that He wants us to have friends to share our lives with, friends so we won’t feel alone, friends we can talk to, friends that can help us grow in the Lord, because those friends only come from Him.

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