I've been thinking a lot lately about friendships.
I've never been the type to have a ton of friends. I have quite a few acquaintances, but as far as close friends go, I only have a few (and I like it that way). I have friends that are the type who know everyone, everywhere - and that works for them (and honestly, sometimes I envy them). But for me, I live life better knowing that I have a few close friends who know everything about me and love me anyways.
In the last few weeks I've come to realize that as I get older, friends are harder to make/keep. Also, I think friendships evolve with varying life stages. People come and people go, so it takes work to keep the friends that don't "go" around. (And by "go", I generally mean move away.)
As I get older, my children get older. Our calendars fill up and time becomes scarce. If I'm not prioritizing my relationships, they fall by the wayside. Then one day, I wake up and think to myself, "Do I really have any friends?" Sure, I have people that I see at church, people that I email regularly, people that I text often, and "friends" on Facebook, yet I think to myself, "Who would I call if I really needed a friend?" And when I can't answer that question, it really saddens me.
(Of course I always have my husband, who truly is my best friend, but that's not what we're talking about here.)
It's these feelings that have caused me to reevaluate my relationships. Am I making an effort? Am I doing the things that I want my friends to do for me? Am I creating time in my busy life to build these relationships that I care so much about?
Starting now, the answer is yes. I have one friend in particular who I have missed tremendously over the last few years. We used to be very close - not only in proximity (um hello, we were neighbors), but in life. We did things together all the time - shopped, hung out, played with the kids, and made dinner together while our husbands were working. We even went on vacation together. When I think back over my life, I can honestly say that those memories are some of the best that I have.
But as I said earlier, things change. People move. Which is exactly what happened. (Dang you! LOL) She and her family moved about an hour away (ok, maybe a little less than an hour) and ever since then I have just been a horrible friend. Not intentionally, but like I said, it's just easy to let your life take over and if you're not intentional about making time, it won't happen. And I didn't make time. I used location as an excuse to stop communicating. And I'm not sure I've ever been more sorry about anything in my life.
Don't fret though - it's not all sorrow and tears around here! A few weekends ago, our families got together and we had so much fun. It's one of those relationships that you just pick up right where you left off. What a tremendous blessing these kinds of friendships are, right? And I plan on making an effort in this friendship so it doesn't fall back into the pattern of the last few years.
On a side note, as I wrote this post, I couldn't help but notice the glaring parallels to my relationship with Christ. If I want our relationship to grow, I have to be intentional. I have to create space in my life in order to spend time with God.
So what about you? Are you being intentional in your relationships? And not just the earthly ones...