People give me a hard time because I have friends all over the place. I don’t say that to make myself sound awesome, but just to say that I have a broad group of friends.
I’ve lived in six states and I have been so blessed to have amazing friends in each of the places I’ve lived, but my greatest challenge right now is distance. My best friend Jennifer had her second baby earlier this year and I haven’t been able to get to Dallas to love on him yet, which kills me!
Most of my closest friends live several hours away, so I have to find other ways to be intentional with them. I’m a believer in a phone call and making time to talk. Sometimes we literally have to put it on the schedule, but it works!
Texting, facetime, skype, and photo sharing have made the distance not seem as far as it actually is in reality. I send goofy pictures back and forth with some of my friends, and we facetime when we can so that it’s a little more like we’re in the same place.
When I feel prompted to pray for one of my friends, I let her know. I want her to know that she is on my mind and that I haven’t forgotten a need she mentioned, or I just felt like I needed to pray. As life changes, so do our friendships. So many of my friends have gotten married and started their own families. My story looks different than many of theirs, but as seasons change, God has brought new friends into my life. It’s crazy to think that I may still not even know women who will become close friends! I love it.
I’m so thankful that friendships have the ability to cross generations and time. Some of my closest friends are in totally different life stages! Last summer I had a fantastic day hiking with three women who have become such sweet friends. We live in different cities and have different backgrounds but met in the middle to spend a day together. It was a blast!
Here are a few ways you can be intentional with your closest friends:
-Send a handwritten note. Seriously… who doesn’t like getting mail?
-Let her know when you pray for her.
-Call instead of always texting.
-Schedule time to talk even if you have a busy schedule.
-Make time to get together if you can!
-Be okay with changing seasons in friendships. When one of my friends starts dating a new guy or is about to have a baby, I know that things are probably about to look different, but that’s the way it’s supposed to be!
-Be there for her. Show up when you’re able to.
-Remember that the road goes both ways. It takes effort on both sides to make a friendship work. Be patient and don’t demand what she isn’t able to give.
My mom always says, “If you want to have a good friend, you have to be a good friend.” It’s the truth! Be Jesus to your friends. Serve them well and love them even when they don’t seem lovable. Don’t give up on them, but release them back to the Lord if he prompts you. Meet needs whenever you can, and just be there. As you love your friends well, the love of Christ is evident.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” —1 Cor. 13:4-8
Mary Margaret Collingsworth is an event project coordinator at LifeWay in the women’s events area. Follow her on Twitter @marymargaretc.