Yesterday, as I was talking to a very close friend, I stopped midway through the conversation to acknowledge what her friendship means to me. There’s a high probability that I’ve forgotten to do that small gesture over the last few years and there’s little excuse for that oversight. We should celebrate the good friends in our lives ~ and I, for one, am cognizant of what true friendship means and what it does not.

Sometimes the truest friends aren’t even people you see or talk to very often at all. Sometimes they’re across the country or sometimes they’re in your family. Sometimes they work in the cubicle next to you and sometimes they are the person in your prayer group. Wherever they are, they should be treasured.

She is loyal and discreet with the details of my thoughts and my life. That, alone, is rare. She is invested in my happiness and supportive of my trials and errors. She is generous with her time and her affirmations if I’m on the right track. She is gentle with her words if I have skipped the track and am on the wrong path.

 I want to be the kind of friend that offers sound, biblical direction when they are in need of the Word. I want to be the kind of friend who uses discernment in sharing that direction and the kind of friend who sympathizes without enabling. A true friend cries with you in your darkest hour and is there to celebrate the victories of life, too.

True friends don’t secretly rejoice in your failings and wait for a golden opportunity to share those failings with others. Instead, they help you up. They reach out and pull you from your despair; they encourage. They encourage when encouragement seems futile; when bright skies seem too distant to hope for.

True friends are a gift from God ~ they are distinct and significant. And like all precious things, care is essential. Fragile and deliberate handling of those relationships is crucial. I’m going to be more purposeful in my acknowledgment of those people in my life…there are few but they are worthy and esteemed.

I am blessed.

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