We sat this week in our gym clothes and tennis shoes, nine of us talking about friendship and what makes one sweet. And the overriding word that resonated is expectations. Friends don’t have them, we all agreed. We just know and believe and that faith in each other, it roots deep in the intimacy of long lasting friendship.
I sat in my seat, rubbing the ViBella jewelry my best friend just bought me earlier that week, at a retreat where a piece of my heart still resides. She took it back to exchange it before giving it to me, thinking she was being indecisive in her thoughtfulness. But God nudged her to do it.
Because when I opened it, she gave me the same necklace a kindred soul picked for herself and only God knew it came with a message. A confirmation for each of us that yes, He has something in mind for our friendship. He was already speaking to each of us individually, picking us out among the crowds and bringing our random thoughts together, our mouths drawn open in the serendipity. That necklace wasn’t just a random pick, it is a sacred and holy gift. A reminder that God speaks through friendship. The water that makes our lives bloom with vibrant beauty.
I told all nine about the way my friend reminds me continually, with love and honesty, of how God loves me one person at a time. She points out words and phrases, turning seemingly random moments into everyday miracles. Miracles I sluff off as ordinary kindness and “Oh, she probably says that to everyone.”
And as I listen to the stories from nine in my hometown, peeling back layers of friendship, I get a text from a friend on the other side of the country. We’re known by each other, we shared community before kids, house payments and writing. She’s telling me what the Lord said to her on my behalf as she prays earnestly for me as a writer. It’s something we do for each other daily.
I think about the tears I’ve shed over these past ten years, of loneliness and lack of friendship in my back yard. “Why God, don’t I have friends like this where I grocery shop and garden?”
Then I realize the gift. That heart friendship transcends place and time. He handpicks the beauty and extends his arm holding a vibrant bouquet of unique soul ties. Their color and texture exactly what my heart longs for. The flower of friendship doesn’t just come from the grocery store, each beautiful stem is handpicked near a copse, in a tiny ravine, on the windy shores of the sea at the moment when the light hits the face of God, at just the right time.
Expectations don’t come with the friends God chooses. And that is what makes them sweet.
I’m joining Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday today on the one word prompt: Friend. I just couldn’t resist after a week of reveling in it.
What have you learned about friendship as it evolves and changes with the seasons of life?