Be The Friend You Need

Jul 16, 2015 | Today, as I walked away from the huge, fenced playground where my boys were playing together, I started thanking God for the good things in my life. I thanked Him for my three healthy boys playing well together, perfect weather, fluffy white clouds, a great park with a mile trail around it for me to stretch my legs. The breeze that felt wonderful as I power-walked the first mile.
Then I started thinking about what I was missing. I didn’t have a job to pay the bills. I had just moved here, and I didn’t have any friends or family nearby. I had just started going to a church, but hadn’t made friends there yet. I had met some amazing single moms who also homeschooled their kids, but they live too far away to meet more than once a month.

God, it would be really nice to have a friend to walk with.

As soon as I thought this, I remembered last year when my best friend died. I cried the whole six hour drive to her funeral. I was mad at God for taking her away. Then, when I started to thank Him that I had had such an amazing friend for eight years, I realized how blessed I was. Most people never have a friend that they can go through hell with and come out laughing.

Be the friend you want to have was whispering in my spirit.

Oh yeah, other people need that friend who doesn’t judge or criticise. The friend who will lovingly tell you the truth. The friend who will tell you to put on your big girl panties and get it done. The friend who can scheme with you about how to “get them back for hurting you,” but then remind you that God says to forgive. The friend that sticks closer than a brother. The friend who loves you when you are PMSing and can’t even tolerate yourself.

I had just lost that kind of friend, but that meant I knew what it felt like to be that friend. Over the next year, I made several friendships like that, but then I moved too far away to see them.

So when I saw the mom with her son walking ahead of me, I wondered if she needed a friend, too. I checked her hand for a wedding ring–nope. What if she was as lonely as I’d been? What if she didn’t have the courage to reach out? What if she needed the encouragement?

I stopped and talked to her son and then introduced myself to her. We walked the next half mile, talking. Then, we went to the playground to introduce the kids. My youngest son was the same age as hers. We talked for another hour while they played together. She was just as lonely as I was. Her divorce had messed up a lot of friendships and people were just too busy with their own lives. We laughed and cried. We both understood the pain of betrayal and the weight of carrying the load alone.

We agreed to meet at the park tomorrow and go to church together on Sunday. Our sons had such a great time together. Our only problem was getting them to leave each other. I don’t know the future, but I do know that being the friend has once again gotten me the friend I needed.

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