Originally published Sunday, 09 February 2014.
These three words/phrases used to intimidate me so much.
They were my most favorite and least favorite words/phrases anyone could use.
They were poison and they were perfume.
You see, I used to have this issue where I felt the need to try and become best friends with everyone I met.
Even though I knew there were some people who I just probably wasn’t ever going to have sleepover with and make friendship bracelets, I desperately wanted to hear this phrase come out of their mouths.
In middle school and highschool, I spent far too much of my time worrying about friends, wondering why someone didn’t like me or why some cliques just seemed to have steel, bulletproof walls that I was not ever going to pass through.
It was never that I struggled with making friends; I am a very outgoing person and I really do love people and try my best to genuinely invest in other’s lives.
It was more so that I let it become an idol.
Instead of being thankful for those that did want to become my friend, I focused on those that didn’t!
Can anyone relate to that?
I was recently talking to one of my friends and she said she used to write down her friends every single day, worried that she didn’t have enough or that someone would just stop liking her.
Another friend I talked to a while ago said she couldn’t focus on the friendships she did have because she was always far more concerned with those who didn’t want to include her in their circle.
The truth of the matter is, I think we all struggle with friendships in some way or another.
(Side Note: As I am writing this, I realize how ridiculous some of this sounds but it’s the raw truth).
Either we don’t love sticking our necks out there and making friends so we become introverts and cling closely to those who already know us.
Or we become the opposite, someone who claims everyone as their best friend and exhausts themselves in the process.
Or you can be a healthy balance and have this whole friendship thing worked out—which in that case, wanna be friends?
But seriously, because we were created to be in community, to develop friendships with those around us and to be invested in ourselves, friendships are organically a part of our lives.
As I have gotten older and matured in my friendships, I have learned a thing or six about friendships:
1.) It is far better to have quality friends than to have a large quantity of friends.
2.) There are not enough hours in the day to be “besties” with everyone!
3.) It is okay to just be friends, not BFF’s, with someone.
4.) Those that are your close friends deserve to be valued and cherished as friends so invest in them rather than worrying about those that you don’t click with as much.
5.) NOT EVERYONE WILL WANT TO BE YOUR BESTIE! SORRY!!! (Do you REALLY want to wear 10 of those awful peanut butter or jelly necklaces pictured above?…exactly!)
Now—PLEASE note—I am by NO means condoning exclusivity, cliques, not branching out or suggesting that you do not try to make friends out of your comfort zone.
I think the friends you didn’t expect to mesh with are often the most fun and fruitful friendships anyway.
But what I am saying is this: No matter how old you are or what stage of life you are in, friendships will always be a department of your life that is evolving and changing as you transform and grow.
That is HEALTHY.
Some friendships will naturally change with the circumstances, as maybe they were just meant to be for a season.
Some friendships will never, ever change no matter the miles that separate or circumstances that occur.
Life will have a way of making you really, really busy and time will find it’s way of slipping through your human hands before you even realize it is gone.
Some people will like you and want to pursue a friendship.
Others may not.
And you know what? That is perfectly, perfectly OKAY.
You see, attaining and investing in friendships is not a game or a popularity contest.
You do not need to acquire a certain number of besties before you reach the “cool” mark and you do not need to worry about keeping score of who likes you and who doesn’t.
Maybe you think I am crazy or maybe every word I’ve said you can relate to – either way, I just pray that we all realize the incredible people God has surrounded us with, those that we know well and those that we are just getting to know.
Because the truth of the matter is this: Jesus is our bestie.
He is the only person who can be “besties” with everyone and not sacrifice his ability to invest in one’s heart due to the overwhelming need of the others.
He longs for us to have a community of people whom we can be real with, share our struggles with, walk through live with and people whom we can serve alongside.
You can be confident in your friendships because of who your bestie is- your homeboy, Jesus!
You want a “Besties for the resties” of your life?
You got one.
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.” -Romans 12:10
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” -Proverbs 27:17