I have learned a lot about friendship in the last 20-ish years of my life.
I remember the clique phases of grade school, junior high, and high school. I know how hard it is to stay in touch with your high school friends when you attend different colleges. I know what’s its like to make lifelong friends at college, and keep those friendships.
I also know what it feels like to watch a friendship completely crumble, seemingly with no warning, leaving you to pick up the pieces and wonder what went wrong.
Friendship at this stage in my life is a strange one, no doubt. I am lucky to be blessed with several amazing friends, who love me for me, love my kids and my hubby, and intentionally make time to spend with me. I intentionally try to do the same. With busy schedules and kids and life, sometimes it is hard. I find when I take the time to invest in my friends, the rewards are great. I’ve been more conscious of this ever since a crumbled friendship left me asking so many questions.
“Am I a bad friend?”
“What did I do wrong?”
“What can I change about myself?”
It was eye opening. I realized that maybe I didn’t need to change as much as I had originally thought. Here’s what I learned:
Lower your expectations.
Friendships aren’t built on grand gestures or extravagance. In an age where everyone is “busy”, we must not expect our friends to move mountains on our behalf. Their presence and interest in our lives is important but it doesn’t have to be suffocating. It’s not always going to be puppy dog tails and rainbows. Friendships go through hard things and tough times, and when you are there on the other side, it is all worth it.
A real friend tells the truth, even if it hurts. Being open about your life, your strengths, and your weaknesses will serve you well in a friendship. God brings you the people you will need, but we must protect and treasure their friendship in our lives.
Continually improve yourself.
Being a better friend starts with being a better YOU. When we are busy day in and day out, not meeting the needs of ourselves and our families, it is hard to be a good friend. There are days where I know I won’t be a good friend because I am struggling under my own roof. But there are days when I know I can reach out and make someone’s day a little brighter.
I am learning that friendships get better with age. When we take the time to cultivate and maintain friendships, they are such a blessing in our lives. I encourage you today to take the time to call, text, or email a friend– let them know you are thinking of them and that they are a blessing to you. You won’t regret it!
© 2015, Julie Sancken. All rights reserved. Love it? Please share, pin, tweet or email but do not use my work without permission.