I've given you my thoughts on the purpose of friendships, but now I would like to share where God has brought me throughout my life trying to find friends.
“Your siblings are your best friends” is something my dad has always reminded us. When Luke, Katie and I were little and would fight or argue over something, dad would remind us that we were best friends. But what does that mean? For many years I had a hard time understanding how my younger brother and sister could be my best friends. But today I consider them the best friends I have! When did the change occur?
I’ve always been a loyal friend, or at least that’s what I’ve been told. I’ve treasured the many friendships I’ve had, but sometimes gone a little too far in “loyalty” by idolizing them. For many years I considered my siblings my good friends, but my best friends were outside of my family. I mean, you have to be friends with your siblings because you live with them, but how could they be your best friends? For many years I couldn’t seem to grasp that concept.
As I neared the age of 10 I began to pray for a like-minded friend my age. In the midst of a move I was hopeful that the Lord would provide a friend for me in our new state. But that was not in God’s plan. Because I had no best friend to invest in (really no friends at all), I ended up spending a lot of time with my family. Even then I didn’t realize what kind of blessing God had given me. As I look back I know that if God had given me the friend I desired I would have spent way too much time with her and neglected my siblings. Instead, I spent a lot of my time with my siblings because they were the only ones there, meanwhile still praying for a like-minded friend.
I prayed and prayed.
For years I prayed, and after multiple moves Lord began to graciously reveal to me that if He had given me a friend when I first prayed that I would no longer be near her. And He was still trying to impress upon me the significance of developing close relationships with my siblings.
Really in the past few years is when Luke and Katie, my siblings closest to my age, and I have become quite close. Through different circumstances God has given us opportunities to really invest in one another and work on becoming best friends, and realize the importance of being best friends. And you know what? It’s been an incredible blessing! We are with one another all the time and we love being together. Even when we’re with other friends, we’re often together!
I’ve also changed my view of friendship in the process. In the past I regarded “friends” and “best friends” as girls my age—outside of my family. Now God has given me the desire to have my siblings as my very best friends. Do I have other best friends? Yes, but as I’m sure they can tell you by my infrequent letters and emails, they are not the #1 priority in my life. But I also have many people that I consider friends that I would not have really thought of as friends years ago. My friends are all ages! Little ones to adults. Because my purpose of friendships has changed, my definition of who is my friend has changed also.
Do my siblings and I always get along perfectly? Absolutely not, because we’re all sinners. But by God’s grace He has united our hearts and given us a love for one another that wasn’t so deep several years ago. Soli Deo Gloria! (to the glory of God alone!)