It's funny how the way we think about friendships seems to change as we get older. As a kid, I kind of assumed that in order to be friends with someone, probably what matters the most is spending a lot of time with that person. My best friend from any season of life tended to be the person I spent the most time with. Thankfully, usually that was someone I went to school with, so it was fairly easy to spend time together because a lot of our actual lives were lived together.
Fast-forward to adulthood, and I've found that it is much harder to spend anywhere close to the amount of time with friends that I used to. It feels almost comical to think how on earth I would have maintained friendships with my close friends as a kid if I had spent the amount of time with them that I now spend with those I consider close friends as an adult. This is my best friend Sally. When did I talk to her last? Umm, maybe a month ago?
What I've noticed about friendships, though, is that when I connect deeply with someone else, it seems like that connection is going to be there despite how much or little time has passed since we last talked or spent time together. This is not to say that it makes no difference whatsoever how often I spend time with someone. It is definitely a worthy goal to prioritize spending time regularly with those we love! But maybe what makes the biggest difference in how close I feel to a person is not how often I'm seeing or spending time with that person but rather how strong our connection was to begin with.
For example, I had a friend who I got to know when we were both in college, and I remember fairly quickly feeling like, wow we really get each other. We encouraged each other, laughed together, shared our struggles with each other, and genuinely enjoyed being friends. I would say both of us felt like our lives were richer because of each other. Then we both graduated, moved, got married and mostly weren't really in touch except for seeing each other's updates on Facebook.
But then, somewhat unexpectedly, we reconnected around the beginning of the pandemic when I invited her to try using voxer. (In case you're not familiar with this app, it essentially gives you a way to record messages back and forth - a little like texting but instead of typing things out you can just talk. For me, it feels like a way to have a deep conversation with someone else without needing both of you to be available at the exact same time.) For maybe about a year, we were sending messages back and forth multiple times a week, sometimes even multiple times a day. And I realized that my friendship with her and the connection we had felt just as strong as it ever had despite the fact that we hadn't really been in touch for the last 10-15 years.
Since then, life kept happening, and we're back to mostly just keeping up with each other on Facebook. But my conclusion from reflecting on this experience is that it seems like if the deep connection is there initially - if it's real and it's meaningful, it's going to be real and meaningful no matter how much time passes.
Sometimes it's easy to wish that all friendships could remain how they were when we were kids. At least sometimes I wish that. I wish it didn't feel so hard to find a way to hang out with people that I consider close friends. I wish we just all went to school together and ate lunch together every day.
I remember having a conversation once with a couple of my friends and we started talking about how maybe friendships are a little like flowers. They come and go in seasons. I wonder if the deep ones are a little more like perennials that come back year after year, season after season. It makes me wonder, as we pray over our friendships and our children's friendships, what should we be praying for?
I suppose this is another one of those areas where God is in control, but maybe He also invites us to work with Him, to cultivate friendships and be a part of helping them grow. Maybe we can ask God to help us notice where there are deep connections and learn how to enjoy them for the gifts that they are. Ultimately, these deep connections are reflections of the very deepest connection there is - connection with a God who knows us and loves us with an everlasting, never-failing love.
Pray with me...
... Lord, thank You for the blessing of close friendships
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24
... God, we ask for more deep connections among our students and all in the ACSD community
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
... Jesus, be in the center of all of our friendships and build us together in You
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of His household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and pray for Alliance Christian School District! Lord willing, I plan to publish a new blog post weekly throughout the school year. Feel free to subscribe (at the bottom of this page) if you'd like to be notified each time a new blog post has been published. We also have a prayer team that is always open for new pray-ers to join. If you'd like to learn more, email me at email@example.com.
~ Carrie Warner, ACSD Prayer Team Coordinator
Soli Deo Gloria To God alone be the glory