When you move a lot, you learn the value of a good realtor and the importance of making new friends. In fact, several of our realtors have become my first friend in our new town!
After finding the perfect house and unpacking all those boxes, finding the “perfect” friend is typically next on my to-do list. But, if we’re being honest, there’s no such thing as a “perfect” friend (or a perfect house for that matter). But I have come to treasure and appreciate the value of imperfect friends.
Last week I was reading blog posts about friendship and read this quote:
“Making chocolates is a lot like making friends. It takes time, it takes effort, and no matter who you are, it’s messy. It just is. You can’t create anything worthwhile without getting your hands dirty.”
So true, isn’t it?! Making friends is messy because we are all messy…and that makes us imperfect friends.
Friendship may be imperfect, and messy at times, but like chocolate, it is sweet and totally worthwhile.
In fact, I would be lost without my friends. Literally, because I have the worst sense of direction ever! Before GPS, I called my friends for navigation. But I don’t only get lost while driving…I can get just as lost in my own thoughts and feelings. I need friends to help me find my way through the hazardous sideroads and confusing detours in my own mind.
The friends I rely on the most are the ones who use God’s word for navigation. Although I turn to these friends, they consistently point me to Jesus reminding me to rely on him.
1 Samuel 23:16 (NIV) provides an example of this kind of friendship:
“And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.”
Jonathan could have been jealous or bitter…after all David was God’s choice over Jonathan to succeed Saul as king. But Jonathan loved David and when David found himself in a challenging situation Jonathan went to him, not to be David’s “hero,” but to help David find strength in God.
Jonathan was humble and encouraging. The kind of friend we all want. The kind of friend we should strive to be despite our imperfections.
There have been times when I struggled to make new friends in my new location. But God’s faithfulness has been undeniable. My role has really been to remain flexible and open-minded about what my new friends would look like…and they have looked remarkably different from one state to the next. While living in Virginia my best friend was ten years older than me…when I moved to North Carolina one of my closest friends was 27 years younger…the same age as my daughter!
Regardless of age, friends add so much fullness to my life. I cherish friends who are humble and encouraging like Jonathan, but also value friends who help me have fun and not take life too seriously. I want friends who accept me, but need friends who are also willing to confront me. Friends who will tell me when I am heading in the wrong direction or going too fast around a dangerous curve.
Proverbs 27:9 ESV says, "Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel."
Earnest counsel. The sweetness of friendship. Friendship that, like chocolate might be messy at times, but make life so much sweeter. Let’s find those friends and be those friends… and, then, eat lots of chocolate together.