If you know me personally (which most of you do) then you know that the past few weeks God has placed some emotional tests in front of me. Thankfully, with my amazing family, comical friends, and downright perfect man-friend I was able to walk through them (but not without hemming and hawwing the whole way through).
Just last night, Big Mike and I were driving back to our house after consuming a large quantity of chicken sandwiches, piping hot chili, and salty french fries from our local Wendy's and he turns to me and says, "What ever happened with you and your friend that wasn't speaking to you?" I realized that Big Mike had been home from his mini-vacation since Sunday and here it was, Thursday night, and I hadn't even filled him in as to what had happened between my friend and I.
Yes, I'll admit it. One of my recent emotional tests came about when a combination of my sassy pants sarcasm and combined miscommunication lead to a fight last month with one of my dearest and best friends. It wasn't pretty. But then again, I think it was necessary.
It suddenly occurred to me that maybe I'm taking friendships for granted. I'm letting the toxic friends continue to come into my life and that is causing my healthy friendships to suffer. By continuing on with toxic friendships, I was allowing myself to be a toxic friend.
Take a step back. Let that sink in and permeate for a second.
If you allow people to take advantage of you and continue to invade your life, then you will neglect your true friendships and in turn, you will be the bad friend that you're so desperately trying to avoid.
Well needless to say, through some prayer and a whole lot of inspection of myself, I've come to realize who's important to me right now. It's important that I say right now because in 5, 10, or 25 years this whole thing could shift on me.
Most of my life, I've followed the "Samantha Jones Philosophy of Relationships" when she says "I'm gonna say the one thing you aren't supposed to say. I love you... but I love me more. I've been in a relationship with myself for 49 years and that's the one I need to work on."
But as my own self-relationship has become more stable in my life, I've been able to add in my relationship with Big Mike. I think we've both become better for it, but I know for a fact that I'm stronger and happier because I have him in my life.
But on a whole new level, I've realized that most of my friends require additional "friendship maintenance" every once in a while. It doesn't take a whole lot. Most of us are married or in long-term, committed realtionships and therefore our friendships with eachother are sort of peripheral to the men in our lives. However, as I continue to try to update myself and be better everyday, I realize that those friendships still need work and time.
That's when I found this: Proverbs 17:17
"A friend loves at all times, and is born, as is a brother, for adversity."So, so true. We love all the time, even we're hurt or mad. We're there for the good times, and the times when we're practically brothers and sisters. But the greatest message from that verse (in my humble opinion) is that I sign up for everything included in a friendship. Yes, that means I sign up for fights and adversity. I sign up for the whole kit 'n caboodle. Sure, Big Mike is important to me, but some of the things I'm about to tell you about he just cannot do.
If you're my friend,
I want to hold your hand when you're crying over a break up.
I want to celebrate our birthdays together and be silly.
I want to feel the butterflies you feel when you talk about a new boyfriend.
I want to gain (and hopefully lose!) weight with you as we approach thirty.
I want to be in your graduation photos and I want you in mine.
I want to wear your bridesmaid dress, no matter if I love it or hate it, and the entire time I'll think, "It's okay, someday you'll have to wear what I'm going to pick out!"
I want to shower you with gifts for big events or no reason at all.
I want to share a bottle of wine with you if we're going to celebrate or mourn.
I want to stand next to you on your wedding day and promise to support your marriage, no matter what.
I want to help paint your new house with you.
I want to go to Las Vegas with you so we can have more awkward stories to tell.
I want to call you when I'm emotional and I can't catch my breath because the tears are coming out like crashing boulders.
I want to go to more concerts with you like Kelly Clarkson, Reckless Kelly, and *NSYNC (if they ever tour again).
I want to share my life with you, friend.
So if you have a friend that you love, tell them. Send them this verse. Send them an email. Oh heck, send them this blog! Just remind them that you're their friend, and you're there for the good times and the bad times. When the bad times come (and they will) I'm glad my friends and I have good enough memories and feelings to pull us out of our fights and bring us back together. Work on those frienships, because they're a big deal.