It’s a quest that spans the lifetime. Little girls as young as three years old get excited to play with their friends, and even kindergartners can get their feelings hurt over who is who’s best friend. And jumping ahead to the latter years of life – I’ve heard women as old as 80 talk about calling up their girlfriends to chat. Whatever our season of life, we crave a friend to share it with.
But we want real friends, true ones- not fake ones. Our hearts need friends who will truly love us, at our best and at our worst, friends we can be completely real with… and who we can love in return the same way.
When I was a tween or young teen, I had a picture in my head of the “true friend” I was looking for. It was very idealistic picture, with specific criteria to meet — she had to be exactly my age, be a Christian, be homeschooled like I was, and have the same interests and hobbies as me. And be someone I got along with super well and could be myself with.
Talk about specific!
This was an unrealistic desire, but I stuck with it for a long time. Discounting the wonderful friends God had put in my life because they didn’t meet the criteria, I become heartbroken that I couldn’t find this perfect “true friend.”
Graciously, God finally showed me that real friendship isn’t a set of characteristics in a person, but the nature of the relationship you share with that person. Since then, I’ve been blessed to enjoy so many wonderful friendships with a whole range of people – young and old, near and far, similar to me and total opposites of me. Thank God He doesn’t give us “cookie cutter friends”! I love the variety of women who I’ve had the opportunity to laugh with, cry with, see their goofiest sides, and hear their hearts and stories. True friendship isn’t contained in criteria. It crosses borders. What matters is authenticity and a God-given love for one another.