My 17 year-old daughter laughed out loud as we drove into the city… “40-year-old friend drama, wow, Mom!”
I probably shouldn’t have vented to her about how and why I was upset with one of my friends, but her advice was, well, mine from several years ago:
“There are rock friends mom, and sand friends. When life gets messy, sand friends will always disappoint and blow away, or worse get in your eyes and mouth, and make you cry and spit. Then there are rock friends who never move, they may not do a lot, but they are constant, even when you change or go through trials. They’re always there”
A Rock Solid Friend
I recently lost my greatest rock friend to cancer last summer. She and I were instant BFFs 29 years ago. She arranged my first kiss for me, she got suspended from school with me, she graduated with me, she travelled Europe with me, she was at my children’s births, and the maid of honour at my wedding. Four days before she passed, I held her hand and she didn’t want to talk about her, she wanted to talk about me. She told me how proud she was of me, and how she would be praying for my children. She had seen my whole life, all my messes, all my success, and she never moved — not once.
Make Time To Cultivate Friendships
We talk in churches about marriages, child parent relationships, and relationships amongst one another, but you don’t often hear sermons on friendships. I see so many men and women emphasize spending time on their marriages and church responsibilities, but neglect friendships. They’re too busy to go out, or too much of a homebody to make the effort. True rock friends are absolutely essential to living a whole life, a free life, and a holy life.
I will never replace the boulder that was taken way too early in my life, but I know that I have other rock friends in my life that I need to invest in. When we invest in friendships, we invest in accountability, encouragement, lessons in sacrifice and service, comfort, being ‘known’, security, laughter, refining, and love. Whether we’re 17 or 40, friends matter.
- Won’t try to fix your pain, they will just hold it with you. Hold you through it.
- Will respect your boundaries, even if it puts them out.
- Will sit with you in the valleys, and rejoice with you on the mountain tops.
- Don’t feel threatened, jealous, or compete with you. Your success is theirs and vice/versa.
- Move with the changing seasons of your life and respect that you’ll be and act differently in each one.
Jesus said to build our house upon the rock, not upon the sand (Matt 7:20-27). Though the context of that verse isn’t about friendship, the truth applies. Friendship requires a firm foundation, and our lives are made steadier and stronger through the people we let into our lives.
Hmm…. I think I will listen to my daughter and take my own advice more often!
Do you have rock friends? How long have you known them?
Sarah E. Ball is a speaker, columnist, and author of The Shame Project, and the online series Fearless in 21 Days. Through her speaking and writing, Sarah shares her powerful story of how she overcame a severe anxiety & panic disorder through the Word Of God. Her story inspires people to live a fearless and joy-filled life. You can download a FREE copy of her E-Book The Shame Project HERE. Head on over to her blog, Virtuous Woman Exposed and make sure to follow her and say hi on Facebook and Twitter!