This morning I got a phone call from a long-time friend of mine. I had not talked to her in ages, but as soon as we got on the phone, it was if I had spoken to her yesterday.
I love this kind of friendship. I have several like this...friends who live far away, yet are very close to my heart. I've got several in the Dallas area, one in Midland Texas, one in India, a couple in the Houston area, one in Hungary, and one in Mexico City. I hope if they are reading this...they all know I am talking about them! I love each one of you and miss you!
What makes these friendships last, even with distance and very little contact? It's our history together. I have done life with these folks. Lived in college dorm rooms with them, traveled with them, laughed with them, cried with them. Gotten on airplanes when news of a loved one dying reached me. Some of these friends were in the hospital waiting room when Taylor was being born.
What about you? Do you have friendships like this? I hope so. But if you lack this kind of connection, yet desire it, I want to encourage you with how to make room in your life for lasting friendships.
First...building a friendship takes time. A lasting friendship does not happen overnight. It takes time to build trust and have opportunities to learn about each other and what makes us tick. You simply cannot rush a friendship. If you do, it most likely won't last.
Second...we must respect each other. When I say respect, I mean never talking about them behind their backs, always having their best interest in mind. Actually being happy when good things happen to them! Not being possessive and jealous of other friendships in their life.
And third...letting kindness rule in the relationship. This is very important for women. We can be very caddy sometimes. Very contentious. Very competitive. This kind of behavior does not a good friendship make! In a friendship, kindness says "You are important to me and I care about how I make you feel as a person."
Tracie and I have often been asked, "I want a friendship like you two have, how do I go about getting it?"
We see a lot of women who are very lonely. They seem to be longing for connection. Real, faithful, loyal connection. Our society today makes connecting on a deep level difficult and challenging. Like most everything in our life...it has to be intentional.
Tracie and I have a friendship that goes beyond a normal definition of friendship. We often say we are "soul mates." We work very hard at making our relationship strong. We are extremely careful with how we talk to and treat one another. Hurting one another is simply not acceptable. We highly respect each other. We love our families as our own. It has taken 35 years to establish this kind of friendship and we tell each other all the time how grateful we are for one another. If anyone has Tracie's back...I do. And she has mine.
The saying is true...if you want friends, you must be friendly. You have to be good friend material. You have to take the time, be a person who respects others, and be kind. If you are lonely today, ask God to send someone into your life who needs a friend...then be a friend to her.