From over at RevGals this morning:
“I have been thinking about friends lately. I am so grateful for the faithful friends who have brought me along in life, and I know them in such different ways!
Some are friends from my whole life…childhood, college, graduate school, churches, work, etc. Some are friends of those friends.
Some are people I have only met (so far!) via blogs or Facebook.
And some are a hybrid…people, for instance, with whom I graduated high school NOT having a friend relationship…and now Facebook has brought me a great appreciation of them. I think, with some of those folks,”Gosh, I’m glad I get to know him/her NOW, at least!”
For today’s Friday Five, then, let’s do a little tribute to five of your friends. This can be broadly construed – relatives count – and you need not use names at all if you don’t want to. OR, if you want to link to blogs of favorite friends, that’s all right too. The main thing is to briefly (or not-so-briefly) tell us what makes them super special to you. What gifts have they brought to your life?”
Great question! I feel blessed to have many friends. I also spend a fair amount of time wishing I lived closer to many of them.
Recognizing that many of my friends fit in more than one of these categories, here are five reasons I am thankful for my friends.
1. Truth Tellers–many of my friends help me see myself in ways that I could not do alone. Thankfully I have people who can lovingly hold up a mirror so I can see myself through their eyes. I have learned I am not so great at seeing myself without assistance from people who love me, and so am extra thankful for their care that helps me consider new perspectives about myself.
2. Knew Me When–many of my friends have known me for a very, very, very long time. Before the Bicentennial, for example. I am thankful to still have people in my life from elementary school days, even if I don’t see any of them very frequently. Having known me for so long, they seem to know me deeply, even when we haven’t seen each other in years. Perhaps they knew the “essence” of me, before I tried to add layers of personality to hide myself from who knows what. So I am thankful for every chance to reconnect with friends from my childhood. Which is why I am so excited to travel to my 25th high school reunion next weekend!
3. Campus–there is something about life at college or seminary that creates friendships in powerful and important ways. I am so thankful for my friends from Trinity University and Columbia Theological Seminary. Again, I don’t get to see any of them often enough, but am so thankful for those friendships forged in the cauldron of higher education.
4. Valley of the Shadow–some of my friends were already friends who fit into the above categories, and for whom I would have already been thankful. But these particular friends (most of whom know who they are) walked with me down some tough roads during particularly difficult times in my life. The love and care they gave me then sheltered me from the storms and encouraged me to keep on keeping on. If I have done any good things with my life since those days, it is because I learned to love by being loved so well by these people. I will be spending my birthday with 3 of these friends this year and cannot wait for our long weekend together.
5. Connectional Church–I have met many of my good friends through my work in the Presbyterian Church. From Youth Ministry councils, retreats, denominational events and from work for the wider church and clergy groups (like Revgals), I have met many people who have added so much to my life. This summer at the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), I reconnected with people I have met through all of those connections, some of whom were youth when I first met them and who became clergy long before I got around to going through seminary. I also made even more friends at GA who I hope will be in my life for many years to come.
Who are your friends and why are you thankful for them?