The Gift of Friendship, Through Thick and Thin

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It’s a beautiful thing when fallible people in this world find other fallible people and choose them to be their friends.

After all, the possibilities are massive. So to narrow it down and make a selection—that’s so choice.

One woman can never find her keys and another overschedules herself and another has no sense of direction and another farts when she laughs.

These things, relatively speaking, are lightweight on the light-to-dark scale of issues, problems, and challenges faced and embraced by scores of people.

And I thank them all for finding my foibles fully forgivable as well.

Not to get too gooey here, but if it were not for my dearest friends I would not be the person, the mother, the wife, the worker, the neighbor, and the friend that I am today.

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All of them, whether they know it or not, have contributed rich strains of gold in a significant and memorable way.

Virtually every woman I know would say the same thing about her dearest friends. We just don’t announce it to the world, usually. It’s a private understanding, a personal thing.

Close to the heart. 

And now, while I’ve changed names to protect privacy, I’m going to spill on a bunch of things these good friends have shared and taught and contributed and bestowed over the years—not just on me, but on all those individuals lucky enough to come into their orbit.

Maybe it will help others to realize and remember all the good their friends have done for them. Because sometimes today, it’s too easy to fall into the crevice of negativity.

Let’s get out of that—and stay positive.

And on that note, Lucy taught me to see the lighter side of things.

Mary shared the rich reward of thinking about others—of putting their needs first now and then. Of how important that is. How worthwhile. How necessary.

Terry modeled planning and organizational skills.

Donna helped me understand how to breathe— really breathe—for stress relief.

Tina taught the importance of watching what you say, in either public or private. Words mean a lot. Pick the ones you use with care.

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Emelia shared this key point: As much as we mothers want to make everything perfect for our kids—we not only can’t, we shouldn’t.

Cecily taught me to make time for silly things. Not everything we do has to be toward a “purpose.” Not all of it.

Thelma taught me the value of each person’s contributions to a project—no matter how “minor.”  Because the truth is, no contributions are “minor.” Every piece of input, every idea, every bit of thought and work and effort on a team project is valuable. And deserves acknowledgment.

Nina shared the cache of cattiness on another friend’s behalf. Sometimes it’s the only way to knock some sense into our thick heads.

Frances conveyed the importance of eating right.

Lucinda helped me learn how to pray—at any time of day.

And Lisa taught me to forgive. Why? Because who among us is perfect?

And why should anyone carry around a whole bunch of anger and pain and hurt, anyway? Let it go. Be free. Move forward.

Reach your destiny. That’s what God wants you to do.

Life is short. Thank goodness we can pick the people we’d like to be around in life—even if, in this time of pandemic, “being around” them means doing so virtually or electronically.

And even if they’re imperfect. Just like every last one of us.

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Maureen Mackey is a writer, editor, web content strategist, and regular contributor to Christian News Journal.

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