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Taking Time to Invest in Friendships

The storyboard of our lives is told through snapshots of events captured in our memories.  It is told through the relationships we share and invest in around us.  We highlight the milestones and emotional celebrations.

As we unpacked the sea of brown boxes lining the hallway, I was intent on finding a specific box.  Inside, padded meticulously in layers of bubble-wrap, were our photos for the living room wall.  It was just one of many plain looking brown boxes on the outside.  Our youngest, David, was intently looking for his marking he’d left on the label description. He had labeled each box with an emoji description, this one had frames with silly faces.

David was elated as he proudly stood next to the treasured box.  We gently placed it on the table and began unpacking.  As we unwrapped each layer, we shared the stories behind the photos.

The photos revealed so many friendships deepened over many years spent making memories and sharing life together.

The Lord knows our hearts and what we need in our lives.  He created each one of us unique and wired to be relational.  We are designed to be connected in a community and to cherish those friendships that encourage, build us up, and hold us accountable.  In Hebrews 3:13, we find this truth and blueprint for friendships.

Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

A huge drawback to relationships is the time they take!  It takes an investment of time to build and maintain friendships.  How many times have you secretly wanted the “Instant Friend” app?  You know, the one where you can customize and tailor the characteristics and qualities you’d like in a friend, down to their appearance and accent.  After clicking “Next”, their avatar would appear and virtually come to life whenever and wherever you needed. Ha!

Instant is the quick solution for the moment. Patience is a long term solution for allowing great things to unfold naturally.  

Our kids are watching how we handle life-changing seasons and navigate our Christian walk.  Where we invest our time and the people with whom we choose to share it with defines our days,  We were never designed to be solo travelers through life.

Do you invest in friendships? It takes time, and might even involve risk, but walking with others in all seasons of life, including parenting, enriches us and even challenges us to grow. Don’t miss the gift of a friend. Friendships are those connections with special people that provide connection, challenge us to grow, and add a lot of laughter to our lives!  They are not always easy, but worth the investment of taking the risk, moving outside our comfort zone, and time.  A genuine choice.

Moves and new seasons are always challenging.  The hand of the Lord is always at work fitting the pieces together to make the unexpected a reality.  The new friendships in our path are not by chance, but His perfect design. Stepping out of our comfort zone, putting down the facades, allowing ourselves to be real and take the steps to new friendships can feel overwhelming.

For six months I had casually greeted a mom on Sunday morning in the pickup line.  Our boys were quickly becoming friends.  It was easy to smile and have a casual, under 3-minute conversation.   It became more complex with the invitation to grab a coffee.  All the What-If scenarios came to mind.  Would we even have enough to talk about to last longer than 10 minutes?

I finally accepted the invitation and met her for coffee. God knew that this friendship was what we both needed.  Minutes passed by as mere seconds, our sides hurt laughing, and our hearts were full from watching how God worked to bring our stories together.

God has perfect timing, never early, never late. It takes a little patience and it takes a lot of faith, but it’s worth the wait.  (“Worth the Wait” by 33 Mile)

It would have been easier to stay in my comfort zone.  Life’s transitions challenge us to grow and learn the virtue of patience while trusting God’s timing.  The result is His handprint on our lives making it fuller and richer because we chose to be patient.

Choosing to invest over the instant requires us to make a long term choice.  What relationship are you choosing to invest in today?


Kristin Joy

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