Monday, July 13, 2015

Friends for Life

by Andrea Renee Cox

When I was growing up, my family lived out in the country and had few neighbors. My only playmate was my sister; we quickly learned how to get along well and have been the closest of friends ever since. Once I was in school, I made friends, but none were close enough to call “best friend.” Switching schools a few times didn’t help, and neither did being really shy. So I’ve wondered practically my whole life what having close friends (other than my sister) would look like.

My friend and my sister helped me celebrate my birthday.
After overcoming my shyness (for the most part, anyway), I took up playing volleyball and made a few more friends over the next decade. A couple of years ago, while I was playing volleyball, I met the sister of one of my teammates of the evening (we play competitive pick-up games, so teams vary from week to week). It wasn’t until a few months later that we saw each other again and discovered that we both have a vast love for movies. Once we found that common hobby, we decided to hang out and go see Iron Man 3. Well, one movie wasn’t enough and, since we enjoyed each other’s company and had plenty to talk about, we chose to continue building our friendship over trips to the theater.

Not too long later, there was a lull in good movies to watch. But that didn’t stop us. I invited her over for a movie day at my house. My collection of films is quite extensive, and we’ve enjoyed many movie days since that first one.

This past year, we added in Dallas Mavericks’ games to attend, and we recently took in a Texas Rangers’ baseball game. NBA basketball is my favorite sport, and my friend absolutely loves the Rangers, so it’s fun for both of us.

Of course, my sister has joined us for many of these events, and we’ve all become great friends. We’ve celebrated birthdays together, cried together, and encouraged one another. Just next month my friend will receive her master’s degree, and I can’t tell you how excited I am for her. I’m sure the celebration will be fun, no matter what we do to make a wonderful memory out of the day.

It just goes to show that it doesn’t matter how many years you’ve been without close friends. God can take something that’s been lacking in your life, something you’ve longed so much for, and turn it into a huge blessing.

And it doesn’t matter how young or old you are, either. All three of us ladies are in our mid to late twenties, which is older than I thought I’d be when I would meet one of my closest friends. God never ceases to amaze me, and bringing this beautiful friendship into my life is no exception.

The only thing that I struggle with in this friendship is knowing if I’m doing the right thing, saying the right thing… I’ve been without friends for so long that I’m not exactly sure how to even be a good friend. Thankfully, this lady is a patient person.

But it also helps that God has been showing me that He was my best Friend all along. Since He was with me all those “lonely” years, I’ve had the perfect example of friendship to learn from. I just didn’t realize it at the time. Now that I do, though, I’m looking back at how He treated me and am trying to emulate that grace and kindness in my new relationship.

Attending our first Dallas Mavericks' game.
My friend and I are planning a road trip. It will be just the two of us, and I’m quite nervous. I’ve never taken a trip without at least the three members of my family, or a youth group, or… somebody around my parents’ ages. This is completely new territory for me, and I must say, I’m kind of excited. The closer the big day comes the more jubilant I get. Maybe it’s not normal to have never traveled with just one friend (or by yourself) when you’re edging in on twenty-eight years old, but I wouldn’t really know what “normal” means anyway, since I’m a writer and copy editor.

We don’t really do normal. (Any writers out there agree with me on this?)

This trip comes on the tail end of memorizing Scripture together. My friend and I have participated in Beth Moore’s Siesta Scripture Memory Team this year, and it’s been a harbinger of spiritual growth for both of us.

What am I saying? This year’s only half over! If the first half has been so extraordinary, I wonder what amazing things are heading our way for the second half? Only time will tell, and I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

One thing I know: By the end of 2015, I’ll have a much better idea of what being a true friend (and having one) really means. Maybe I won’t be a professional at it, but I’ll have learned a lot and (hopefully) put it all into practice. And that will be a great beginning to a lifetime of friendship.


Readers, how did you meet your best friend? Were you young when you met, or were you already an adult at the time? What have you learned over the years about being a good friend? Let’s use the comment section this week to share fun stories about friendship.


Thanks for stopping by today! I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below. And don’t forget to drop by next Monday for my latest article.

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