thoughts on friendship

As we sat at dinner last week with a friend who I've been friends with for over 10 years and his finance it made me think upon past friendships and those that have come about recently.

In college I had two very close friends whom I truly poured all my time and energy into. I'm okay with that, they were great friendships and we did have a lot fun but there were also pretty stressful times with those friends. I regret not spending more of my time to other friendships. Some people need more attention than others and I don't think you realize that until you are on the other side of things. I look back and realize there are many friendships that could have blossomed into more had I been willing to give my time and love to them instead of being so narrow-minded in my friendships. I look at my wedding pictures and am sad that I don't talk to two of the individuals in the photos anymore. They obviously were a huge part of our lives to be included in our wedding and now they have no part in our lives. I shouldn't say "no part," we still pray for them and hope they are doing well but we do not interact with them anymore.

How did that come about? Too long and in depth to go into and really it's not worth going into that because it doesn't really matter. I've come to realize that sometimes friendships crumble because they just need to. That relationship can be bringing stress into your life that is not needed and keeps you away from other possibilities and your true potential of who you can be. It's sad that it happens like that sometimes but I have grown so much from going through these two very painful "endings" and can see now that it was better in the end.

Since that time we have been graced with friendships we never would have expected before. Our friendships are more in-depth and meaningful, not as much surface or what appears as depth to only find out it was slightly false. With the ending of two friendships came the beginning of several friendships to which we cannot imagine our lives without these people. At the same time there are older friendships which amaze me how strong they still are. It doesn't matter if we've talked to them in the past 30 days, we pick right back up where we left off last. It seems as though time has not passed since we last met and it's beautiful!

I once had someone say to me, "At least I'm not still holding onto my high school friendships." That hurt me because I cherish those friendships. I don't still talk to all of my high school friends but there's a group of us that still keep in close contact. We've all changed and grown together and why would I not cherish those friendships and continue to foster those? It's rare to have that and I feel lucky to have friends I've known for so long and we all really get each other and understand each other, our family backgrounds, our dreams, etc. I just don't think the person who said that understood what that was like, and that's okay.

On the other side we have friends we've only known for a couple of years but it seems like we've known them forever. We feel comfortable around them and have conversations that are the type you see in movies. You know a group of friends hanging out and talking about anything and everything under the sun. Funny stuff, deep stuff, sad stuff and just down right getting to the bottom of things with each other. There's a depth to these friendships that only a few people get to experience and we are blessed to have these people in our lives.

And then there's the blossoming friendships we have. We have several friends that we can't wait to see them or hang out with them again. We see so much potential in those friendships but we're all just so darn busy that it's hard to find time to hang out together. Pat and I will leave someplace and say "We need to hang out with them more." And it's so true, we enjoy our time with them and whether it's just talking about parenthood or jobs or whatever it may be, we enjoy that time and can't wait to get to know them even better.

All this stream of thoughts to realize that friendships have a season sometimes. I've read that poem that practically everyone has...certain friends are here for just a season and some are here for a lifetime, for the season of life and beyond. It's okay to have friends you used to be close with and no longer are in contact with. It shouldn't be something to be ashamed of, it happens. We learned something from them and they affected us positively in some way or we would not have been friends with them to begin with. It brings a smile to your face to think of some of the fun times you had.

It makes you cherish the friendships you have and work through things in a manner that fosters further growth in the friendship. It makes you thankful for the new friends that come into our lives and remind us how great it is to be surrounded with loving people.