Last night, my husband and I watched “Steel Magnolias” with Julia Roberts, Olympia Dukakis, Dolly Parton, and Sally Fields. [Spoiler alert: if you haven’t seen this movie and plan on watching it, you may not want to read this blog] The movie was rather sad since Julia Roberts’s character dies. But I was impressed by the five main women in this movie. They stuck together, no matter what. They laughed together, grieved together, gossip, made fun of each other, and told each other secrets. Sometimes they were frustrated with each other, but it never lasted long. These women knew what it meant to be a true friend. These women were living life together.
I don’t think very many people today have true friends, and I think that’s due mostly to the fact that a lot of people don’t know how to be a true friend. It’s more than someone you go shopping or fishing with on the weekend. It’s someone who lives life with you, who shares in the joys and struggles as if they themselves were going through them, and vice versa. You don’t always have to agree or like the same things but you do have to be willing to walk through the deepest valley’s with your friend. You have to be willing to feel their pain as if it was yours. Being on the mountaintops with your friend is the easy part and definitely the fun part and that’s usually where friendships are started, but it’s the bitterness of disappointment and despair that will test the bonds that unite the two of you and when those bonds are tested and found to be strong enough – that’s when you have a true friend and when you are a true friend.
God Himself said that “it’s not good for man to be alone.” That verse is applied to marriage a lot, but it’s more fundamental than the marriage covenant. God’s saying that every person needs a friend, that He didn’t intend for us to go through life on our own. You may wonder why I speak so strongly about friendship when it may appear to many that I don’t have very many friends. In fact, I’ve been criticized at times for not having more friends. While it is true that I have very few friends, I don’t feel that I lack anything. There are, in fact, just three people who fall into the “friend” category which I’ve described. One is, of course, my husband; one is my younger sister; and one is another person I met a couple years ago. These three friends know my heart; they know that when I say stupid, moronic things that I don’t mean it. They share my burdens and I share theirs. They celebrate with me and I with them. When any one of these three needs me, I’m there for them; and I know that when I need them, they’re always there for me. These are the people I plan on going through life with. There may be one or two others later on who become a friend, but for now, these three are all I want or need. Without them, life would be impossible. With them, life is an exciting adventure.