“Sweet friendships refresh the soul and awaken our hearts with joy,
for good friends are like the anointing oil
that yields the fragrant incense of God’s presence.”
Last week, I started the four-part series on my best friends and the things I learned from each of them. This week, I will continue the series by telling you about the best friends I had in my 20’s and 30’s. I became a baptized Christian as a sophomore in college, so my social circle changed from people that I partied with and went to clubs with, to people who shared the same spiritual goals as me. Instead of filling my insecure heart with momentary pleasures, I filled my time with going to church, devotionals, studying the Bible with people, and hanging out with some amazing people who taught me the love of Christ.
I met F.E. through the girl that invited me to church. I asked F.E. and a few other girls to study the Bible with me, to teach me what it meant to live a life of a disciple of Christ (aka Christian). The more open I became with F.E. and others about the “good, bad and the ugly” about myself, the more loved I felt by them because they accepted me and cared about me in spite of all the ungodly things I have done. They also shared openly about their struggles which made me feel even more loved by them. Even though all the girls that studied the Bible with me were amazing, F.E. and I just bonded in such a natural, sister-like way. She and I became the kind of friends that felt completely secure and safe with each other because there was no judgement, and there was nothing we didn’t talk about. One of the many things I learned from her was that you can be cool and fabulous while living a life with spiritual boundaries and biblical convictions. We remained best friends until she moved back to New York, which is where she was originally from.
I met my next two best friends, S.S. and T.R. when I was volunteering as a “Teen Ministry Worker” at my church’s Youth and Family Ministry. They were both teenagers, so at first, our friendship was more of a Mentor-Mentee relationship, but once they graduated from high school, our friendships transformed into best friendships. S.S. and I spent a lot of time going to the beach, hanging out at the mall, and studying the Bible with people… and T.R. and I enjoyed going to concerts, and other live performances together as well as having late-night (and early morning) talks. I was in both of their weddings (and they were in mine). Life took us in different directions shortly after that, but one thing I learned from S.S. is to work hard to achieve goals, and from T.R., I learned the importance of a family bond. (She and her sisters — and their husbands — are still very close to their parents in distance and in heart.)
Once my husband and I entered the stage of being new parents, I went through a really tough time with post-partum depression and the loss of my dad to cancer. It was also when we moved from California to Texas, so I struggled to connect with people on a spiritual level. I met T.W. shortly after moving to Texas, and I told her that she was going to be my new best friend. She was in the Singles Ministry at the church that I was now a part of (which is a sister-church to the one I attended in California), and I was encouraged to have someone in my life that made as much of an effort to spend time with me as I did. (I found that a lot of my married friends were not as available to hang out as much as my single friend T.W. was.) One of my favorite memories with T.W. was taking a girls’ trip to California together (along with another one of my single friends in Texas). I loved introducing them to California and taking them to some of my favorite spots. I’m so grateful I got to be in her life during her engagement, wedding, and the birth of her twin babies! One thing I learned from my friendship with T.W. is loyalty. T.W. is such a gentle soul with immense amount of loyalty to her friends, and that is exactly why God put her in my life when I was going through a hard time spiritually.
For most of my 30’s, I missed having the kind of friendships I did back in college and in my single days. By the time I entered my 40’s, I convinced myself of the theory that I didn’t need those types of best friendships anymore because my husband was my best friend — he has been my best friend since 2000 — but I still missed having the kind of best friends that other ladies seemed to still have in their lives… and then I met her. I met my next best friend in my early 40’s, and she proved my theory wrong! You’ll get to meet her in my blog next week. 😉
Also, if any of my guy best friends from the past are reading this and wondering why you have not been mentioned… I am dedicating an entire blog to you guys in Part 4 of my best friends series! 💜