Recently God has brought into my life a woman who I now call “friend.” I spent some time with her recently and as I left I was buoyed by our visit. It got me to thinking how perfectly she fit into my life and reflect on the question: What sort of friends does a woman “need” in her life?
I know lots of women: the mothers of all the friends of my sons; women with whom I’ve worked and those with whom I’ve worshipped. There are women neighbors and there are women relatives. I’ve been blessed by meeting women at speaking engagements who have touched my heart.
I have but a few.
I remember once being told that at the end of your life, if you can count on one hand your true friends, you will have been very lucky.
I guess that was the secular way of saying you have been very blessed.
At 54 years old, I see that I have been very blessed.
- A woman needs a friend with whom she can pray. Not just words over a meal but the sort of prayers that erupt from the depths of the heart and soul.
- A woman needs a friend with whom she can laugh. Not just a chuckle but a belly laugh—or better yet, the giggle of a little girl released and loved.
- A woman needs a friend with whom she can cry. Not just tears that rim the eyes but the painful cry that seems to have no end but is met with kindness and compassion.
- A woman needs a friend to whom she can expose her weakest self and still be loved. Not just the superficial “I’m not perfect” stuff but the real, true self who has been to the edge and back.
- A woman needs a friend for whom no judgment exists. Not just in offering non-judgmental words to a dilemma but someone who simply could not see her friend through any eyes other than the eyes of Christ.
The thing about these five friends is that God gives them to us when we need them, if only we ask. Like my new friend. We may not be on the phone everyday but somehow I know she is just a phone call away.
There are seasons in which friends come and go.
And that’s okay.
I had a friend from my teen years that I’ve tried to connect with here and there even though we have nothing in common—other than having gone to middle school together. I liked the idea of saying we had been friends for 40 some years; but I’ve since realized that friendships aren’t marked by the length of time but by time they are in our lives.