I’ve been blessed with some truly amazing friends. They are the most graceful, kind, fun, genuine people I’ve met. I owe much of my sanity and well-being to them. If they weren’t there for me, I wouldn’t be the person that I am. I’d be a sad, lonely, awkward dork. Instead I get to be a joyful, social, still awkward dork.
I don’t really deserve such good friends, but they’re still there. They put up with me, even though I get moody, make plans that I don’t keep, and sometimes fall out of touch entirely. They stick by me even when I plow headlong into something that they told me isn’t gonna end well (so far they’ve been right, and I fall on my face).
My friends taught me how to be a friend. I fail at it a lot, but for anyone who is interested, here is my list of things that make a person a good friend.
1. They will tell you the harsh truth, but they’ll stick with you even if you ignore it.
I deserve a bad-friend card for this one. I get really mad at someone if they tell me I’m wrong, or that maybe I shouldn’t do something. So, even if it’s my best friend, I shut them down completely. Don’t do that. Thankfully, my friends give grace to me all the time, and didn’t say “Told you so” when things went down the drain.
I’ve learned that if you really care about someone, you will warn them if you notice them going down a dangerous path. But even if they get defensive or choose to disregard you, as a good friend, you stay and love them.
2. They will pray for you.
A good friend will pray for you. Seems pretty simple, but prayer is evidence that someone cares. Whenever one of my friends says they’re praying for me, it makes me feel stronger.
3. They will do what they can when they can to be there.
I can’t stress this enough- be there for someone you care about. Even if you can’t physically be there for them, be there. We live in the 21st century, so if the most you can do is text to see if they’re ok, do it. If you can physically go see them and spend time with them, do it. If you can go see them, don’t say that you want to and then make up an excuse to not. I’ve done that, and had it done to me so many times. We need to spend time with the people we care about while we still can. Of course things like school, work, and life get in the way sometimes, and those things are good. But when we can, we need to make the effort.
It was really touching to me when a friend came over last minute to drive around because I was having an awful day. He lied about being on my side of town so I wouldn’t object, even though he was actually across town and drove all the way just to pick me up and drive. Even if you can’t actually do that, taking time to let your friends know you are there for them is important. I don’t do this as well as I should, but thankfully my friends, as I said earlier, give me grace. Which leads to…
4. A good friend will give grace.
And more grace, and more grace. Grace in a friendship means that you be a friend regardless of whether that friend deserves it or not. So when your person really starts to get to you, annoying your soul, ignoring you, being moody, or whatever, give grace. Sometimes friendships end, and that’s ok. There is a time for that. But what I’m talking about is that one friend who loves you with all their heart, but who needs your grace right now. If they are a true friend, they’ll come around. I know one of my people had to be very patient with me, because I started to be defensive and create as much distance as I could between us. I don’t know what I would do if she’d chosen to resent me and hold on to that, because I love her and always did. I didn’t deserve it, but she gave me grace.
So there you go! These four things are difficult things that I’m working on, but I know that they are good things because they have built the good friendships that I have.
Quick shout out to my friends, my traveling company, my favorite people- thank you for giving me grace and for teaching me all of these things. Thank you for putting up with me. Thank you for being who you are. You’ve all done so much for me, been there for me, and loved me. It is my sincere hope that every person who reads this gets to experience a friendship as good as the ones I have with you all.
As always, thanks for reading!