This move has really made me think a lot about friendship. And since Spring is a time of new growth, renewal, etc. I thought it was a fitting topic for the blog :)
I have to admit one of the things that stressed me most about moving to The Woodlands was the idea of not having any friends. I think as women we are just built that way. We need friendships. We need to have other women in our lives who understand us, who will listen to us, and who will point us back to The Word when we lose our way.
I think I may have overdone it a bit when we first moved here by joining every moms group, church group, support group, photography group I could find. Luckily it didn't take me long to find some really sweet friends and get plugged in socially. And even with all of these new friendships "blooming", I can't help but miss the old friendships I left behind. I almost feel as though I haven't had a chance to mourn the loss of those friendships with all of the craziness that comes along with a move. And now that the dust is finally settling, I miss everyone back home.
With all of that said, you can probably imagine how excited I was to go to my Boxes class this week since it was all about friendships. We had a fabulous guest speaker, and former Boxette, come and give us an illustration of what friendships can look like. And I learned something very valuable. Even though friendships change, it doesn't mean they are lost or gone forever. Friendship can be classified in many different ways and can change depending on our season of life or our friend's. So here is the illustration...for me (because I'd like to be able to look back on this later) and for anyone else who may find this interesting. :)
The One-Way Street Friend: These friendships tend to be one-sided, maybe you find yourself always giving to a friend but when you need a favor returned they are too busy. These friendships remind us that people are not always put in our lives so that we can receive, sometimes we need to be the giving person. Sometimes we will meet friends who, because of their season of life, need more from us than they can give back at the time. As long as we understand and recognize this, we will not feel disappointed or upset that the relationship is lop-sided. And, since friendships can change, this kind of friend may become a Country Road at another time in life.
The Eight Lane Freeway Friend: This is the neighbor who smiles and waves when they pull out of the driveway but are too busy to really get to know us. Or we may be this person to our neighbor. It could also be the person we see at church or run into on occasion, but we're too busy to get together or get to know each other. It's like an eight lane freeway and we're all just racing past each other.
The HOV Friend: These are the team, sports, classroom families and friends that we meet. We are all heading the same direction doing the same things, but you never make the effort to really get to know each other. Just like HOV lanes, there is no place to slow down and pull over, you just have to keep going. There is nothing wrong with these kinds of friends. We all have them. And, once again, these friends can sometimes turn into Country Roads.
The Country Road Friend: These friendships are comfortable and relaxed, just like a country road. These are generally your closest friends who you can be yourself around and who you see often and talk to often. Most people can only handle about 5 country road friends at any one time. And to all my Country Road Girls out there, you know who you are, I love you and cherish our friendships!
The Rest Stop Friend: These are the friends that no matter how much time passes, you can always pick right back up where you left off. They are like rest stops. They fill you up when you need filling up, and you always come away feeling refreshed. These kinds of friends do not hold grudges. I think of these as the Country Road Friends who come in and out of our lives depending on our situation or theirs. True friendships that can stand the test of time and distance. (I'd like to give a big shout out to Mandy right about now! Love you! Ha!)
The Detour Friend: These are the people that God puts in our lives for just a short time. These people come into our lives for a reason and we can learn something from these friendships. These friendships begin and end but there is always something important to take away from it.
I probably didn't do as good of a job explaining these as our speaker did, but this is how I understand it and it helps me.
And one more thing...our class brought up a few questions to ask yourself when it comes to friends. I found these two to be particularly worthy questions. Could you see yourself being able to pray with this person? Will they encourage me and point me back to The Word in hard times?
Which brings me to my last point...this post was all about what to look for in friendships, what to expect from certain kinds of friends, and how to classify a friendship into one of these categories to better understand it, but I did not talk about how to be a good friend yourself. I think that would take it's own blog post all together. So I just wanted to clarify that I am not looking at friendships from a perspective of how they can serve me best, I understand it's a two way street. But, with this unique opportunity of starting over in a new place and making new friends, I think it's also important to understand what makes a good friend.
Now if you don't mind, let's all join hands and sing...
Make new friends,
But keep the old,
One is silver,
And the other gold.