We were all around eighteen when we met. So much life still ahead of us. We all had hopes and dreams and stories of how life would turn out. These stories included careers to build, husbands to wed, kids to grow, places to explore and mountains to climb. Yet, I don't think any one of us had any idea just how treasured and life giving this friendship circle would become.
Back then we were all at medical school together. As we shared many hours of the day or night walking through hospital corridors together, deep friendships grew. Together we witnessed more than we cared to admit about the deeper side of life. We shared our first experiences of new life birthed, traumas managed (both great and small), pain and suffering lived and the tragedy of death, often way too soon. All this experience can't help but grow you quickly. Both as individuals and as friends.
Fast forward 27 years and here we are again. So much more of life has happened, and for most of us, our stories have not exactly turned out the way we imagined they would when we first wrote them those many moons ago. Yet in the midst of all our messy living, one thing that has remained, grown and strengthened in a way which we never imagined could, is our beautiful and fabulous friendship. We live our lives vastly differently. Some have become brilliantly successful specialists, and others have changed careers totally. We are spread over three continents and often speak different languages... yet whenever we get together, all those things seem to fade. For a few fabulous days every few years we leave all our other roles behind. For these few days we are no longer wives, mums, career gurus or home executives. For these few days all we are is a group of "fabulous friends forever" and all that's left is love, laughter and deep friendship.
When we get together we just are. We let down all of life's masks and we are truly ourselves. In this company of life long friends there is no judgement, only acceptance and love. We share our latest ups and downs. We laugh, we cry. We listen, we share. We encourage, and explore. We joke and are silly, laughing till we cry... and during these days we all fill up on unconditional love. We go home full. Full of love and acceptance, confidence and joy, hope and courage. These girlfriend holidays away are truly like the best of all therapies thrown together on steroids!
Do you have friensds like this in your life? Ones with whom you can be truly transparent? Ones who will pray for you? Ones who love you unconditionally? Ones who accept you as you are and don't judge? Ones who will show you the funny side of life?
If your answer is yes, then you have gold. Gold that cannot be stolen or replaced. Gold that sustains and blesses. Gold to be treasured and not taken for granted. Gold that fuels you to once again face todays challenging story. Gold that energises you so you can get back to all your giving in your many other roles. Cherish these friends. Give thanks for them. Pray for them. Remember them. Stay connected with them. You are truly blessed more than you know.
If your answer is no, then tell yourself this: "No, not yet."
It's not too late. I promise you, you need friends like this! We all do.
Here are three steps you can take today towards finding friends like gold.
Ones that give you life:
1. Go out and purposefully look for them. They are there. You just haven't noticed them yet. Look for the friends who build you up. Notice the ones who like you just as you are. Ones who accept you and don't judge you. The ones who champion you. The ones who are not afraid to pray for you, to show up for you on your bad days as well as your good ones. The ones who listen and then encourage. The ones you can be silly with, but also go deep with. (Alternatively, notice the ones who do just the opposite. Maybe it's time to walk away from those ones!)
2. If you still can't seem find one then start today by being one.
Be that friend. When you are that friend, you will attract that kind of friend too.
3. Pray. Ask God to bring friends like this into your life. He created you. He knows you better than you know you. He made you for love and connection. He knows just the right people you need to call friends. Maybe you know them already? Maybe you've still to meet them. He'll show you if you ask! I know because in the middle of my messy, I've had this prayer answered before too (another story for another day). The fact is, I know that when we ask we do actually receive, so go ahead. Ask.
If this is a challenge for you and you'd like individual help through this process, then i'd love to connect with you. It's really easy, simply click here >> and I'll be in touch ASAP!