My youngest daughter spent some time with my friend, Melinda. Melinda and I have been friends since high school. Leaving her house today, I thanked the Lord for helping us maintain our friendship. I mean, it was a lot easier to be friends with people that we see every day (like in high school and college). But different seasons bring different circumstances and different people. Different trials bring different types of communication with different kinds of friends. There are a lot of people who come and go in our lives. To keep a long term friendship, despite the circumstances of life, is a challenge. I thanked the Lord for that He has allowed our lives to parallel together without any effort on our part, she and I have had something in common to share during our whole life like same high school, same college. We each had 3 children. Matter of fact, both of our third child was born on the very same day. Today, Melinda and I live 45 minutes away. We met as teenagers and now all of our teenage children are friends (or we tell everyone, “cousins”.)
Have we changed over the years? I could quickly say no, we communicate pretty much the same today as in high school. But with some thought, I know that we have both changed but we have continued to grow up and older together so we do not sense it changing our relationship too much.
We all know that the first step in any friendship is to be friendly. And then, in order to keep a friend, you have to be a friend. But what keeps people friends for years and years? God, obviously, allowed us to have similar life events and seasons. But on our part, if I had to reduce it down to one phrase, I would say it has to do with making an effort.
Making an effort to pick up the phone and say hi
Making an effort to listen and not judge
Making an effort to get together
Making an effort to overlook any faults or shortcomings
Making an effort to care.
The list could go on but I believe that we continued to make an effort to sustain our friendship. Days may pass into months without connecting as we play telephone tag on a continual basis but when we finally touch base together, we make an effort to get together (even if it is to meet and switch kids for the weekend).
As my daughter and I were driving home, she said to me, “Mom I had a great time. You and Aunt Melinda are very different but I can see why you have been friends for so long.” And I can honestly say, “It’s been worth making the effort.”
Written by Tonilee Adamson