I’m thrilled to have Kristi Stephens share her Girlfriend story in our Girlfriend series. Kristi is a full time wife and mom who loves to teach God’s Word through her local church and through her writing. You can find her online ministry at www.krististephens.com (you can also blame Rachel for getting her started in blogging!), and you can also find her writing regularly for www.scripturedig.com.
“A blessed thing it is for any man or woman to have a friend; one human soul whom we can trust utterly; who knows the best and the worst of us, and who loves us in spite of all our faults; who will speak the honest truth to us, while the world flatters us to our face, and laughs at us behind our back.” – Charles Kingsley
I have an irreplaceable friend named Rachel.
We have been friends since sometime in junior high, and now we have hit our 30’s and are both wives and moms of young children. We roomed together during college. We have seen each other do some really stupid things – she has seen me at my worst, she has seen me at my best. We have prayed together about needs both big and small. We have wept together at times when it felt like our hearts would just shatter in grief. We have laughed until we thought our sides would literally split open. We live thousands of miles apart now, and she is the only far-away friend that I keep up with on the phone. Rachel knows things about me that no one else seems to understand.
The funny thing is, we really are nothing alike.
Rachel is a nurse who loves sports and politics and history and has participated in a triathalon. She watches ESPN and Fox news. I’m a Bible teacher who couldn’t care less about sports, sometimes forgets to vote, am slowly learning more history with age, and don’t have an athletic bone in my body. I watch Martha Stewart and PBS.
True friendship has very little to do with common interests.
Sometimes I think that this is the reason why Rachel and I have remained close friends for over half of our lives. Our friendship is not built on hobbies or mutual interests. We know each other, and we love each other for who we really are. What we do share is deep respect, a quirky sense of humor, and a desire to know what is important to the other person.
True friendship is not competitive. True friendship does not need to compare and justify and outdo someone else’s story. True friendship is marked by a sense of ease – you are loved, you are safe, you are heard, you are known. True friendship incarnates in our lives the love of God; a love based not on what we receive, but based on a recognition that this person is valuable and precious just for who they are.
A friend like Rachel is a rare treasure – I don’t expect to ever have another friend quite like her. She has helped to form me into a better person. She has helped me to see who I really am. She has taught me how to love like God does.
Do you have a friend that has taught you how to love like God does? Are you still friends with someone you went to school with?
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