“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” – Proverbs 18:24
I feel like every year I learn something new and insightful about friendships. I strongly believe they have a God-ordained part in your life and are important for nurturing character and gaining wisdom. Every time I leave the house, I take a portable charger with me. The charger itself needs to be charged in order to boost my battery on the go. In the same way, we feed into other people, we need other people to feed into us – mentoring us, providing us with love and direction.
However, when I was younger, I remember being highly concerned that I didn’t have a best friend. You know, a BFF (best friend for life), a ‘bestie’. In children’s books, TV shows and even toy advertisements for girls, this idea of having a best friend who you always do everything and anything with is very prevalent. You make friendship bracelets for each other, go for sleepovers all the time and have birthday parties together. It filled me with a slight longing and sadness that I didn’t have one. Sometimes I thought am I missing out on something here?
Although, for the record, I did have a best friend when I was in my starting years of school (so around three to five years old) but we later lost contact when her and her family moved out of London. To be fair, last time I checked, long-distance relationships were not children’s strong point!) After that I just flittered between friendship groups at school like a social butterfly, gaining company where I could but not always feeling like I fully belonged anywhere.
I never really bothered giving anyone the label after that. Not because I didn’t want to but out of the fear that it wouldn’t be a mutual feeling; i.e. you call someone your best friend but to them, they actually think someone else is their best friend. To me that just sounded nightmarish since the whole point of ‘best friends’ to me was the element of a mutual agreement of your place in each other’s lives.
Yet, as I’ve gotten older it’s concerned me less as I find the pleasure many may get in one best friend in multiple people. I think my introverted nature also often means I enjoy my own company too, a lot more these days. In moments alone you find an incomparable peace, and for me, I am reminded of a God I have, who is everywhere and will never forsake me. (Deuteronomy 31:8) So although I may feel it sometimes, am I ever truly alone? Probably not.
*Photo by Walter Randlehoff on Unsplash