I am blessed with friendships that have lasted for decades. I thank God for such friendships that endure over time even though miles and years may separate us.
Proverbs 7:7 says that a friend loves at all times. That has certainly proven to be true in my life. I’ve had friends who stood by me when it seemed that my world was falling apart, when my health was failing, when my finances were disastrous, and even in the times when I was in such a state that I wasn’t able to be a very good friend in return.
Love is a relationship that should enlarge us, improve us, cause us to grow in healthy directions. If a person says they love you, then immediately wants to start cutting you away from your friends and isolating you from your family, that person is going to bring trouble and grief into your life by the truck loads. “I love you,” doesn’t give another person the right to strip you of all your other relationships.
I have lost the blessing of several friends’ company because they got married. Whether it was because their spouse demanded their time so completely that they no longer had time for friends, or whether the person had only been using my friendship to fill up their time until they met “the Right one,” I cannot say. Either way, I have felt the loss of several people that I never dreamed would vanish from my life just because they had a ring on their finger.
I am especially thankful for my friend Joe and his wife, Brenda. Joe had been my Bubba Joe for at least thirty years before they met. I had prayed for years that God would bring his perfect match into his life and show Joe God’s love for him through her. When he finally did meet that person I was overjoyed, but at the same time felt like it would be the death of our closeness. When they said, “I do,” I was right there with my camera cheering them on. I cried for the next two weeks, as if I was mourning his passing… even though I was happy and thankful that his dreams had come true. Brenda turned out to be a blessing in my life as well. We have forged a friendship independent of my Bubba Joe.
If you have friends in your life who have shown themselves true and faithful, don’t blow them off just because you start dating your dream person, or because you’ve walked down the aisle. A true friend is a precious gift that should not be discarded in order to make room for a love interest. Our hearts and minds are big enough to fit new people in the space we have and produce many types of love all at the same time. We do not have to throw one in the sea of forgetfulness in order to make room for another.