“But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples. ‘Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,’ can truly say to every group of Christian friends, ‘Ye have not chosen one another, but I have chosen you for one another.’ The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.”
~ C. S Lewis, The Four Loves
These are some of the people that have truly made an impact in my life this past year. I’ve never been one to be very close to anyone outside of my siblings. While I’ve always loved my friends and enjoyed being with them…I’ve honestly never needed them. That sounds terrible, right? Well, it’s just that when you have 6 older siblings, you don’t really have the time or energy to put into many relationships outside of those 6. At least I didn’t…until recently.
I expected growing up to be this grand adventure, full of new things and exciting opportunities…And it is! But I’ve also found myself saying goodbye a lot more than I anticipated. Being the youngest in a large family has it’s benefits! In fact, it’s been a pretty stress-free life. 🙂 There is one thing that has been difficult however, and that’s watching all of my older siblings and best friends move on and move out. In August I’ll be the last of the Fox kids living at home. I’ve always known that that was coming and it used to scare me because I thought that at that point I’d be alone. This past year however, God has brought those in the picture above and more into my life to replace those that He’s taking out. These friends don’t share the same blood as me, but their hearts belong to same One that mine does.
Friendships aren’t easy. Loving people unconditionally is inconvenient and sometimes a real pain in the butt. It’s hard not to give up on someone or to not write them off as a waste of time. There are times when it’s really easy to tear someone apart behind their back or to their face…but that doesn’t mean that you should. I’m not always a good friend, in fact, most of the time I’m a pretty terrible one….But thankfully God has placed some really patience, kind, and stubborn people in my life. People that have invested in me far more than I could ever in return.
I’ve learned this past year that it’s ok to open your heart to those outside of your family. That being vulnerable, while terrifying, is necessary to building a solid relationship. I’ve learned that people are quick to forgive if you simply ask for their undeserved forgiveness.
I’ve learned that everyone comes from different backgrounds, they each have different stories and standards, and each person views the world in a very different light. But just because someone is different from yourself doesn’t mean that they can’t invest in your life in ways you’d never expect. Being friends with someone doesn’t mean that you’re going to agree on everything…it just means that you hear their beliefs and listen to their hearts. That doesn’t mean that you have to believe everything that they do is right, or that you have to compromise your standards in order to be with them.
Does that make sense?
I guess what I’m trying to say is to look for the beauty in those around you…and if what’s inside of them is more beautiful than ugly, then those are the people that you should cultivate a friendship with.
Friendships are supposed to last through the good and bad, and honesty is one of the most vital parts to sustaining that friendship. There have been times when I’ve called some of these gems, crying about something that was bothering me or yelling/screaming because I’d just found out some fantastic news! (happy = loud for me…sorraay. :D) I think I’ve found that friendship is complicated, difficult, and so very worth it. When we’re eating popsicles in the Target parking lot, or having a paint war on a summer night, or driving in the country with the windows down…those are the moments when I think I feel most alive. Those moments when we’re excited about being young and being together, those are the ones that I think I’ll always remember. Our childhoods are short and I’m grateful for that..Because I think if they were longer than we wouldn’t appreciate how important it is to enjoy each day.
Being friends doesn’t mean that we’ll always be together, I know some of you will move away this next year…and while I’m dreading more goodbyes, know this: just because you’re moving away doesn’t mean that we won’t be friends anymore. It just means that the times between games of truth or dare may be a bit longer. 😀
So, while we’re young and because it’s summer, let’s make the most of the time we’ve been given…because it’s a precious gift, and it’ll be gone before we know it.
Here’s to making each moment count, and to doubling Bernie’s milage this summer. 😀
~Susanna (Seuss, Susu, Robin, Karen, Stitch, SueQ, Doc. Que, Nudder Budder, Tink, Hops, and Abilene)