The Upside of Friendship-Chapter 23

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It was one of those calls that will be ingrained in my memory for years to come. Legendary? Not really. The ease of the communication and natural progression of our conversation is deceiving of its importance.

It signified restoration. It implied positive change. It was proof that we were friends after years of painful break-ups, confusion, and hardened hearts.

He called to pray with me for a job. So I smiled leaning against the sturdy brick of my church’s walls while he covered me with blessings and petitions for my life. I responded with gratitude. We talked of accomplishments of the week: my youth band taking positive initiative and his newfound freedom in singing. He said his weekly jogs with his dad have continued, and he referred to his dad as his “best friend.”

I stopped on that one. Took me a moment to breathe in its meaning.

He continued with his sharing, mentioning how his parents missed me and wished I would come visit. I was still stuck on “best friend.” This is his story, so I won’t delve into details, but part of it is important. I was the “best friend” for years. I was the one he would lean on, and I was the first person he would call in a crisis. Upon hearing him refer to his father with my “label”, there was no jealousy. There was no heartbreak. I felt no loss of importance in my friend’s life. I heard VICTORY scream from heaven. And I was able to rejoice with my friend. My friend.

In fact, there were two victories in that short statement. 1) We had learned not to be unhealthily dependent on one another as we had been in the past. In years past I would have been so insanely jealous of him referring to anyone else with this endearing label. We were connected at the soul; he called me his soul mate. Life couldn’t exist with us if we weren’t each others “best”. 2) In years past his father would have been the last person he would call in most situations. Something maybe tolerable at best. Again, that part is for him to share…

Once upon a memory, we made a lot of mistakes. Both of us. I hoped for more than he could honestly give at that time. He offered more than he probably should have offered. We both bent and broke each other along the way, attempting to find some kind of safe security. In the beginning we never would have considered boundaries. We never would have thought holding back would have protected and furthered the relationship. It was “all or nothing”. Battered and bruised we turned to our least favorable ears: family. But there we found surprising comfort. There we learned about reconciliation.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)

And now we smile and know friendship. Some hurdles seem impossible, and some roads seem unending.  God is a mender of time.   God is faithful.

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