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Best weekend ever

by Froswa Booker-Drew
Dr. Froswa Booker-Drew

It’s a blessing to have friends in your life for decades. After more than 30 years of knowing one another, I was fortunate to spend the weekend celebrating my very dear childhood friend’s upcoming birthday. It was special to reminisce, have a blast, and make new memories. Relationships are important to me. Three of my best friends have also been in my life since middle school. I can’t imagine doing life without these individuals who have known me since childhood.

They know my secrets, my hopes, my fears, and what brings me joy. And despite the fact that they don’t live in the same city as I do and live hours away (one lives in another state), we still are adamant about keeping in touch and being in one another’s life. When my daughter was a little girl, I remember going through the frustrations of friendship with her. I would always tell her that if she wanted friends, she had to not only be friendly but willing to be open to friendship.

Friendship isn’t easy because relationships can be difficult and even messy. When I was younger, I had unrealistic expectations of friendship. I’ve discovered with time that friendships should be safe spaces that allow us to be human. Friendships are designed to help us grow. I’ve learned that as I’ve accepted my imperfections, I am able to extend that to others. Friends will not be perfect. They, too, are on a path of understanding their journey and purpose.

Yet when we come together, we can illuminate one another’s path and offer companionship as we figure life out together. Jesus Christ had to be an amazing friend. Otherwise, how would 12 men spend three years of their lives in community with Him if he was only experienced as Savior? For the disciples, they not only witnessed Jesus fulfill His purpose but through their relationship with Him, they were able to fulfill theirs.

I realize that my purpose is not experienced in isolation but in relationships with others. Even though many tend to focus on Judas and his betrayal, we do not take the time to examine the impact of the friendship between Jesus and Peter, John, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Jesus emulates the importance of friendships in his desire to be in a relationship with each of us: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father,” John 15:12-15. If we model what Jesus demonstrates in His relationship with the Disciples, we see openness, love, and patience.

Jesus wanted the best for His friends and wanted them to know everything that He knew. There was no jealousy, no envy. Just love. In order to know my friends, I have to spend time with them. Otherwise, our friendship will not grow. I must be accepting who they are now but see the best of who they can be. As a friend, I hope for the best for them. I encourage them to fulfill their purpose and love them even when they may not be so lovable.

They can share their heart with me and know that they are safe. That’s what Jesus does for us if we choose to be intentional in our friendship with Christ. The friendship doesn’t exclude you from experiencing the challenges of life but with Jesus by your side, it makes it so much easier. This weekend was a reminder that “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity,” Proverbs 17:17. I’m so thankful for the blessing of great friends to go through life together and so grateful for the love and friendship of Christ. This was the best weekend EVER and a reminder of God’s goodness through my friends!

(Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the host of the Tapestry podcast and the author of three books for women. She is also the vice president of Community Affairs for the State Fair of Texas.  To learn more, visit <drfroswa.com>.)

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