I've had a lot of lifetime to think about friendships. The more air I breathe, the more I'm convinced God designed us for relationship. We need and want our people. We need and want our people to remain our people. Shifts hurt. When the intricate details that hold us together begin to fray and unravel, something of the earth seems upside down. How do we fall apart? How do we stay together?
This waltz with friends, when smooth, makes everything else somehow okay. God uses friends to fill some of our empty holes, to be our guard rails and our watchmen. He makes a way for our pinky promises and secret winks to give fresh life to our giggles and add weight to our hearts. Even one friend can burst a heart wide open.
But life can change in a day. Sadness slips in under the door, evil molests the weak corners of the mind and smiles turn to trembling in the darkness. One day is my turn, the next day is yours. The ebbs and flows will ebb and flow—who knows what's up or down? When grief cries out to God, He sends along a friend to stand watch over you.
*The photo above is of my two horses, Ursie (lying down) and Jolene, standing watch. They are herd animals.... when one needs to rest, the other stands nearby to guard and protect. We stand upright on our best days, sometimes we need to rest and other times we need to watch. I'm so thankful for the friends who waltz with me.