“Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul. Don’t leave your friends or your parents’ friends and run home to your family when things get rough; better a nearby friend than a distant family.” Prov.27:9-10
I was chatting with a friend of mine recently, and these were the words I said to her “I appreciate you, you are not a friend to me, but you are my family.” There was a reason why I said that to her, she is a friend that has always been there for me, and she will drive for hours to get to my house if it was necessary. Although we are not related by blood; this friend has shown me time and again that I can count on her
Over the years I have come to realize that there are some people that God places explicitly in our lives as roots, some are branches, and some are leaves. As we go through the different seasons in our lives, some people will fall out of a relationship with us just like trees shed their leaves during the fall season. This category of people can drop out of our lives because they have walked with us to a certain point and it is time for them to move out of our lives. The reason for this is that they were only there for a particular season. Most of the time this shedding is not planned; it just happens. Whenever this happens in my life, I know the friends have played their roles, and now they have dropped off my tree, and it is possible that I may or may never be connected with them again.
The branches in our lives are the ones that we may need to cut or chop off. It’s like trimming off branches from a tree to get it ready for new growth. I am not much of a garden person, but I have watched my husband work in the garden and cut off branches that are either blocking an area of the house or hindering the growth or overall beauty of the tree. When I have had to cut off a friendship, there is always a reason behind it, and most of the time it has been because it is toxic and detrimental to my progress. An association or friendship where boundaries are not respected and where the relationship is one way cannot survive or bring out the best in both parties involved. A friendship where there is envy, jealousy, constant fighting, and wrangling for no particular reason except there is a problem of control or manipulation is like a tree that withers in raining season, dry season, and all possible seasons. That relationship cannot prosper because of manipulation or the controlling of other people’s will and freedom, which is a form of witchcraft. At the same time twisting Bible verses to support making others do what we want them to do is also manipulation and witchcraft. We can use the Bible to support our views or opinion as well as other areas of discussion that does not break biblical principles, but the Bible should not be used in a way to make others bow down to our needs and demands. A healthy relationship should carry positive values and boundaries that are respected by all parties involved, either with close family members, friends or business partners and so on.
It is a blessing to have friends that are there for us when we need them, and it is also a blessing to know that we can count on those friends because they will not betray us or leave us when we go through tough times. I have been blessed with friends that fall under the category of roots in my relationship, and I thank God for them. I feel so privileged and grateful to God that I can call on them in times when I am in need of someone to pray with me and know that someone will be there to carry a burden with me and listen until I have finally deflated. There is a friend that guides me in the area of accounting because numbers are not my forte. These friends don’t make fun of me behind my back or talk about my pain and stitches when I am not around. They carry my pain as if it’s their pain, and they encourage me when I feel discouraged. Though I have my friends, I cannot help but mention the greatest friend of all; the Holy Spirit. He is always available to me 24/7, and He has never let me down, His presence in my life is the best friendship I can ever hope for. God has been generous to bless me with friends that are solid in my life. I cherish their friendships and pray that I will also continue to be there for them as we go on in our journeys in life.