Lily and Rose

“Lean on me, really,” said Lily to Rose. Whenever it rains or the wild wind blows.”  So Rose leaned on Lily, or Lily on Rose, depending. And practically everyone knows, that’s how a friendship grows.”

- Anonymous

You will have many friendships in your life and you will love your friends in different ways at different times. A great and enduring friendship is an endless gift and a joyful responsibility. When I look at my collection of friends, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all the unique gifts they have brought into my life and for the part I have been able to play in theirs.

I want to tell you about some of my closest friends and they way they have impacted me over the years.

My friendship with Jaimie has been my longest lasting friendship. We have been true sisters since we met when we were 14 years old. We turned out to be second cousins once removed. We didn’t exactly know what that meant, but who cared! We were related! We were family!. We grew up together and have a shared history. We have a special bond in our shared faith. She will always be the first person I call in in a crisis. She is married to a lifetime Army man and has moved many times, but no matter where she is in the world, I know that if I needed her, she would be on the next plane to be by my side. I know that before I could finished asking, she would be packing her bags. Jaimie has been my security when my world has felt insecure. She has loved me unconditionally when I felt unlovable. She has been there for me all these years. I adore our friendship.   

Then there is Michelle. She totally gets me.  She and I met when our sons were in kindergarten together. We were both settling into full-time motherhood and we had 7 kids between us.he totally got it when I would call to tell her I was ready to pull my hair out if I had to come up with yet another show-and-tell idea.  Michelle is my secret keeper and shares my joys as if they were her own. She is the most patient listener, especially when I have to mention every single detail. Our friendship has grown alongside our children. She is always on my side and she never judges me. She has seen all my ugliness and still loves me —hat is true friendship.

Cathy is the older sister I always wanted. From the moment we met, there was instant friendship.  She is the fire and everyone gathers around her to keep warm. She is fierce in her love for her friends and one of the most loyal people I have ever known. Cathy is the one I turn to with the problem that I just can’t solve on my own. She is always spot-on in her assessment of a situation and I rely on her to see the things I can’t see. She makes me better. er friendship is precious to me.

Jaimie, Michelle, and Cathy are very different women, but they all speak to my soul in a deep and meaningful way. he beauty of these friendships is that they bring their unique qualities and gifts to the table.

There is risk in sharing our deepest selves; it calls for us to be vulnerable, honest, and real. But true friendships do not survive without these qualities. What you put into your friendships will be returned to you, in countless ways. There is joy and security in knowing your friends, the real ones, will be there for you. The one who will be there in the middle of the night when you need her.  The one who celebrates your successes as if they were her own. The one who will fight for you when you’ve been wronged, and is fiercely loyal. These are the friends who are angels that fly close to the ground. Our true friends are here to love us, to support us, and to prop us up when we have trouble standing on our own. And what a beautiful moment it is when we can return the favor.

“Lean on me, really”, said Lily to Rose. “Whenever it rains, or the wild wind blows….”