The Macs

Thursday, November 11, 2010

thoughts on friendship {laura}


Meet my friend Laura. I met Laura in fourth grade and by fifth grade we were inseparable. We did everything together and when we couldn't be together we were probably talking on the phone. We even had BFF necklaces. Awesome. When my family moved at the end of my seventh grade year, the worst part was leaving Laura. Our parents were so kind and allowed us to see each other whenever possible even though we lived ten hours apart. Somehow I talked Laura into coming to Kansas for college. It was awesome living so close again. She got to know Joel and even helped him plan our engagement. She was also one of my bridesmaids. Laura survived two years in Kansas (she always says she hates Kansas--particularly the weather--but loves the people here) and then moved back to Colorado (I don't blame her). It is a good thing she did, because when she moved back home she met her sweet husband. Despite the distance I will always consider Laura to be one of my best friends.

In Friendship for Grown-ups, Lisa talks about how not all relationships will be the same. Some relationships have history--that is my relationship with Laura. Our friendship has history. Laura and I get each other. I have known her for almost twenty years. We grew up together. We love each others families like our own. We don't get to see each other often, but every time we are together it is like I just saw her yesterday. Our husbands love each other too which is a definite bonus! We have been through many joys and much heartache together and I can tell you from experience, that if I needed her, Laura would jump into her car and drive to Kansas to be by my side.

Laura is the most relational person I have ever met. The way she instantly connects with people and makes them feel comfortable is amazing. She shows incredible empathy towards others--a shining light of Christ's love to those around her. She is honest and funny. I know if you met her today you would instantly want to be her friend too. Here is what Laura had to say about friendship...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

When I was first approached by Jess to read FRIENDSHIP for GROWN-UPS I secretly wanted to say, “No thanks.” I’m not a reader. To be completely honest, I read on average about one book every 3 years. I start to read dozens but never seem to finish any of them. I guess that is what made this book different. I knew there was an end goal and that I would be reading along with friends and that I had to follow through. It sounded fun and I knew I would be able to glean something that I could apply to my friendships today. As I read the book, I realized it was an “easy read” and that made it all the more enjoyable.

My review of this book isn’t going to be glamorous but it will be honest and to the point. That’s how I roll. To put it simply, I learned 3 main things from this book.

1. Working in Hollywood can really mess you up.
2. I’m not sure I would have been a “true friend” to Lisa Whelchel when she needed one most.
3. The drama surrounding many of her friendships exhausted me.

While I am being a bit sarcastic, I do think that this book brought to light how truly blessed I have been in the area of friendship. I felt so sorry for Lisa as I read many of her stories about those that had let her down, the heart ache that she endured during her years in Hollywood, and her inability to truly connect with a best friend. I was encouraged that through her pain she was able to connect most importantly with the Lord and that through her trials she grew to be a better friend herself and recognized what qualities to look for in a true friend.

To be brutally honest, I could not relate to most of what Lisa went through on her journey to grown-up friendships. Her story looks completely different than mine…her struggles and victories in friendship much more intense. BUT, there were many little gold nuggets that I was encouraged and challenged by. Things I think we can all take away and use to improve our friendships…

I loved an e-mail that Lisa shared from one of her friends and was challenged by what it said…

“Oh, my friend, you are safe. That you can count on. No matter how long our friendship lasts, no matter how deep or shallow it ebbs and flows…I will be faithful to never disclose what you’ve entrusted me with, and I will remain loyal to God through the way I befriend you. Just relax, cry for the right reasons, and keep your trust in God higher than your trust in people, and all will be well!”

Wow. What great perspective. I pray that I can be a safe friend. A friend that is faithful to honor and respect all that is shared. A friend that is loyal ultimately to God and trusts HIM for the friendships in my life.

While I am blessed with many wonderful friends, some of my closest friends are a long ways away. Many miles separate us but those friendships feed my soul and encourage my heart. Lisa wisely wrote, “If you don’t intentionally nurture your friendships and invest time in them, they too easily dwindle away in the press of life.”

In this busy season of being a wife, raising children, and caring for a home (to name a few!) it’s easy to put friendships towards the bottom of the list…but when we do that we lose out on the amazing connection, encouragement, and comradery that we can have with one another.

My friendships, for the most part, have been easy…
and I have been incredibly blessed.

But for those that haven’t had the same experience and for those that need a gentle reminder (me!) this book will encourage you to be more merciful, faithful, and full of grace in all of the relationships that are important to you.

We can all grow and be better friends…and we can also thank the Lord a lot more often for those that have been friends to us…and have touched our lives so deeply.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Thanks Laura! I love how she brought up being a safe friend. Am I loose-lipped, judgmental, petty, negative or condescending? Or do I look for the best in people, give them the benefit of the doubt, and don't join in when others gossip or gang up on a person who is not present? Wow. That's challenging. Are you a safe friend?

Would you like to win a copy of Friendship for Grown-ups? Don't forget to leave a comment on Monday's post to enter the giveaway. 

2 Comments:

Blogger Julie said...

Jess, I love how you described Laura. There have been many times when I have watched Laura connect with people instantly and make them feel comfortable and loved.

Laura, I love you! And, I enjoyed reading your perspective on this book. The quotes you shared are ones I appreciated reading and thinking about again.

November 11, 2010 at 2:28 PM  
Blogger The Schilling's from Cimarron said...

Jess,

I am soooo blessed to have met Laura at the hospital and have kept in touch with her also. You are exactly right about her making you feel like she has known you forever! I am once again reminded of God's goodness and blessing's! Even in the sadness of Cora passing he brought you two into my life! You both are so wonderful and have taught me so much about life, friendship and the Lord! THANK YOU BOTH! even from a distance you both are very close to my heart!

Love ya!

AMIE

November 11, 2010 at 3:09 PM  

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