Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Friendships, A Lifeline for Troubled Waters

Through my 55 years of life, I've experienced many a troubled waters. Most of those events have left me depressed, sad, angry, hurting, lonely, and uncertain . . . but none of them would have been possible to navigate unless I had good friends. And I don't mean the 400+ friends I have on Facebook!

I remember in a Sunday School (back in the day) we were asked the question if you were in need could you list three friends who would come to your aid? Who would be your stretcher bearer?

The story in Mark tells of a paralytic man who was carried by four friends. They were unable to get to Jesus because of the crowds so they dug a hole in the roof to lower their friend through the hole where Jesus was ministering and healing.

Their desire and longing for their friend's wellness posed to them a challenge to preserver in spite of the large crowds. They were determined to see their friend healed. (You can read that story in Mark 2:2-5).

I remember thinking of my stretcher bearers. I could count on three girlfriends: Geri Mackey, Barbara Lara, and Becky Puckett—and I'm sure I still could. And as I've grown and changed careers and roles my list has grown—Barbara Lara, Lisa Zisa, Jeanette Morris, Susan Gaddis, Mary Weber, my sister Colleen Alonzo, Lois Coalwell, Mary Ingram, Arlene Suval, Heather Campos, and Nancy Williams. I feel blessed.

Jesus had a circle of friends—an inner and outer circle of friends. Those closest to him, the 12 disciples (well maybe excluding Judas Iscariot), were friends who stuck close to him— brothers and sisters, were supporters of his ministry. Jesus needed his friends to assist him along his journey to the cross.

True Friends

A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.
-- Bernard Meltzer
Friends are like a good bra, supportive, hard to find, and always close to your heart!

I hope those quotes made you smile . . . because they make me smile and so do my friends.

What do friends do, I mean real friends? 

I came up with 20 character traits of a real friend. From my experiences Friends:

  1. Listen without judgement
  2. Hold your hand and cry with you
  3. Offer support and advice in a timely fashion
  4. Encourage you to move forward and not give up
  5. Are fun and know your inside jokes and you theirs
  6. Cannot be separated by distance or time
  7. Know when a hug is all you need
  8. Have you in their hearts continually
  9. Are a lifeline when you are sinking
  10. Are up close and personal
  11. Keep you in prayer
  12. Are trustworthy, honest, and love with big hearts
  13. Accepts all of your flaws
  14. Believes in you, when you don't believe in yourself
  15. Will laugh with you, not at you
  16. Forgives your shortcomings
  17. Blesses you for no reason at all
  18. Protects your character
  19. Walks with you silently, even when you don't know it
  20. Is fearless with you feel fearful

Scriptures says, "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. . . . Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken," (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

Blessed Father,

I want to thank you for friends I've had in my life, past and present and the new ones still to come. Those who have challenged me to be my best. Those friends who have prayed with me and for me. Those who have allowed me to be a part of their life.

I thank you Lord that you have made us relational beings. I pray for those who struggle in this area, may they seek and find your friendship and see the open doors of new friendships that will help them walk this journey of life.

We are thankful, Jesus, that you call us "friend."

In Jesus, Amen!

Got a friend, thank them for being there for you!


  1. I count it an honor Diane, to be your friend for the past 28+ years. It's been quite the ride for both of us...ups and downs, challenging each other, rejoicing with, praying for and growing with, laughing with till our sides split, holding, crying and grieving with, supporting, exhorting, admonishing, and just hanging out with. I thank YOU for your faithful friendship. Where would I be without the love of Christ and our friendship? Not where I am today. I love you deeply and always will. No matter where our paths may take us over our life times, I can always count on 'us'.

  2. I don't know how.. but somehow I missed this post last January! You have always been a faithful friend and stood by my side when I went through my greatest trial in the 90's!
    Now our individual paths have moved us out of close proximity but we are always just a phone call away. And like I have always said and always will... you can call me anytime - day or night.
    As you settle in and explore this next chapter of your life I look forward to seeing what is in store. Take it slow but steady and be open to staying soft and gentle in thought and word - the best lesson I learned in my trial.
    We have had our laughter and our tears and our gut-wrenching truthful conversations and ... always will. Love you.

  3. My heart is warmed by our friendship and means the world to me!