By Kristi Hall

5:03 am “Praying for you today. Love you!❤️” (a text from my friend…)

Sweet friendships refresh the soul and awaken our hearts with joy, for good friends are like the anointing oil that yields the fragrant incense of God’s presence. Psalm 27:9-10
What a gift we have been given by our Creator in our friendships, you know… our girlfriends! I’m so thankful they are in this race with us! I have been challenged to have a Paul(one who’s teaching me),a Timothy(one I’m investing in) and in this case a Barnabas(someone I’m growing with).

God created friendship.

Friendship is an important part of who we are as women. Let’s be honest… our men sometimes just don’t understand us the way our girlfriends do. As much as we love and cherish them, I truly believe God appointed girlfriends to rally us along, get our jokes, run the race with us, and laugh with us along the way. There’s nothing that compares to a good deep belly laugh with a friend, desserts, and endless cups of coffee. Time with our girlfriends is a refresh. A pause. A release and encouragement for our heart.

Men actually communicate without talking to each other, yes..watch them. It’s truly amazing.. that’s why our husbands love the “buddy” date with us. They like the shoulder to shoulder time… watching a game together, movie, television show etc. There are no words just shoulder to shoulder companionship. They love it… offer it and watch their mind be blown! 🙂

Girlfriends, on the other hand are much different. We have lots of words and emotions. We can create many, MANY webs(stories, thoughts, etc.) and instinctively follow each story or thought through its entirety. We are so gifted! 😉

Friendship is a true linking of the heart, a common thread that binds us. There are three qualities that establish friendship.

Love. Loyalty. Openness.

There is nothing more special than a friend coming along side during a difficult time, happy time or just because.

Not too long ago as I was walking through a season with one of my boys I called my friend. I shared my heart and she assured me she would be praying. Later that morning my doorbell rang and she was there.. willing.. open… ready.. we stretched our arms out together over my sons bed as we prayed and cried. I will never forget this act of love from my friend. It reminded me of the strength given to Moses by Aaron when he was too weak to hold up his arms… his friends held them up for him.

It challenged me! To not only receive this kind of friendship, but to be a giver of it. Showing up. Lending a helping hand. Giving, expecting nothing in return. Kindness.

In reflecting, God reminded me of some great models of friendship in His word.

David and Jonathan- to love another as you do yourself. Jonathan actually sacrificed for David. They both put God first and it allowed them to experience a deep and loyal friendship.

Elijah and Elisha- I always tell my boys “you become who your friends are…”choose wisely.” There’s a sharpening when we chose wisely, we grow in ways we would never imagine.

Ruth and Naomi- This one somewhat amazes me. Ruth was loyal to the very end to her Mother-in-law. Naomi never lacked in security; she had a constant companion in Ruth and knew she was never alone.
Jesus. “What a friend we have in Jesus. All our sins and griefs to bear” He was THE model of friendship. Truly I cannot think of a better Friend. To know we are loved by the Creator brings immeasurably joy!

He knows me
Loves me
Holds me
Strengthens me
Fights for me
Talks to me
Intercedes for me
Took all my sins
Died for me
Rose for me
Reigns for me
Coming back for me…and YOU!

“Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God..”
-“Reckless Love” by Cory Asbury

Jesus models it so perfectly. Although we can never achieve this level of friendship… we can treasure and cherish the ones He has PURPOSELY placed in our life. Some are lifelong, some are for a season, some are unexpected, and some come and go. Each one is a gift.. thank God daily for your friends! Tell them too.. Reach out to them today, hug them, send them a note of encouragement,  or just send a quick text to let them know how much they mean to you. May this encourage you to spend time, coffee or lunch dates, or even get away for a day or two with your girlfriends… it truly is refreshing to the soul!

This post is dedicated to my most precious friends near and far….each one who’s hand print has touched my heart!

Kristi Hall

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