Friendship is a topic often crossing my mind and my path.
And as my daughter has entered the world of middle school, the topic is also a frequent conversation we are having in our home. This weekend was no different, as we experienced a tough lesson in the world of friendships.
She was scheduled to have her 11 year old birthday party. Because she is growing up,I encouraged her to handle the details on her own. We planned it, set the details, but she did all the calling and inviting and setting up. She was so excited, as she has never had a birthday part with friends since we moved here 6 years ago. Her party was simple: grill out, have a bonfire, jump on the trampoline, and giggle like school girls. She'd built so much excitement into this that Thursday night sleep was not easy to come by for her.
Friday evening rolls around and Michael did all the cooking and we waited. 6:00. No one.
Well, Maybe they just aren't precise people.
6:07......Should we call?
6:18.....Time to call....the food would be cold soon.
Quiet comes from her room, as she called the friends and they all cancelled.
Heartbreak from me. I know how that hurts.
Frustration from Michael. For his little girl.
A desperate attempt to say "it's ok...." from Elizabeth.
A first hard lesson in friendship.
Now, it's not to say that these girls aren't her true friends. It was just oddly coincidental that they all cancelled and didn't tell her. Or perhaps it was a lesson for me, as a mother, to make better connections with the other girls' mothers. But regardless of the reasons, it brought on a valuable lesson I have been taught over the last couple of years and really learned to embrace, and one I was able to talk about with Elizabeth in this circumstance.
The most true friend is found in Jesus.
He is the ONE constant we have in life.
He is there when we are sad. (Psalm 56:8 -every tear is recorded and held by Him)
He is there when we are angry.
He is there when we rejoice.
He is there when we call on Him and He waits for us when we walk away from Him. (Ps. 50:15)
He is found in the midst of grief, sorrow, pain and hurt. (Is 41:10, Is 43:2, 2 Cor 1:3-4)
He is the center of joy, fun, dancing, laughter and fellowship. (Ps. 149:3; 2 Sam 6)
I have learned this lesson in painful ways over the years. I have always been one to thrive on friendship. And friends are a beautiful gift from God. But, we have to learn to go to Him first. We have to learn that He is our constant. He is a true friend....through thick and thin. Good and bad. Pain and joy. He is always there. He knows me inside and out and is still the most constant in my life.
This weekend, we were able to talk about that. Every life circumstance presents us with lessons. For we girls, friendship lessons can be some of the toughest. Elizabeth handled it gracefully. she was probably one of the most understanding girls you'll find out there. And she learned some important things about responsibility and about God through it all.
By the way, the night ended up fantastically. We went to a movie as a family and then came back to have our own bonfire and do sparklers and eat cupcakes around the fire. A beautiful picture of a friend from next door even joined us for it all.
All the while, we could smile, knowing God was in the moment, just as He always is, if we look for Him and allow Him. He is our most true friend.