Something significant happened a little over a year ago that changed my life: the Lord gifted me all of my close friends on a silver platter. One of my favorite things about room service is the unveiling of your dish. Your day was crummy, you’re exhausted, you crawl in bed and order one of everything on the menu: Why? Because you know 4 out of 5 of them are going to disappoint. It bewilders me why I continue to order the ‘fish of the day’ and/or a rare steak. It’s always disappointing and $30 bucks wasted. But you can always count on that club sandwich. They can’t screw it up–but it’s never great nor bad. Just average. And overpriced.
That’s been my luck with friends my whole life. Sure, I’ll meet a rare jewel around the same time I meet a handful of other lackluster ones. But to find them all at once, on the same day, in a group setting, and all meeting each other for the first time? It’s supernatural. It’s one of the biggest miracles that has ever happened in my life, and something I had prayed about for a long time.
So here’s the deal – in all honesty, I had no idea what I was praying for. It was impossible for me to be specific, because I was unaware of what a friend should look like. I had to switch my prayer from “give me friends I like” to “give me friends YOU like”. In fact, we all laugh about the mixed bag of nuts we are – there’s no way we would’ve met each other had it not been for destiny. And church – thank you #FellowshipChurch! And here’s another shocker: what fills my friend tank may not fill yours. That’s so corny, but you’ll remember it. (#Contajoy, sweet friends? Only we know what that means, but love it or hate it, it sticks.). Since getting a crash course on true friendship and reciprocating those efforts, I’ve met some really neat women where friendship is being nurtured in the same, healthy way.
So, what is it about them that makes them friend-worthy? What are the essential qualities of friendships?
- Integrity: Call it what you want, but the numero uno of the essential qualities of friendships is a strong moral compass. Trust me, I’m directionally challenged, and when I’m headed the wrong way, they gently nudge me the other way. They don’t judge or shame me for making a mistake, but they certainly keep me accountable by being honest. Not just about big things, but about all those other things that we need to be told: “should I wear this?” (just don’t ask “why” to the brutally honest ones.) Think about it, there are so many women that would answer “YES!” when the answer is clearly “NO!”. People with integrity are dependable, loyal, and trustworthy. Riddled with insecurity, I have to be able to be myself: warts and all. Without trust, vulnerability can’t exist.
- Caring: Sometimes we just need someone to listen. I had a recent ‘episode’ resembling a 2 year old throwing a tantrum. I tend to be rather dramatic, so theatrics are involved in emotional outbursts, and this was, by no means, a joyful celebration. She patiently listened and calmed me by just sitting with me. She didn’t say a word until I asked her a question. Which was probably, “am i crazy?”; and in that moment I didn’t need an honest answer. Strike that – she didn’t think I was crazy. Perhaps my behavior, but she knew behind my crazy meltdown was a person she adored and loved. I call these friends my human Xanax – do you have one? They don’t prescribe them often, but they’re definitely one of the essential qualities of friendships.
- MOJO: oh, let me count the ways my girls have it GOIN’ ON! heaps upon heaps of talent, beauty, intelligence, charm, funny, spontaneous, witty, and everything that ROCKS! These are those traits that drive some women into a jealous frenzy, or even worse, fierce competition. Not us…we celebrate and lift each other up when they win. We brag on them instead of ourselves. Each and every one of my friends make me want to sharpen my skill, talent, and gifts because they are so dang talented making their’s happen. I can say this proudly: not one of my friend’s has had success fall into their lap – although I generally hate this word, they emulate #GirlBoss.
Stay tuned for my talented friend, Catherine Lowe, to share with you her inspiration behind her wildly creative and successful companies: fashion line, No917, AND stationery line, LoweCo. Oh, did I mention she was preggo? She’s juggling many balls and somehow, keeping it all together. You may remember watching her fall in love with Sean Lowe on the Bachelor. I remember meeting her right after she landed in Dallas, watching her marriage bloom, and her faith grow beyond boundaries. And, trust me, she demonstrates all the essential qualities of friendships! #PrayHustleRepeat