Making Time for Friends

I know—friendships come and go. It’s impossible to be best buddies with every person who steps into our lives or give all relationships equal time.

I “get it.” Not all friendships last a lifetime. But, I still have a really hard time letting go. It’s just who I am—there’s a kind of loyalty that won’t give up until the door has been shut and locked from the other side.

It’s been wonderful reconnecting with high school and college friends through Facebook. I enjoy seeing what they’re doing in their lives whether it be in the kitchen, garden, or with their grandchildren. Why? Why bother with people who live thousands of miles away?

Because regardless we may never physically see each other again, we still share a history.

We sat in classrooms together from the time we were five years old until we stood on stage in our caps and gowns. We played in the same band, sang in the same groups, and cheered at the same football games.

My college friends and I lived through four important years where we shared small apartments, late night study sessions, and experiences that created “adults.”

Years ago I moved from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest and left behind friends who are still dear to me. We raised our young children together. We saw the kids off at the bus stop, made Halloween costumes together, and lived through five girls sharing the chicken pox. During the summer months, we took our kids to swimming lessons, the beach, and the local library.

Friends I made here—like the two women pictured with me—have stood by me during the darkest times of my life, and they’ve celebrated the happiest times of my life. I know I can trust them to be there for me at any given time. All I need to do is call …

Friends I’ve made through writing offer encouragement, knowledge, and advice. While we share common professional goals, we also share our personal lives.

Two years ago my husband and I made the difficult decision to change churches—and I was dreading telling friends there—afraid they’d think that in some sense, we were also leaving them. But the friendships have remained strong. Why? Because we make time for each other.

Like marriage, friendship takes work. These relationships need tending on a regular basis. Sometimes it means being willing to get in the car and meet someone for coffee. Other times, it may require picking up the phone or writing an e-mail to just check in.

My friendships are important to me. I’m not always the perfect friend—I’ve made some pretty huge blunders in the past. But I won’t give up on people—I can’t.

Sure, I understand … there are times when interaction with a person become toxic. When a relationship is unhealthy, it’s important to let it go.

But, let’s not discard friendships or let them fade out of laziness, thinking we’re too busy, or an unwillingness to forgive a transgression. There’s too much to lose! 

Do you make time for friends? Is there someone you need to reach out to?


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