In Friendship for Grown-ups, Lisa talks about how not all relationships will be the same. Some relationships have history–that is my relationship with Laura. Our friendship has history. Laura and I get each other. I have known her for almost twenty years. We grew up together. We love each others families like our own. We don’t get to see each other often, but every time we are together it is like I just saw her yesterday. Our husbands love each other too which is a definite bonus! We have been through many joys and much heartache together and I can tell you from experience, that if I needed her, Laura would jump into her car and drive to Kansas to be by my side.
When I was first approached by Jess to read FRIENDSHIP for GROWN-UPS I secretly wanted to say, “No thanks.” I’m not a reader. To be completely honest, I read on average about one book every 3 years. I start to read dozens but never seem to finish any of them. I guess that is what made this book different. I knew there was an end goal and that I would be reading along with friends and that I had to follow through. It sounded fun and I knew I would be able to glean something that I could apply to my friendships today. As I read the book, I realized it was an “easy read” and that made it all the more enjoyable.
My review of this book isn’t going to be glamorous but it will be honest and to the point. That’s how I roll. To put it simply, I learned 3 main things from this book.
1. Working in Hollywood can really mess you up.
2. I’m not sure I would have been a “true friend” to Lisa Whelchel when she needed one most.
3. The drama surrounding many of her friendships exhausted me.
While I am being a bit sarcastic, I do think that this book brought to light how truly blessed I have been in the area of friendship. I felt so sorry for Lisa as I read many of her stories about those that had let her down, the heart ache that she endured during her years in Hollywood, and her inability to truly connect with a best friend. I was encouraged that through her pain she was able to connect most importantly with the Lord and that through her trials she grew to be a better friend herself and recognized what qualities to look for in a true friend.
To be brutally honest, I could not relate to most of what Lisa went through on her journey to grown-up friendships. Her story looks completely different than mine…her struggles and victories in friendship much more intense. BUT, there were many little gold nuggets that I was encouraged and challenged by. Things I think we can all take away and use to improve our friendships…
I loved an e-mail that Lisa shared from one of her friends and was challenged by what it said…
“Oh, my friend, you are safe. That you can count on. No matter how long our friendship lasts, no matter how deep or shallow it ebbs and flows…I will be faithful to never disclose what you’ve entrusted me with, and I will remain loyal to God through the way I befriend you. Just relax, cry for the right reasons, and keep your trust in God higher than your trust in people, and all will be well!”
Wow. What great perspective. I pray that I can be a safe friend. A friend that is faithful to honor and respect all that is shared. A friend that is loyal ultimately to God and trusts HIM for the friendships in my life.
While I am blessed with many wonderful friends, some of my closest friends are a long ways away. Many miles separate us but those friendships feed my soul and encourage my heart. Lisa wisely wrote, “If you don’t intentionally nurture your friendships and invest time in them, they too easily dwindle away in the press of life.”
In this busy season of being a wife, raising children, and caring for a home (to name a few!) it’s easy to put friendships towards the bottom of the list…but when we do that we lose out on the amazing connection, encouragement, and comradery that we can have with one another.
My friendships, for the most part, have been easy…
and I have been incredibly blessed.
But for those that haven’t had the same experience and for those that need a gentle reminder (me!) this book will encourage you to be more merciful, faithful, and full of grace in all of the relationships that are important to you.
We can all grow and be better friends…and we can also thank the Lord a lot more often for those that have been friends to us…and have touched our lives so deeply.