When I was a young girl, I used to scribble all over my notebook the names of my friends and the words LUV U or FriENDs until the END.  We really loved our friends and would abandon what we wanted to do if a friend called and wanted to get together.  They were our extended families.  Well, as an adult, not much has changed in that area.  My friends are still my extended family.  They are the people whom we choose to allow into our lives.

I think that where we sometimes get into trouble is when we are in a vulnerable state and meet someone who we think that we have a whole lot in common with...when in fact the only thing that we may have in common is a troubling issue in our life.  Another way to get into trouble picking friends is when they remind us of someone else at a subconscious level...who we are trying to separate ourselves from.  We always seek that commonality or familiarity.  I can testify to this.

When I first moved to Florida, I didn't know a soul here.  The first person I met was the woman who would be my roommate for one year.  She needed a roommate and we conversed over the phone.  We were introduced by the school vice principal.  He knew that we both needed a roommate and introduced us.  Over the phone, she was polite, overly kind, put on her best effort to show her best side and when she picked me up at the airport, she appeared to be indifferent, and almost angry that she had to pick me up...10 minutes from our condo.  I knew that I was in trouble when she asked me for money the next day...we barely knew each other.  She said that she thought that it wouldn't hurt to ask.  Now, don't get me wrong.  She is a nice person...and we ended up being "friends" for many, many years...but it wasn't an easy friendship.  It was one that we both had to work hard at.  It was stiff.  A few years ago, I think that we saw that we really had nothing in common aside from our needs from one another and a few historical good times from 15-20 years ago.  We grew apart.  Oh, I am sure that if the need were to rise again, we would be there for one another...but that is what some friendships are all about....mere need...and there is nothing wrong with that.

In that first year that I arrived in Florida, I met another woman who fast became my friend.  She was everything that I was not.  She exuded a charisma that lit up the room whenever she entered.  Everyone sought after her.  We were total opposites.  They say that opposites attract....but eventually you have to have something in common!  We were both around the same age and were born a few weeks apart.  We both lived most of our lives in Pennsylvania and were homesick for that lifestyle...something that was hard to find in our town.  I live in a very transient town...visitors come and go.  People move in and move out ongoing.  So, just when you think that you have a group of friends, they move away.  Eventually, she married and moved away...but not before we started to notice our big differences.  What attracted us to one another began to be a thorn in our side.  We argued a lot.  It was crazy.  Well, that friendship went by the wayside.

Eventually, I met a very nice woman whom I worked with.  We eventually found out that we were not only about the same age, but grew up living two towns apart.  We had the same values.  It was this friend who helped me to make basic connections in this area....mechanic, dentist, hairdresser...etc.  We don't see much of one another, but we stay in touch and now our husbands have become friends. 

And last but not least, I have a few friends from over 30 years ago.  They are family to me.  They are my sisters.  I never had biological sisters growing up....but eventually....I had these two soul mates.  Who said that soul mates had to be lovers?  We have helped each other through thick and thin.  We have a history that goes back to our teenage years for the one friend and to my childhood with the other friend.  We can say or do anything in front of one another and can laugh or tell it like it is without ever having to worry about offending the other person so bad that they cease to be our friend.  We love each other in a very special bond that I hope that every woman has with another whether it be to a biological sister or to a real FRIEND in the true sense of the word.  The trouble is that they live 1,000 miles away from me.  It is hard.

I remember when I turned 33 and was told that I had cancer of the breast.  My sister was at my side going into surgery and I woke up to find her gone and my other sister sat with me after the surgery.  They hugged me through sobs of fear that we all felt.  The funny thing is though that I am friends with both of these women and they tolerate one another for me.  They are not particularly fond of one another.  They were both in my wedding and dealt with one another in a way that didn't give me nightmares...LOL.  I love these women and pray that they stay in good health because I don't know what I would do if anything ever happened to either of them.

And now, recently in the last two years, I have developed another set of friends here locally.  We are all about the same age.  There are 4 of us.  I feel like we are the Sisters of the Traveling Pants turned 50 Something, LOL.  We do things together and look after one another.  Our friendship together is at the birth stage and continues to grow.  We stick up for one another when others doubt us....we get together at least once a month to just vent and eat and walk and talk, talk, talk.  We can sit for hours just jabbering away.  I love these new friends of mine.  I have a feeling that one day I will look at them the same as I do my PA friends.  We are still making a fun history together.  I notice that the one thing that is different between these two sets of friends is that the PA friends are my childhood friends where we were immature and grew up together.  Now, my new set of friends are mature to start with.  We resort back to childish, girlish ways from time to time...but now we are the caretakers of our parents.  It is different.  That is our commonality...as well as the fact that we are all originally from the north...we understand each other.  We have boundaries and respect them.  We all love our husbands and talk about how we need to make them healthier.  We are family.  We are friends.

Lord, I pray that anyone reading this has already had the pleasure of having a sister or a friend in their life where they are soul mates...I pray that you bless that bond.  And if the person reading this has never experienced this bond before, that they have the privilege of experiencing a special female friendship.  Someone whom they can share experiences together with and who they can depend on in any situation.  Be there for this individual Lord...in Jesus' Mighty Name I pray...Amen.