April 16, 2018

Friends: The Importance of Having a Variety

My mother-in-law was an extremely well-liked woman. She had more friends than I could keep track of or count. Whenever we would talk, she would tell me about her latest outings with this friend at the gym, or that friend out to lunch, this group that she quilted with, or the ladies from her church. She had a special gift of making each and every moment she spent with you seem like the most important part of her day. People everywhere knew who she was and when she passed, her funeral turned up crowds and crowds of individuals who traveled near and far from many different areas of her life. She was a woman of strength, trust, honor, and love.

On the 8th of March each and every year, International Women’s Day is celebrated worldwide. It is a day that acknowledges all of the amazing things that a woman is – her achievements, her life, her goals, her dreams. On March 8, 2018 my sister-in-law shared a note of my mother-in-law’s via social media. We’re continuously finding inspiring notes of hers lying around, and they are always fitting for exactly what we need in that moment. This particular note read:

TO THE WONDERFUL WOMEN IN MY LIFE,

When I was little, I used to believe in the concept of one best friend. As I began to grow up, I found out that if you allow your heart to open up, God would show you the best in many friends.

One friend’s best needed when you’re going through things with your children. Another friend’s best needed when you’re going through things with your mother. Another when you want to shop, share, heal, hurt, joke or just be. One friend will say let’s pray together, another, let’s fight together, another, let’s walk away together.
One friend will meet your spiritual need, another your fabric fetish, another your love for movies. Another will be with you in your season of confusion, another will be your clarifier, another the wind beneath your wings.

But whatever the assignment in your life, on whatever the occasion, on whatever the day, if you need them to meet you with their gym shoes on and hair pulled back, or hold you back from making a complete fool of yourself…THOSE ARE YOUR FRIENDS.

It may all be wrapped up in one woman, but for many it’s wrapped up in several.

One from childhood, some from high school and college years, a couple from old jobs, several from church, many from past and present assignments. On some days your mother, on others your sisters, and on some day it’s the one that you needed just for that day or week. Someone with a fresh perspective, or the one who didn’t know all of your baggage, or the one who would listen without judging…

I thank my friends, those who honor intimacy, those who hold trust, and those who hold me up when life is just too heavy!

The special bond we share is unique. Thanks for the words we’ve shared, the prayers sent up, the laughter, and the tears…

It’s amazing how the people you love continue to give you exactly what you need even when they’re no longer here on Earth.

I never truly considered the importance of having so many different kinds of friends in different women. My work friends, my gym friends, my friends from my husband’s job. My neighborhood friends, my childhood friends, my married friends. My Army-wife friends, my single friends, my mommy friends. While all vastly different from one another, they all perfectly fit into my life in some way.

The friend I called when I found out I was expecting is different than the friend I want when I need a good sweat at the gym. The friends I talk to about pregnancy are not the friends I go to when I’m looking to go out on a Saturday night. The friend I have in my sister is not the friend I have that lives halfway across the world.

It is funny how many different kinds of people are put into your path, but they’re all there for an exact reason – to serve a specific purpose to your life. The concept of one best friend is naive. Women need more than one kind of friend to help face the different obstacles, experiences, celebrations, and down-right tough times that life throws your way.

While you may be one kind of friend to one woman, she may be another kind of friend to you. Don’t close out “other” women from your life. You never know when you may need just that kind of friend.


​About the Author

Jackie is an army wife who has spent the last three years living abroad in Italy with her husband, writing for Buzzy Blogs as she traveled. Now heading back to the United States, Jackie and her husband are excitedly preparing to welcome twin girls to their family later this year!

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