Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:18 NIV
There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18: 24 NLT
It’s been more challenging to find topics to write about now that I have a more traditional life again, so today I’m sharing an old story. It’s a story that makes me smile every time I tell, so now it is immortalized in text.
Moving to a new place is scary for me because it wells up a wealth of uncertainty. There are so many things to figure out ranging from big things like where to live to little things like where is the nearest grocery store. For me, moving alone, one of the biggest concerns is finding friends.
When I moved to Fargo I knew that I had to face my fear, be vulnerable, and try to make friends. (This kind of makes laugh. As I type, I’m imagining schoolyard kids trying to making friends. I was a 20 something adult but the principles are the same no matter what age.) I nervously went to the climbing gym and was bouldering around a little bit. I struck up a conversation with a girl and her partner, I told them that I was new in town. At one point in the conversation she asks “Do you have any family in town?” I answered “Nope, I don’t know anyone within 300 miles.” From half way up the wall she turned to me in perfect elementary school teacher form and said “Well, I’ll be your friend!”
Up to this point, it’s a cute story, but where the rubber meets the road is in the fact that she followed through on that statement. Later that week she invited me to dinner with some of her friends, and I ended up joining her for church that Sunday. That follow through made a huge difference in my life. It gave me true friends and connected me with a church that shook up my faith. I am forever grateful to God for allowing the timing to be right for us to meet and to her for following through on the friendship. Both of our lives have changed immensely since that day, but this lovely lady will always be a dear friend.
I strive to follow her example and be a friend who is more than just words. I want people to know that what I say is true and I will follows through. As John says in the verse above, I try to love with actions and in truth. Take a minute to think to think about your old and new friends, are you seeing their needs following through?