As I was saying goodbye to a friend that I hadn’t seen in way too long, I sarcastically joked, “You are like Chicken Soup for the Soul”. However, as I was driving home, thinking about our time together, I realized that statement rang true. Every time I’m with her, I feel refreshed and uplifted, and in my opinion, these are the best kinds of friendships. The ones that are raw and authentic; where laughter is a normal part of our conversations, and our time together feels completely natural. The kind where months may have passed since we’ve last seen each other, but it’s as if no time has passed at all once we are together. There’s no “faking it”, or putting on an act where our lives seem perfect and everything is flawless.

Friendships where we can be our true selves, while speaking truth into one another’s lives, are the kind that I have come to value. I can’t help but think that this is how Jesus wanted friendships to look and feel. We know that Jesus believed in relationships. He had twelve committed followers whom He dearly loved and invested his time and energy into on a regular basis.  He could have done life, ministry, and travel by Himself, but He specifically and intentionally chose to surround Himself with others, while setting an example for us about the importance of relationships.

There is no denying that we are all busy, but as I get older I realize the extra time  I have I want to spend with those that feed my soul, not with those who tend to suck the life right out of you or where relationships tend to be one-sided or fake. My favorite translation of this verse is from The Message (MSG): “Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble”. Proverbs 17:17

Real friends are there during the most difficult seasons of our lives; not just when it’s convenient and easy. One of the defining moments of this type of friendship happened to my husband and me on the day we found out our first pregnancy was not going to be viable, and that we were having a miscarriage. Our friends came over to our home to bring us dinner, and to simply be there for us and pray for us. We knew it was their anniversary, and that they had cancelled their plans that night. As we sat on the couch, our friends hugged us through tears of heartache and anger and just listened. When they left that evening, my husband and I both knew this is was the core of true friendship.

Invest in your friendships, value and treasure them. Life was meant to be lived with others. The celebrations, the losses, the good, the bad, and the ugly seasons…it was all meant to be experienced with those special people we get to call our friends.

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Chelsea Garofalo

She has been married to her best friend for 8 years, and they welcomed their beautiful baby girl, Sadie, into their lives in September 2016. She was an elementary teacher for seven years, but stepped out of that role to run her home-based business and take a job at Bayside Community Church. She lives in the country, and enjoys being a ranch wife while helping her husband with their cattle business. She loves reading, inspiring other women, spending time with her family & friends, health, fitness, traveling to new places, baking, and a good cup of coffee! You can connect with her on Instagram at @theranchgirl.

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