i totally stole this picture right off the instagram of my daughter's friend. (thank you, julia. i owe you one)!
i'm sorry, but i had to steal it.
because i look at this picture
... and i am inspired.
these girls and their friendship --- they flat out, inspire me.
they are 15 and just back from camp and about to be sophomores in high school.
i know, you're suddenly remembering.
how can we not remember that age and that year and those feelings?
i remember it well. oh, gosh, do i ever.
and maybe you had really good friends like this ... or maybe you didn't.
there aren't really any guarantees, are there?
like you can be the sweetest, kindest, most darling girl out there and, still, there's no promise of a true friend.
i wish that worked differently. i wish that every girl, 15 or 45 or 70, had a group of faithful friends.
i look at this picture and am so encouraged.
these girls can be themselves with each other. no need to pretend. no need for pretense or perfection. they are who they are.
and they love one another well.
they can wear their hair in braids and their feet in chacos and their faces free of makeup ... and be beautiful to each other.
because there is something truly beautiful about a teenage girl who knows how to be a good friend.
i look at my daughter with her girlfriends and i know God has answered so many prayers as He has graciously woven together this group.
support. sisterhood. acceptance.
it isn't easy to be 15.
it isn't easy to be a girl.
it isn't easy to follow Jesus.
but it's easier when you've got some loyal pals by your side -- a little kinder when you find fellowship and friends.
i'm sure i don't pray enough for my kids.
but when i do, i pray for their hearts.
i pray for their hurts and their hopes.
i pray for their goals and dreams and desires.
i even pray for their future spouses. (they think that's weird -- but, it's not).
and, you know what? i pray for their friends.
because friends are a big deal.
what a gift a good friend is.
not something to be taken for granted or taken lightly, but something to be treasured. celebrated. cherished.
young parents of young kids ... i encourage you, even now, to begin praying for the teenage friends of your children. it's not too soon. it's not too unimportant. it's not too specific.
and girls, i want to encourage you, too. go ahead and be a good friend. be brave. be bold. be beautiful for someone else. again, i can't promise you anything, but being a good friend sure does help us have good friends.
do what you can. do everything you can for the dear ones in your life. love well those gifts God has so richly given.
if you have a good friend or two or three, treat them as treasure. you will be richer for it.
"but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." ~ proverbs 18:24