After my husband proposed to me, like many women, I started a Pinterest board of wedding ideas. I love coming up with unique gifts for my friends and family and wanted to give very special gifts to the people I loved who were involved in our big day. One idea that I saw (and loved) was to give bridesmaids baseball-style shirts that had names and numbers on the back. The number would represent how long I had known each of them. I actually started ordering these shirts before I realized that this idea was not going to work for me. I had 11 bridesmaids and half of them would have had the number “1 ½” on their jersey! The only two that would be double digits were my two cousins who were older than me (so I had known them my whole life).
No “Old” Friends
My family moved a lot growing up, so I do not have close childhood friendships. I am guilty of occasionally feeling jealous of my husband, who is still close friends with his two best buddies from elementary school. But, when I look at our wedding pictures and see the faces of the women who stood beside me as I became a wife, I do not believe they could have known me any better if we had met in kindergarten. Nor do I believe they could have loved me any more.
Friendship is Not Exclusively a Product of Time
Although friendships can grow and strengthen over a long period of time, they can grow even more so when the time you do have is spent intentionally. These women were not just a part of my life, they were in my life. They knew the good, the bad, and the ugly and they loved me the same. They might not have known that my favorite color is green or that I have a strong hatred of mayonnaise (actually, we went out to eat, so they totally knew that), but they knew the deepest struggles and greatest joys of my heart. They knew my struggle with insecurity and encouraged me, reminding me that they wanted to be my friends. They knew I longed for marriage and prayed for it to come. They were the first ones I told when I found out I was pregnant with our son. And they were the ones I called on when I found out my grandfather was dying.
New or Old, Keep Them
Many of these dear friends have moved to other cities, some are married with children, some are dealing with incredible trials. So, we do not get the concentrated time together that we used to. I do not look across the hall to see any of my former roommates, and I do not see my small group of single women every week (since none of us is single anymore). But, we make time for phone calls, for coffee dates, and for play dates with our children when we can. And when we can’t, we make time for a quick text message. When life with kids gets crazy, these are the friendships we all need — friends who have our back, even if we haven’t talked in a few (or more) months.
The song says, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.” These women were once my new friends. But because of the investment of time and love, I can now gratefully call them my old friends. So, treasure your old friendships, but continue to invest in the new ones. Because, someday, the silver will become gold.