Those "Just Like Ol' Jeans" Kind of Friends
Several years ago (hmmm....must be a good two decades by now...YIKES), I had gone with two friends from college to drop the one friend off in an urban ministry training school in NYC. While climbing stairs up to my friend's room-to-be, I met someone who was going to be on my friend's team AND on my team, which didn't start for another month. We talked for quite a while and seemed to hit it off. We actually wrote some letters back and forth--encouraging one another in the Lord. Then, it was my turn to hit the Big Apple for Jesus. Guess what? That person in the hallway turned out to be MY roommate. She and I had a fabulous time. We stayed up late A LOT--baring our souls and praying into each other's lives LIKE CRAZY. It was an intense time: as we were giving out through ministry during the day, we were also pouring into each other's lives in the night. What started as a walk up a flight of stairs became a life-giving friendship. It always amazes me how God pieces things together: He carefully orchestrates details in our lives, even those that seem to not matter at the time.
Twenty years later, we still get together on occasion. Throughout the years, we've seen each other through failed dating relationships (at least on my end!), the anxiety and frustration associated with wondering where Mr. "Right for ME" was, marriage, pregnancies, children, times full of vision where God didn't seem to be doing what WE wanted in our lives (HA! Imagine...), and times that we were hurting and essentially visionless. This is the type of friend that I might not see for years. Then, we finally get together...and, honestly, getting together is just like slipping on an old pair of jeans: jeans that somehow know how to confirm 100% to all the good parts we want to show off and how to delicately not draw attention to the not so flattering parts. These are the kind of friends who have seen us at our worst and still love us immensely.
Another such friend and I solidified our friendship in a BATHROOM of all places. I was upset because another friend was moving, and I knew it would be difficult for me. This bathroom friend-to-be (who was a pretty close acquaintance of mine at the time, but we weren't REAL close yet) just happened to be upset about something, too. We saw each other in the bathroom at a youth event (even though neither of us were youth at the time...HA!), talked to one another about what we were going through, and decided to start doing things together in order to encourage one another. Since that day, we've spent a good "almost" twenty years encouraging one another, seeing each other through the good and the bad, praying each other through various ups and downs, holding each other accountable in spiritual matters, and growing in a relationship that God apparently put together. And to think that it all started in a bathroom.
I've been blessed through the years to have several such friends like these. While my jean size appears to go up and down, these friends remain. I'm thankful for that...and thankful for how God puts those friends in my life--even when I'm not expecting it. He knows what we need, and I'm so thankful that He gave us friends: the "just like ol' jeans" kind of friends. Twenty years from now, I'm planning on having those friends (plus more!) still fit.