Despite being on this blog, this is a post that is purely about friendships, with people of either gender!
So over the last few hours I was reflecting on a few things, and I was feeling a little sorry for myself, if I am honest! I was thinking about how much I crave amazing community, and how much I wish to be surrounded by a vibrant community of people who are full of love, and sincerity, and pursuit of God.
But then it occurred to me that actually, I’ve already got so many amazing friends! And I sincerely do. However you would never know it because I am always complaining! But God has blessed me with so many people who love Him and love me. The reason I fail to appreciate these friendships as much as I should is because all these friends are spread out in different places, and I know them all in different contexts. My dream would be for all these outstanding and lovely people to be concentrated in one geographical location, if we all attended the same church service at the same time, every week. And then from that true community could arise. This above all is what my heart craves most deeply, even more, so much more, than it craves Huggie-Wuggie!
I have to admit that I am quite complacent about these friendships. While each friend individually is excellent, I don’t feel that the general spread-out nature of my friendships as a whole fulfils my deep-felt need for community. Because of this, I do not invest as much effort into these friendships as I should; I don’t call my friends nearly enough. And then I’m always complaining about being lonely! Moreover this is self-centred because I’ve always known that these friends need me as much as I need them. I daresay that they probably crave community as much as I do. I have allowed some of my friendships to become extremely one-sided with the other party making all the effort, sending all the emails and texts, making all the calls…
As I was thinking about these things, this idea occurred to me: while I am still craving real community, which is simply like having all these lovely people together in one place, let me at least work on consolidating these individual friendships! Let me pour out all the effort, care and concern I can into supporting these disparate friendships. Who knows, there might even be added benefits to this in that through this I might come across a ready made community of people into which I would love to throw myself! I already know that reaching out to other people in sincerity is an excellent way of curing loneliness. So just thinking on that makes me very happy!
I’d also like to appreciate some of these friends. Thank you so much for being so genuine, and so full of love and humility! I am so impressed by the character that you all demonstrate and your genuine pursuit of holiness and Christlikeness!
I am so grateful for my siblings. As children we would fight so much it was unbelievable! But I am grateful that we have grown up into mature adulthood where we support one another and we look out for one another. I love those chats where we can just sit down and go on for hours! Thank you all too for all your support of my thousand and one business endeavours!
My Cousin Y (London):
Y, I have always been so impressed by how straightforward and candid you are! Thanks for continuing to call me, and all the advice that you give me. Thanks for being an available ear, and thanks too for the humour with which you always make your point. You are one of the most straightforward and down-to-earth people I have ever met! I pray that God would continue to uphold you and your husband and family. Seriously, Z is so cute I cannot even express it!
My friend D (London):
I first met my friend D through my sister and I deliberately chose her (cough, stole her!) as one of my own best friends! (Alongside my cousin Y above!) What an excellent decision that turned out to be. D, you always have been and you continue to be one of the loveliest people I have ever met! I have never encountered a single incident of poor character or sarcasm in you. Seriously, I am so impressed! I pray that God would continue to bless all your endeavours, and your husband and family!
My friend T, (Edinburgh):
Over the last couple of years a friendship has grown between T and me, for which I am so grateful! This is especially true because we now find ourselves in similar situations in running a business! T, I am so grateful for all your efforts in being a friend, and calling me, texting me etc. I am sorry that I have let it be so one-sided. It is so lovely to feel appreciated and acknowledged! I am so impressed with the maturity with which you live your life and interact with people, and by how much you love God!
My friend T, (Edinburgh):
Yes, another one! In fact, we recently had a group of praying ladies, and all our initials started with T – seriously! ( Obviously my own name also starts with T!) Anyway, “Sister T” as I like to call you, I think that you are one of the most humble, holy and wise Christians I know. And yet you are so real and down to earth, and it is not fake at all! I have been so impressed at knowing you! I am sorry that I have been so poor at calling and maintaining contact. I have learned so much from you. I would love to spend more time with you so that your holiness and wisdom would rub off on me. Thanks also for being such a gracious person!
My friend R (Edinburgh)
R, you and I have had a few little squabbles over the years! All the same, thank you for being a great friend and for introducing me to Nigerian culture, and also different going out treats within Edinburgh. Because of you I now know what calzone is. I also know who PSquared are, and DBanj, and a whole host of other names in the Nigerian entertainment industry. I have learned a lot from your refreshingly honest take to faith and life. You are such a smart person, and so deeply admire how methodical you are in your thinking and your approach to life.
My friend, Bro J (Edinburgh):
Bro J has been such a great friend to me that in all candour, he deserves his own post. Just wow. This man is one of the most Christ-centred people I have ever met in my life. Bro J you are so humble, so sincere, and so sincerely supportive of me and all my endeavours. And so unspeakably prayerful that it is almost unbelievable. I can never accept that you are only (exactly) a year older than me, because that year between us feels like a decade. Thank you so much for all the support that you have shown to me, and for all the prayers that you have prayed for me. You have been such an amazing “big brother” to me; the big brother I never had. I pray that God would bless you so abundantly and your wife and your family and that He would pour out immeasurable grace upon your life!
My friend M, (Edinburgh)
Another amazing Christian brother. Thank you for always being there, and for all the support that you have shown me in my different endeavours. You have such a heart for God, and you are so humble and real that it is mindblowing! I pray that God would bless you in everything in your life, your marriage to H and your own endeavours. One of my first friends that I made in Edinburgh, you are such a lovely person, and may God bless you so much! Man, I always wished that you and Bro J would meet, because I was so sure that the two of you would get on so well!
My very very new friend, S (London)
I’m sure you would be surprised to find yourself on this list, as I have only just met you! However you seem to me to be so deeply grounded in God and in sincere pursuit of him, and I truly hope that you and I will be able to grow in friendship.
So these are just a few of the amazing people that God has placed around, that I have been allowing myself to take for granted. And these people genuinely are amazing, and they do genuinely love God, and pursue Him with everything that they have!
I also do have lots of other amazing friends who have touched my life, but for instance where they are Christians we might not be that geographically close, or we might never have had a chance to get to know one another.
And then God has also blessed me with lots of excellent people who do not share my faith or the same outlook on faith as me. All the same I am so grateful for having met you lovely people, and for the ways that our lives have touched.
Thank you all so much, and by the awesome grace of God I am now going to commit to making more effort, consolidating more friendships, and building more bridges! I am not just saying this. I feel as if I have had an epiphany. With my amazing Christian brothers that I have listed here, both of them are married so my focus is going to be on building friendships with my Christian sisters. (But all the same I need to acknowledge these brothers!) 😉
Plus one extra! (Added November 6th 2017)
Well there is one extra person I would love to add to this list: I wonder whether anyone can guess who it might be?! I am of course referring to Mr TDA! I know that you and I are not friends, even by the most insistent stretch of an eager imagination. I also know that that is of course, completely my own fault. As a friend, I imagine that you would be straightforward, down to earth, saying it as it is, even as I would be trying my hardest to concentrate on what you were actually saying, trying not to let myself get distracted by other things…So then, even if it is completely implausible for us to ever actually be friends proper, I would love it you and I could at least be friendly – within very safe boundaries! Would you…could you…possibly please consider giving me a sign?! 🙂