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Friendship. As a child it’s begins simply. “You have a doll, I have a doll, want to play together?” Bam. A friendship is born.

Often it’s based on an affinity such as being in the same class, or in college, living in the same house. You can have the most wonderful friendship in college, but when you remove that affinity, does the friendship still stand? The reality is that more often than not, it doesn’t.

Friendship is a two-way street. Sometimes I find myself questioning, “I feel like I’m the one that calls her all the time and initiates things. What would happen if I just stopped calling one day? Would she call me?”

Then you throw in a personal crisis, everyone’s true colors are exposed. For me, this was a three-year season of chronic pain. If you had asked me at the beginning of that season who would be with me through it to the end, I would have confidently given you quite a few names.

Now, three and a half years later, I can tell you that less than half the people withstood the pressures that chronic pain puts on a friendship. (Also, I had a brand new friend who turned out to be one of the most faithful friends. I never would have guessed that since we met only months before I was ill.) In the middle of that season, I was devastated and really mourned the loss of those friendships. When I needed them most, they weren’t there. For many people, pain and suffering is not something they signed-up for and they bail.

It’s only in the last couple months, that I’ve begun to look at the friends who’ve walked with me through both the hills and the valleys and I give thanks. Those faithful girls who’ve seen me at my worst and in that place encouraged, supported and carried me, are so dear to me now. I cherish those friendships all the more.

To be given the gift of a true friend is incredible. I’m so grateful to have those in my life.

How have you seen your friendships evolve?
How have your friendships changed as you’ve grown into adulthood?