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Fighting for friendships.

I don’t have the same hair cut or color that I did in 5th grade. I don’t have the same taste in clothes or boys (luckily, I liked Jyncos and the ones that kicked me in the shins) It’s been 20 years since then. A lot has changed. But after all this time I do have one thing that never has, my best friend. Shelly.
Once we established our best friendship we vowed that this one would last the ages. We were in it for the long haul. We made best friend cross stitch,  best friend dresses, best friend videos and best friend photo albums. Even today when we call each other our salutation is always “best friend!”
She isn’t just a friend anymore, she is family.
I knew I wanted her to be my friend forever but at 10 years old I couldn’t have begun to grasp how much it would mean to me. How comforting it is to have someone who knows you so completely continue to love you for two decades when they had no obligation to do so. How fun it is to have memories with someone that go all the way back to your first kiss, your spice girls obsession or where we were when we heard the O.J. Verdict (we heard it on the radio while playing dress ups).

besties

I know her and love her in a way that no one else ever has or ever will.
Her presence in my life has made it better, fuller, safer.
When I think of what I want for my boys as they grow one thing that always sticks out is that in a world that tells us to throw things away easily the moment they don’t quite suit you anymore, I hope to teach them not to dispose of the people they love. I hope I can teach them to fight for their friends.

Friendship isn’t reserved only for happy uplifting exchanges. If we can’t love someone though their darkness how can we expect to be loved through ours?

We are told often to look for situations where you find out “who your REAL friends are” and I believe many of them are flawed. There’s a different kind of friendship for every single kind of person and they can all have value. People have strengths and weaknesses. Some of my friends will show up every time I need a shoulder to cry on but never buy and wrap a birthday present like another friend will. Some friends may struggle with gossip (even sometimes, I imagine, about me) I don’t think that makes them a not worth while person in and of itself, I just choose to be more careful what I say to them. If you create healthy boundaries and love them for who they are, what better way could we grow as a person than by learning to love and understand people even when it doesn’t come easily.

I have a husband, three kids, a blog, a business and a big old family. Just like most people I know, I’m busy, I don’t have a ton of time to hang out with a bunch of different people, only a small handful. I think it’s wise to be careful in selecting those you spend a great deal of time with.
Yet, I have so many good friends. I get to talk to friends through this blog – I know and love so many readers, or  through social media it only takes a second to say hi, catch up with or read their latest thoughts. Some I only get to interact with or see once every few years. yet, I learn SO much from all of them. I value them. I smile so big when I think of them.
I love them.
If they were in trouble, I would want to be there for them. If they were being misunderstood, I would be right there defending them. If they were in pain, I would hurt with them. When they have success, I get excited and proud of them.

No disrespect to the bachelor contestants EVERY SINGLE YEAR but I have to politely disagree.

I did come here to make friends.

I think my heart becomes bigger and more open every time I fill it with pieces from such a wide range of beautiful humans. I have so much to learn from each one.

There is no glory in ending a friendship. Though it feels vindicating at first, grudges become a burden to bare. Using our withdrawal of love as a weapon only diminishes it’s true value. The real glory is proving that our love for each another is stronger than our weaknesses ever could be.

Certainly there are people in our lives who are so destructive that being close to them is unhealthy and with heavy hearts we have to  distance ourselves but that doesn’t always mean we can’t still love them and still hope the best for them and in many cases, still consider them a friend.

cara

 

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    heather caldwell
    October 27, 2016 at 5:01 am

    Beautifully said…it’s a refreshing morning to wake up to such positive insight. Just last night I was thinking how everything I watch is negative or drama and gossip. I do work in a spa/salon filled with lots of chatty women. Listening to all of it really can bring you down. I needed to hear something uplifting to feed my soul. Thanks girl. Your a beautiful writer and I adore how you put your thoughts and feelings and into words. It also doesn’t hurt that you have a beautiful soul. Thanks again!

  • Reply
    Cami
    October 27, 2016 at 5:33 am

    Beautifully put! I love your view on friendship. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    CindyB
    October 27, 2016 at 6:32 am

    Very uplifting. I totally agree that we need to love each person and there are no perfect “real” friends. We and they are all doing our best. One of my good friends says that she has learned to assume that the other person has good intentions and not always assume the negative about their intent.

  • Reply
    Lori
    October 27, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Beautiful….and inspiring. I’m not good at keeping up with friends. I need to be better about it.

  • Reply
    Julia
    October 27, 2016 at 10:52 am

    This is wonderful. You’re such a beautiful person, Cara! I love this perspective.

  • Reply
    Randi
    October 27, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    Love. So much love. The world is a better place because you’re in it!

  • Reply
    Paige
    October 27, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    Wise words. I’ve learned this lesson in a painful way.

  • Reply
    Kiss & Make-up
    October 28, 2016 at 3:12 am

    I’ve had many friends come and go in my 29 years. But I do have one TRUE friend. A real BFF in the truest sense of the word. We were born one week apart, have known each other our whole lives and we KNOW that we’ll be friends forever. I don’t think I could ever have the same kind of friendship with someone else. All my other friendships eventually fleeted. And I’ve always been okay with that. In my mind that’s just how most friendships are. Except for this one friendship.

  • Reply
    Kristen
    October 28, 2016 at 10:17 am

    “Using our withdrawal of love as a weapon only diminishes it’s true value. The real glory is proving that our love for each another is stronger than our weaknesses ever could be.”
    These words are profound and have caused the noise in my head today to stop, allowing me to breathe them in. In my world defined by self protection, withdrawal of love has ultimately been a double edged sword and God continues to teach me how my years spent in these strongholds have limited my connection to others and ultimately true “safety” and happiness. Each time I read your posts that give a small glimpse into the depth of your character and view of the world, I am truly awed by your kindness, your authenticity and genuine openness to the world and people around you. This is the view and heart I long for and aspire to grow within myself, and I write this to thank you for your gentle, loving and humble teaching words. Just know today, you have an impact bigger than you see and your words have helped God continue to shine the light into the life a girl all the way in Texas! xoxo

    • Reply
      Cara
      October 28, 2016 at 11:57 am

      Kristen, your kind words made me cry my makeup off this morning:) Thank you for being so generous with me and for being such a good friend to me. Sending you oceans of love all the way to my favorite state<3<3<3

  • Reply
    cijisampson
    October 28, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Such a beautiful way to put things Cara! I’m envious of the way you can so beautifully put your thoughts and feelings into words. This post about Shelly takes me so far back. Back into the days of going to the swimming pool on 700 S, singing along to The Fugees in your room, and talking in our tents at Girls Camp or Youth Conference! I have such great memories of those days! It is so strange to see you both with families of your own. You’ve both grown into such beautiful women, inside and out! Love you both! ❤️❤️❤️

  • Reply
    kim
    October 30, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    love.

  • Reply
    Missy
    November 3, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    Cara,
    I have never written to you, nor to anyone online via a blog. I quietly read and appreciate what your site has to offer. But these words today, “Using our withdrawal of love as a weapon only diminishes it’s true value. The real glory is proving that our love for each another is stronger than our weaknesses ever could be.” inspired me to tell you how impactful they were for me.

    I must admit that I often skip posts like this, favoring makeovers and beauty advice in my busy day. The title grabbed me. I am currently “punishing” a dear, long time friend, withholding my love and attention to show her what life without me is like. She valiantly keeps up her efforts to draw me back. I have been less generous, though I miss her deeply. Losing her friendship is worse than a divorce and affects my life from the moment I wake.

    Upon reading this I was able to put my pride aside, if even for a moment – long enough to email my friend.

    Thank you.

  • Reply
    Deb Braddock
    November 9, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Friends and family alike. You can love them always but you do not have to like them often!!!

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