Here's is what I overheard my daughters say as they were getting ready this morning.
Older: Hurry up! We can't turn on the TV until you are dressed.
Younger: I'm trying but my PANTIES (yelled) are stuck in my skirt. Guess what? One of my new friends wears strawberry shortcake panties, too! Isn't that great?
So what is a marker of a great friendship in four year olds? Matching character panties! I was rolling on the floor laughing at this one. After I could breathe again and stopped the tears rolling down my cheeks, I wondered what markers exist for great friendships in general.
The following quote is from Dallas Willard's "Renovation of the Heart", a challenging and wonderful read.
"Love is not a feeling but a divine way of relating to others and oneself that moves through every dimension of our being and restructures our world for good.
This love reaches into every dimension of human existence: thought, feeling, body, soul, and world. Our very identity is always intermingled with others who have given us life, sustained us, walked with us and even deeply injured us."
I was blessed to spend the weekend with the kind of friends that have shaped my very identity in positive ways. We sustained one another and walked together in those formative college years. But even more, we have continued to walk together in these often confusing and challenging years of becoming wives, mothers, and professionals. I am a better woman because they walk with me. I am a mother who gives true life because they encourage me. I have been changed for good because of their influence on my life.
My identity carries those deep injuries, just as yours must. But, it also carries the love of these friends that reaches into the darkness of pain and shines the Light.
Thanks girls! I love you!