I think the best thing that my closest friend ever taught me was what it’s like when a friend is truly your friend, and when that friend is for you.
I’ve had friends come, go, stab me in the back and betray me… but I’ve learned that when someone is really your friend, being friends should have an ease to it. We met in college back in the fall of 2002. She actually sought me out because I was a girl she hadn’t met at Bridge. At the college that I attended, Bridge was a summer gathering for all of the minority students to meet with each other. I hadn’t gone, and since she didn’t know me, she decided to introduce herself to me.
And, as they say, the rest is history.
I’ve made a lot of good friends and gotten attached to them, but I’ve also seen them go from my life. It would hurt a lot if I really liked them and felt forsaken by them. But no… not by RJD. When we first met, we were together a lot. People would even confuse us. I don’t think it had anything to do with us looking alike, even though we were both Christian black women wearing glasses at the time. I think it had a lot to do with us both sharing the same name and always being around each other. Sometimes we would adopt each other’s colloquialisms, which is a common thing for friends to do anyhow.
Then, I got disenrolled from the undergraduate school that we were both attending. We both cried and clung to each other, praying that God would change things. I didn’t end up going back to that school, but the friendship still lasted. We would call each other and spend hours on the phone when we did call. I went to cooking school, and she went to graduate school to pursue a doctorate. Sometimes she called frequently; other times, there were long spells where we didn’t hear each other’s voices.
Throughout this time, I had other friends that I lost touch with and that I mourned. Quite a few of them went on to get married and have children. I feared never hearing from them again, and a lot of them I haven’t heard from in a long time, save the occasional poke on Facebook (which doesn’t count).
Despite all of these changes throughout the past 10 or so years since I first met RJD, I can say that there is one friendship that hasn’t wavered and that I’ve never had to doubt (even though I did get scared sometimes)… and that was the friendship between her and me. Out of all the things that I’ve done, thought, ventured out on from the first time we met until now, she’s always been encouraging and supportive. Even though she was slaving over a dissertation and taking classes as well as teaching them, she always found time to call, send me an email, or get me the occasional gift that said “I’m thinking of you.” It always made me feel so special that she would do this. I know how busy she is, and the fact that she would take time to call or send an email update meant the world to me… a girl that was used to losing friends. It was nice to have one stick around for once.
On record, the friendship that I’ve had with her is the longest one I’ve had where there’s been no real break in it. It is nice when you get to reunite with friends (and I’ve had this happen a lot lately), but how wonderful is the Lord to give me a friend that has been a constant in my life since I met her? Totes wonderful.
I know this was a lot of words, but I wrote it all to say this: she has taught me that not every friend will leave… and when it’s a friend that’s meant to stick around, that friend is for real. God also used her to teach me that the Lord is all about friendship, and when He puts one together, it lasts. Period.
So this entry is for her. Thank you Lord for causing us to meet, and thank you girl for being my friend.