A True Friend

Published May 30, 2012 by Ashley Townsend

“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Proverbs 18:24

When you’re young, you feel like the current moment and relationships in it will last forever. But the minute change occurs, it feels like the end of the world. Graduation means leaving behind the familiarity of four years spent in the same lunchroom with the same group of friends. You promise to stay connected as everyone goes off to different colleges, taking career paths that draw everyone in opposite directions. Sometimes you keep in touch and maintain those close friendships you had in high school. But, oftentimes, you grow apart and lose touch as everyone forges a new life for themselves.

I was homeschooled up through high school, so I never had to say those painful goodbyes on graduation day. That’s not to say I haven’t had my share of farewells to bid. My family and I have moved around several times, and I’ve had to leave friends behind in the process. Over the years, I lost contact with many of my friends back in Colorado as we changed and drifted apart. But a bump in the road often reveals who your true friends are—someone who will walk with you in both the sunshine and the shade. My friend, Rebekah, is such a person. There are too many good memories of our times together to pick a favorite. Friends since infancy, we have shared countless sleepovers where our secrets and wildest dreams were whispered in the dead of night over a bowl of popcorn and cans of Dr. Pepper. I smile when I think of her dancing like a crazy person to “U Can’t Touch This” to keep awake, and then her priceless reaction to me consuming three dill pickles after midnight. Rebekah was the childhood friend I laughed hysterically with over absolutely nothing, and she was the first one I would call and cry to when it felt like everything was caving in.

It’s odd; her friendship was the only one that I should have been truly concerned over losing in all the moving madness, and yet I never even considered the fact that we might drift apart. Sure, we’ve grown up and changed, but I like to think our friendship has only grown with us—we’ve changed, but our bond has remained the same. This post is actually a day late because Rebekah Facetimed me while I was writing about her, and we spent two hours talking and laughing like we had just seen each other yesterday. She makes me smile when I think about all the crazy things we’ve done and the memories we’ve made together. There honestly is not a single word that you could use to describe Rebekah; she’s too fantastic and timeless to put in a box. There are some things that she does where those who know her just say with great fondness,” That’s so Rebekah,” because it really is! She’s the forever friend everyone should have.

I have come to the realization that true friends are the ones who walk in when everyone else walks out. A true friend is someone whom you can count on—someone who has seen your worst and loves you all the more for it. Change doesn’t mean the end of the world—not even close! I guarantee you’ll meet some incredible new people who make you smile and laugh and thank God that you have such true friends (Olivia, Gabriela, and Veronica—I’m talking to you ladies!). And there will also be those constant stars, like my Rebekah, who will stay faithfully by your side for the whole journey.

“When we consider the blessings of God—the gifts that add beauty and joy to our lives, that enable us to keep going through stretches of boredom and even suffering—friendship is very near the top.”

Donald W. McCullough

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