When my children were growing up, they would come home from school after the start of a new year and announce that they made lots of new "friends." In my determination not to dash their enthusiasm, I would simply say, that's good. However, in my heart of hearts, I wanted very much to tell them that "friends" have to be time tested and proven. As they grow older, we had this conversation and time bore witness to this fact. Situation after situation would arise and they would quickly learn who their "true friends" were.
Who earns the distinction of a "true friend?" The person who you can say is there for you when no one else is. The person that you can call at 2 AM with a true crisis who will not say, "can not it wait until morning?"
I imagine we all have had our moments of throwing personal pity parties because of delayed hopes and dreams, but there's one thing about a true friend and that is this; they will not stay with you at that party for long. As a matter of fact, they probably will not even show up. They just have this loving way of not participating in anything that is not for your good. They will not just "go along with you to get along with you," that's really not a friend. A real friend will hold you accountable and tell you when you are wrong, but in loving way. Sometimes if you need a little tough love, well they've got that too. The thing about it is this; they will not compromise with you. A true friend will not pretended that your drinking problem does not exist. They will let you know that you are causing yourself a great deal of harm and you need help. If telling you the truth about that means losing your friendship, they'd rather do that than hurt you by lying to you. It's like a parent who does nothing to discriminate a wayward child. Do you really love that child if you do not tell them right from wrong? No and the same is true of a friend.
I have known many people through my life. People either come into your life for a season, a reason or a lifetime. The "lifetimers" are very few and that may be for a reason I have not come to understand just yet. What I do know is this; "there are friends who destroy each other but a real friend sticks closer than a brother." What a saying. I borrowed that from a very favorite book of mine, the Bible and it is a Proverb a very wise and true statement.
I can really say I have a couple of "lifetimers." One in particular is the friend that turned me on to this ezine stuff. I have to admit, sometimes I can be a little behind the times as it relates to technology and new ways to communicate. LA Jackson and I have been friends since grade school and he's determined not to leave me behind. We both share this gift of writing and he's been encouraging and supporting me to stop sitting on my gift. I'm looking forward to some great things to come from him because he is a talented and gifted author.
So, who are true friends? Someone who in some cases would stick even closer to you than your own family. Through good times and bad times they are there for you. When you mess up and make mistakes like we all do, they do not have judgments for you, they encourage you to get up and try again. I encourage you to cherish the true friends in your life. They make life worth living.