In kindergarten, we believe that everyone is our friend. The teacher says, “Oh, friends. Our friend, here, is afraid. Which friend can be her special friend today?” Then every hand in the house shoots up because everyone is our friend. But then in first grade, one of those friends says, “You can’t be my friend anymore.” Suddenly we are confronted with the horrifying reality that friends are not necessarily at our disposal. Sometimes a friend cannot be found!
By sixth grade, we’ve fretted about this long enough that we want to plug the hole once and for all with a jagged half-heart which reads, “Best Friends”. We clasp that BFF charm to the bracelet around our wrist, and say, “Whew. Friend found. Problem fixed.” But the last ‘F’–the one that stands for ‘forever’–seems to tarnish the fastest.
By the time we’re forty-one, we have conversations like the one I had today. A sweet, dear friend, who moved away, confided, “We’ve lived here for years now. You’d think I’d have one friend that I can totally depend on–that I know I can call if I’m really struggling.” She and I are both lucky enough to be married to our best friends. But I know what she means… I still feel that “BFF” void, too.
Don’t get me wrong. God has loaded my bracelet with so many treasured friends that it’s down right gaudy. I’m sure my far-away friend would say the same. But not one of those friends, nor all of them put together, will ever fill my needs completely.
I knew that my daughter’s BFF stage wouldn’t last. Soon enough, she would learn that there’s no such thing as a BFF– a Big Fear Fixer. I had the joy of telling her that there’s only Jesus. He’s the only friend who can completely fix her fears—or mine!