“Can we just be forever friends?”

I recently asked two friends that question. It was said in jest as we chatted and lounged on the playground equipment, sipping our iced coffees, and watching our little ones tear up the park. But as the cheeky words came out of my mouth, I realized it was a silly question with a whole ton of actual hope and truth and prayer behind it.

Because, frankly, it has been way too hard for me to find that friend who seems more like a long-lost sister than a complete stranger who I met one day and started scheduling playdates with because we desperately needed some company and to get out of the house. Then, something magical happens, and suddenly, we are sharing more than playdates together. We share life and faith and the ups and downs. True sisterhood.

And maybe, just maybe, we’ll even be forever friends.

It’s no secret that loneliness plagues many of us women. We’ve all been there. And when you’re up to your shoulders in children, sleepless nights, big messes, and dirty diapers, it’s hard to ask for help or put yourself first or even try to get out of the house. I felt this isolation and set of struggles as a new mom. I didn’t know how to ask for help, what I even wanted, or where to find true companionship.

As an introvert and a do-it-myself kind of woman, it took me a while, but I have finally let myself go after what I truly need. I put myself out there and pursue the friendships that bring enjoyment, peace, and remind me I’m not the only one whose sweet 1-year-old turned two and now believes it’s her turn to be the parent.

Finding real friendships is a gift. It feels refreshing to meet and connect with others who understand what you’re going through and aren’t there to judge you or overwhelm you with advice you didn’t ask for.

I’ve lived enough and lost enough to know that some people, for whatever reason, only stick around for seasons. Life does happen and people do change.

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I have also experienced that, with intentionality, some friendships last for the long haul. Some friendships can even be rekindled and what had been broken can be mended.

The key is to work at it.

We have to call or text and keep in touch. We have to set up coffee dates, dinners out, or playdates. We invite each other over and invite each other out. We travel across a few states to see each other. We get our whole families together, husbands and kids included. We meet each other’s parents and siblings and take an interest in one another’s past, dreams, and struggles.

Meaningful friendships take work. Work that doesn’t have to be time-consuming or add stress to life, but rather built from little steps of love and kindness that add up over time to create a lasting friendship. And although we never can seem to get together as much as we’d like, every bit of intentionality helps us stay connected and deepens our friendship roots.

There’s something beautiful about having found a gal pal to do life with, whether it’s womanhood or motherhood. I’m truly grateful to have dear friends in my life and hope some of them might just be my forever friends.

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Because they’re the ones who laugh at the same ridiculous jokes as me. The ones I can facetiously tell, “Enjoy every single sloppy moment of motherhood because it’ll go fast,” after they tell me they’re dead exhausted because their little one was up all night cutting teeth and nursing. The ones who roll their eyes and chuckle with me when our kiddos are fighting over the same one toy when there are about 267 other toys to play with.

I pray she’ll be my forever friend.

The ones who will take the girls’ vacations, or day trips, or ladies’ nights out, so we can go on adventures, make memories, and not lose ourselves. The ones who cheer me on from the sidelines. And when they succeed and I cheer for them, it feels like I won, too. The ones who will brave their summer swimsuit with me, even though our thighs are bigger and our tummies are a bit jiggly now, so we can just enjoy the water, the beautiful weather, and the time (that goes so fast) with our kids.

I pray she’ll be my forever friend.

The ones who understand the tantrums and somehow still seem to love my little monsters (I mean, darling children). The ones who replied to my text two days ago, but forgot to actually press the send button. The ones who show up for birthdays and baptisms and the occasional rough day. The ones who are just as excited to have a kid-free outing as I am without feeling guilty. The ones who send me funny GIFs to cheer me up or text me when they’re having a crappy day, too.

I pray she’ll be my forever friend.

The ones who admit there are parts of being a wife or mom or adult that aren’t enjoyablethe parts we wish we could fast forward through but make the most of anyway. The ones who remind me to keep the faith.

I pray she’ll be my forever friend.

I love you and you mean the world to me. I hope I won’t lose you to time, or distractions, or because a new season rolls in.

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Have you found that friend you want to be your forever friend? The friend who makes the journey of life a little more pleasant and entertaining? Work at it and be intentional. And to really seal the deal, throw on your cleanest pair of yoga pants, bring your Bud an iced coffee (because no one ever says no to that), and ask her that six-word question we’re all secretly waiting to be asked . . .

Can we just be forever friends?

Good things take work, and friendship is no exception. The One Year Women’s Friendship Devotional offers encouragement and practical advice for forming true, uplifting relationships.

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Pamela Palmer

Pamela Palmer is the founder of www.upheldlife.com where she produces faith resource articles and weekly devotionals to inspire keeping faith at the center of it all. She is also published regularly on BibleStudyTools.com. She lives on Jesus, coffee, and music. She is a woman in pastoral ministry and gets to share in the emotional and spiritual lives of many people, being a small piece of each journey. Pamela resides in the Midwest, married the perfect man for her, and they have two beautiful kiddos together.