“I need to see you as soon as possible, this can’t wait.” Those were the words I read in a text message from my best friend. It was unusual for her to be so urgent so we decided to meet early the following morning for coffee. As I arrived at my favorite little coffee house in our small town I immediately realized this was no normal chat with my friend. “I’ve been watching you for the last 18 months and I am disappointed by what I see.” She then began to rattle off a list from the “notes” section of her iPhone. I sat in stunned silence. Hot tears ran down my face. When I tried to speak in my own defense she just talked right over me. 

I have replayed that conversation thousands of times in my mind. Wishing I had gotten to speak my mind or that I would have just gotten up and left. It all happened so fast, so suddenly, so unexpectedly. She was my best friend in a small town. Our husbands were friends. Our kids were friends. What had I done to deserve such an attack? In the end I am thankful I didn’t speak because I am certain it would have done more harm than good.

Over the years I have had friendships that ended for various reasons. I believe some friends are only intended to be for certain seasons. It seems to be the natural flow of life. But when a friendship ends abruptly it is painful. Looking back I can see now that she was not the kind of friend I needed, but if I am completely honest the memory of that morning in the coffee house still stings. 

So, what is a friend?

A friend will walk the journey of life beside you. 

A friend will lift you up when you are down. 

A friend knows your weaknesses and encourages you to rise above them.

A friend celebrates your victories as if they were her own.

A friend will drop groceries on your porch when your littles have the flu.

A friend is will show up on your doorstep when life gets tough. 

A friend is someone who will start a meal train when you bring your newborn baby home from the hospital. 

A friend is someone who will pray with you and for you. 

A friend is someone who challenges you to be better, not because she doesn’t love you the way you are, but because she knows you can be more. 

A friend is someone who will meet you for late-night coffee and make you laugh until it hurts. 

A friend is someone who loves you no matter what, and may decide to fight for you if someone gets too mouthy on the internet. 

A friend will love your children like they are her own. 

A friend does not keep a record of your wrongs. 

A friend does not let you cry in your favorite coffee shop.

And most importantly, a friend loves at all times. 

Jennifer Kish

Jenn Kish is married to her high school sweetheart, Jared and together they are raising six (mostly) precious children. She loves to connect women to one another and most importantly to Jesus.