I love this friend more than I can say and treasure the times we get to see each other. It's hard living across the country from your best friend, but Beth and I have found over the years what ways are best for us to communicate and stay in touch and be a part of each others lives. Here are some things I've learned along the way...
Some people are phone talkers, some love to text, and some love to skype. Everyone has their favorite form of communication. I recommend all of them from time to time. Beth and I talk on Gmail chat just about every day. It's how we stay in touch and know what is going on during the every day. We also do Google hangouts once a month with our friend Sam to talk blog life and encourage one another. My best friend, Nat, lives in Knoxville and we are texters and phone talkers. We can talk on the phone for five minutes or an hour just to catch up on the week and the highlights of our lives. My mom and her best friend have an agreement where they call each other once a month for a nice, long talk. Life is busy and sometimes it is hard to make time for the people who aren't living in the same city as you, but I think it's important to make your friends a priority no matter where they live!
I don't know about you, but I LOVE snail mail. It makes my day to find a handwritten note in the mail from a friend. It means the world knowing that they took time to sit down and write some kind and encouraging words for me. Send gifts. It doesn't have to be anything extravagant! A friend sent me a bumper sticker for my car last week so that I could be in the same bumper sticker group as a few of our other friends. It's little gestures like that, no matter the size, that warm my heart and make me feel included and remembered.
Go visit and plan trips.
Nothing beats spending time together in person. If they are within driving range, go visit your bestie for the weekend. Or take some of your precious vacation time, shell out the money for a flight, and go on a mini vacation! I promise it is worth it every single time. Every couple of months, I go visit my best friend in Knoxville or she comes to Chattanooga for the weekend. I try to fly out to Colorado a couple of times a year to see Beth and all of my friends there. My college best friends get together throughout the year, and this year will be our 2nd time taking a trip together. We all saved our moneys and set a date and are heading to the beach for a long weekend. The time you spend together is time you will never forget, and it's time that strengthens and deepens your friendships.
Pray for each other.
I have a great group of friends who I know pray for me on a regular basis. I can't tell you how greatly that encourages me! Ask your friends what you can be praying for and follow up with them about it later to see how they are doing. Someone reminded me once that it is important to actually pray for someone if you tell them you will. That seems like a "DUH!" thing to say, but I know we tend to say "I'll be praying!" or "Praying right now!" and then think about it but forget to actually sit down and pray for a minute. When someone asks me to pray for them or someone else, I try to practice praying for that thing immediately because I don't want to wait and forget about it later. Pray for your friends, their family, their husbands/wives, and their relationships with Jesus. Thanks to a friend's suggestion, I've started setting aside a day a week to pray in particular for my friends. It is a great way to practice being intentional!
Friendship, like any relationship, is hard sometimes and requires a lot of work on both sides. It's not a one way street. These people are ones Jesus has brought into your life for a reason. They are a beautiful gift of great value and should be treated with care. Don't forget to tell your friends today that you love them. :)
"It seemed they had always been, and would always be, friends. Time could change much, but not that."
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE REGARDING FRIENDSHIPS?