Michael W. Smith’s song, Friends, was my anthem growing up as a missionary kid in the 1980’s. We all wanted to find those friends that were tried and true. The lyrics seemed written for me, and every other MK whose reality was a constant parade of hellos and goodbyes. My friendships were forged rapidly, deepened quickly, and terminated abruptly.
Thus was missionary life.
I now stand on the brink of my first term of missionary service as an adult. This time with my husband and my own brood of second generation MKs. I feel a tinge of sadness with my excitement as I recognize the old feelings that accompanied missionary life. It’s even harder to watch my children navigate this for the first time. The hardest part of being a missionary kid, which I loved, was to say goodbye.
Proverbs 18:24 (ESV) says “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
But how do we keep friendship strong with friends who are thousands of miles away? What I have come to realize in my life is that there is truly only one friend who exemplifies scripture. That friend is my Savior, Jesus Christ. If I look to my earthly friends to be there for me the way I want them to be, I will be disappointed. But Jesus is always there. If I look to Him FIRST, He reveals to me who I can turn to for human friendship on life’s journey. If I keep Jesus first priority in my life before friends, He helps me to find those friends that are tried and true.
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