The Friendship That Changed My Life

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
John 15:13

Essentially the thing that is on my mind is the thing that is always on my mind. Kenya. Except it seems so much closer, so much more real. This is probably because I’m booking my plane tickets and I got a sizable donation from my church.

Oh yeah, and the trip is 63 days away.

I am just over two months away from living in Kenya all summer. I cannot even begin to wrap my brain around that, it just doesn’t feel real. And just like with everything else God has given me in my life, I feel like I don’t deserve it.

In my deliriousness last night, I just had to talk to some of my friends that live in Kenya. I wrote on their walls and sent them messages. Of course they all responded immediately with invitations to visit them and take care of me while I am there. Then it hit me, like really really hit me, I have friends in Kenya. I have friends that are thousands of miles of way that love me and want to see me. And then I realize, Jesus gave them all to me. Jesus loved me SO MUCH that He gave me them.

I’m in shock. I don’t understand. I spent a very limited amount of time with these people last summer but Jesus completely sparked a connection within all of our hearts for one another because He knew. He knew I’d be back and He knew it would be for a long time.

I love the American friends that I’ve had for years. The friends that know my secrets, the friends that get my humor, the friends that choose to laugh at me when I don’t make sense (which is often) instead of pointing out my faults, the friends that have wiped away my tears and the friends that have been there for all the moments in between.

I love my Kenyan friends. I’ve known them for a significantly shorter amount of time than most of my other friends but they are so Christ-centered and so FULL OF LOVE that I can’t help but be incredibly thankful for every single one of them, all the time. They are absolutely some of the best people that I have ever met, in fact I get a glimpse of Jesus’ love in the way that they love me. Being around them FILLS me with JOY and I soak it in. I can’t help but think about their lives and their jobs and their schoolwork and wish that I was there with them because I would just love to hear their voices and see their faces again.

Luckily for me, I will in 63 days 🙂

But through all these wonderful friendships, whether in America or Kenya or somewhere else in the world, I realize that they all point to the greatest friend of all, the bestfriend that I could truly ever have. Jesus. Human friendships are beautiful and messy and imperfect and hilarious but friendship with Jesus is perfect. I have never had a friend who has never let me down, who has given me wise counsel on what truly would be best for my life in EVERY situation and I have never had a friend who has died a scandalously gruesome death so I might have the life that they wanted me to have.

Can you think of your best friend in the entire world? The person who has truly been there every single time you needed them and the friendship that no fight could ever end?
Got it? Okay, me too.

Now I want you to imagine that friendship being 10,000 times better. More transparency, more love, more truth, more wisdom, more laughs, more late night talks, more inside jokes, more [insert the thing you love most about your friendship here].

Well that’s what friendship with Jesus is like.
He is truly the best friend that you could ever have.

How cheesy does that sound? Well I don’t care, it’s true. He is not concerned with saying the right thing to always make me happy or lying to not hurt my feelings. He also always has my absolute best in mind and He would never dream of hurting me.

Even though I hurt him in a daily basis.
I am the worst friend in the world.

No matter how horribly in sin I find myself, I always come back to this place where I can actually feel Jesus pursuing me. He wants me back. He misses me. HOW could He miss me? I daily fail Him in the most basic aspects of friendship. This is what makes our friendship even more precious.

I don’t have to always do the right thing for Jesus to love me. I don’t have to always say the right thing to make Jesus pleased with me. I don’t have to always be happy with Jesus for Him to rejoice over me. And I definitely don’t have to always be a good friend for Jesus to be an unconditional friend to me. But the aspects of His friendship towards me make me want to be those towards Him. He draws me in by never leaving me.

His presence makes it impossible for me to leave.

His friendship changed my life. He chose to be my friend. He chose to love me. And everyday He chooses to keep believing in my and pushing me to be more. The things that He has given me in this life, well I could not have imagined them for myself, ever. He knows my heart so intimately and has consistently shaped my life in the most amazing way. Best. Friend. Ever.

If you haven’t experience real intimacy and relationship with Jesus, do it. He will never judge you, condemn you or laugh at you [He will only laugh with you:)]. He loves every single inch of you more than you could ever think or imagine. All you have to do is let Him love you.

Crissy

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