27 June 2014

To the Bestie

This Sunday I'm teaching the YSA Sunday School lesson about David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18-24). The scriptures have some amazing examples of friendship, but Jonathan and David's relationship has always been one of my favorites. Here are a few reasons why:

  • David is anointed to be the next king after Saul, not Saul's son Jonathan. Jonny boy knows this, and loves David anyway. He believes that God has chosen the best man for the job and has nothing but love for David. Finally, a man not corrupted by seeking power and glory! 
  • Saul is overcome by paranoia and jealousy toward David and so seeks to kill him. He chases him throughout the kingdom, killing anyone who gets in his way of catching him--including 85 priests. Through all of this, David never loses confidence in Jonathan. He doesn't doubt his friendship. He continues turning to Jonathan for support and advice, and Jonathan always responds with overwhelming encouragement, love, and kindness. 
  • As much as Jonathan loves his father, he knows he's crazy and never once tries to justify his actions to David, or to himself. He also refuses to let his father get away with murdering his best friend. He always warns David when to go back on the run, risking his own life to do so.
  • The two of them covenant between themselves and the Lord to always remain BFFs. I love this. It's like friendship bracelets x 1000. But I mostly love it because they strengthen their bond with each other by bringing the Lord into the relationship. While this is normally thought of only in terms of marriage, I see no reason why we should leave the Lord out of our other relationships. And I must be right, because Jonathan and David covenanted with each other THREE TIMES, PEOPLE.
And just in case you're not convinced about how fantastic this friendship was, this is what Samuel the prophet wrote about them:
"the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul" -1 Samuel 18:1 (a sentiment which is repeated at least 3 more times in the next couple chapters)
Well, I know exactly how Jonathan felt. I, too, have a best friend whom I love as my own soul. Her name is Eryn. And everything I know about myself I owe to her.

Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of incredible family and friends in my life who I love and would do anything for. But it's just different with Eryn.

She's like the friend version of my soulmate. She is the one person who I can tell everything, and sometimes I actually do. She always knows when to just listen, or when to analyze or give advice. She calls me out when I'm being ridiculous--but in the kindest, gentlest, most encouraging way... with just enough wit and sass thrown in to make us both start giggling uncontrollably. She laughs and cries with me. She knows some of my deepest fears and heartaches, and has been with me during some of my darkest hours. She knows me better than I know myself, and yet she loves me anyway.

We always tell people that we are a "different kind of fun." As an example, one of our favorite pastimes is exploring cemeteries and reading the headstones. Weird, I know, but we love it. She taught me how to be comfortable in my own skin, and to embrace my personality quirks. I am confident being myself because she first allowed me to be.

She pushes me out of my comfort zone, but is equally willing to come into it just to be with me on the days I can't seem to make myself leave it... I mean this both literally and metaphorically. In the literal sense, this usually consists of sitting in our sweats, eating ice cream out of the tub, and watching a sappy movie together. But since we've lived thousands of miles apart for the last several years, this hasn't happened in quite awhile. But in the figurative sense, I mean that we allow each other to be vulnerable, and not just allow it but invite it. I don't do that with many people.

She is far too good for me. And I know she feels the same about me. We both think the other is our better half, and perhaps we're both right. Truly, I love her as my own soul--maybe even more so.

Everyone deserves to have a bestie as amazing as I do. Finding a best friend is hard enough, but keeping one is even harder. I've learned a lot by trying to be the best bestie I can be to Eryn no matter how many miles are between us. That might sound absurd, but it's true. And although we haven't actually covenanted with each other and the Lord, I know that we have both made Him a part of our relationship. And I'm so grateful we have. It has made all the difference in strengthening and maintaining the bond that we have between us.

"The Lord be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever."
-1 Samuel 20:42

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