Hi all – it’s been a (very long) while! If you were wondering what happened to me, basically…exams and Africa.
This summer I’ve had the amazing opportunity to travel a little bit around the continent of Africa with a friend, and it has just been the most wonderful month! We spent three weeks in Uganda and a week in Zambia, and in that time my friend and I have learned a lot more about each other, and made so many new friends from all over the world!
The trip has really taught me a lot about friendship; whether that’s people I’ve known for weeks, months or years – the connections made between people are powerful and beautiful.
I’m quite an awkward person, so I often have difficulty finding the right words to say, or keeping up with quick-fire conversations. What I’ve learned is that ‘the right answer’ or a witty quip isn’t what makes a good friend: it’s the heart behind the words. It’s the joy that people find in each others’ company.
It’s the spaces between the words that builds the friendships: when the jokes are over and the adventure is done, a friend is still there. When they see how messy your life is, they don’t flinch, but take your hand and say, ‘yeah – me too.’
There’s a beautiful Proverb that says:
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Friendship is really powerful! I could never have got through my trip, or my first year at university, if I didn’t have friends. They are my motivation when I am running low, and my laughter when times are good.
I love the picture of life as a racetrack, with us as the racers: we take it hand in hand, running when we are strong, helping each other up when we trip, and leaning on each other when we are drained. We may cross that finishing line bruised and tattered, limping and slow, but we’ll cross it together.
Romantic love gets a lot of good press, and that’s great – but can we just appreciate the power of friendship? One of my favourite examples is from the Bible, and it’s the story of Jonathan and David. Jonathan is the son of a King, and David is a shepherd boy who just got famous by killing a giant (you may remember Goliath?) Basically what happens is, the King becomes jealous of David, and plots to kill him. When Jonathan hears of this, he not only disobeys his father, but puts his life on the line to save his friend. (It’s actually a really good story; if you search for 1 Samuel 20 you can read it properly!)
Friendship is beautiful. I want to walk away from this summer with a deeper appreciation for it, but also a new openness. It doesn’t take a witty, confident, extroverted person to be a friend; it just takes you – as you are. Real friendship is honest and genuine, and beautiful for it.
Thank you so much for reading guys – I hope you’re all well, and I look forward to getting stuck back in to the whole blogging thing!
Have a lovely day.