Walking Arm in Arm

I sat in the church pew with my friends — Michelle on my right and Lyla on my left — to sing the songs, eat the bread, drink the wine, pray the prayers, and listen to the message. I wanted to reach out and grab my friends’ hands, but I didn’t. Fear of freaking out my friends meant I kept my hands in my lap. Later, in the parking lot, I told them, “I almost reached out and grabbed your hands, but I didn’t want to freak you out.

“You should have,” they both told me. “It would have been fine.”

When my husband and I visited Europe, we walked down street after street, in city after city, and saw pairs of women walking arm-in-arm everywhere we looked. They walked closely and it was clear their friendships were treasures.

I said to my husband, “I’m going to do that when we get home. I’m going to walk arm-in-arm with my girlfriends.”

Friendship is a gift. I’ve learned that the hard way. Finding someone who will talk you back from the edge, encourage you to follow your dream, stay up talking until 3:00 am, eat ice cream with you — straight from the container — hear your darkest confessions without flinching, and keep showing up anyway? That’s a gift. No, a treasure.

If you’ve got one good friend, you’ve got a treasure, that’s for sure. If you’ve got more than one good friend, you have what I’ve heard called an embarrassment of riches. I want my friends to know how much I love them. I want them to know they have saved my sanity on more than one occasion. I want them to know that sometimes my heart overflows with gratitude and love for them. So I’m turning a deaf ear to the voice that tells me I might just freak out my friends if I let them know how much they mean to me. A friend loves at all times. It’s as simple as that.

Decide today to become the kind of friend who hears others’ darkest confessions without flinching. Walking together, arm in arm. A friend who loves at all times.

This message was written by Deidra Riggs and appears in A Moment to Breathe: 365 Devotions that Meet You in Your Everyday Mess, the devotional from the (in)courage community. Looking for more inspiration? Check out our Devotional Library and be sure to sign up for our e-newsletter to receive free articles, updates from our Ecard Studio as well as exclusive deals.