“Never abandon a friend – either yours or your father’s. When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance. It’s better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far way” ~Proverbs 27:10.
My family is divided all over the country. My oldest sister lives in West Virginia. Number two lives in Phoenix, Arizona. The baby lives in Minnesota. My parents live in Tucson, Arizona. I live in New Mexico. We are spread out far enough that if an emergency happened we would all be there for one another but travel time might cost us hours or even days. I love my family and would be at their beck and call if ever they needed me to but when my husband and I moved our family to New Mexico we knew we would be alone.
I have a lot friends that live within a few miles of their parents or siblings, so they have on-call babysitters whenever the need arises. For the past 14 years we have not had that luxury. We have had to create a secondary family built from friendship. We have spent years cultivating relationships with neighbors, co-workers, teammates, and church members. It has taken us a long time but well worth the wait. My husband and I have built a family of our own, for our kids to call auntie, uncle, and grandparents, which includes around 40 people.
In the last 14 years, of living here, we have experienced deaths, risky pregnancies, accidents, health issues, and emergency travel plans. When these situations arise fear is never present because although our biological family is not close by our spiritual family is always on-call. People have brought weeks in a row of meals, kept all of our children overnight, driven me to doctor’s appointment when I was restricted from driving, went grocery shopping for us, and even cleaned my house while I was on bed rest.
I remember when my daddy passed away. Our family decided to have his funeral here in New Mexico but that meant people were coming in from all over the country. We had around 35 people living at my house for about a week. There was a lot of chaos, noise, and sharing going on just to get things done. The amazing thing about that time was my spiritual family pulled together to feed all 35 people for the entire week. Each day my family was here members of my spiritual family would swing by with a fresh set of meals for the day. We didn’t have to order out, go shopping, or cram into a restaurant while they were visiting. My clan of 35 was instantly accepted into my spiritual family and cared for during the week of his funeral. How blessed I felt and how amazed my 35 were by the acts of love they were receiving by people they knew as strangers.
My best advice to give to a young lady, engaged woman, newlywed, or mama is to cultivate and nurture the relationships God places in your path. These ladies that he presents to you will become your sisters, aunts, moms, and grandmothers. They will feed your husband and kids when you are out of town. These ladies will love your babies as though they were their own. You will receive wisdom and understanding from their hearts. The will love you enough to stand up for you when someone comes against you and stand up to you when they see you are in need of wise counsel.
You may not see these attributes for months or even years but NEVER ABANDON A FRIEND! There will be a day when the work you put into developing the friendship no longer feels like work but a joyful act of love towards your sister. I am grateful for all the sisters I have created because I know I can count on them.
Not Yet But Getting There! (www.notyetproverbs31.com)
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