Throughout every season of my life, I have had at least one go to person, best friend, confidant. During my adult season, I have been fortunate to have several. There’s an African Proverb that says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” It essentially means that for a child to truly reach their full potential, they must have a loving and secure community supporting them. This same principle applies to believers in Christ. It truly does take a village to bring out the best in every Believer. I have been blessed with the best village a girl could ask for. While several people have sown into me over the years and contributed to me becoming the woman that God has called me to be, there has been no one who has helped me grow more than my best friend, Sherry.
I met Sherry about nine years ago at a Mommy and Me Life Group. When I first met her, I thought that we’d likely be acquaintances at best. She didn’t do anything to put this thought in my head. She just had a confident air about her that seemed to intimidate me. The more our group hung out, the more I got to know Sherry. We both had the same sarcastic sense of humor and mad dance skills. I pride myself on my quick wit, and this girl could more than pull her weight with comebacks. She was growing on me. Then she made her homemade cinnamon rolls for one of our get-togethers. With one bite, I was hooked. I’d say that the best friendships are built on sarcasm, food, and Jesus, and that’s where ours started.
There couldn’t be an odder pair than Sherry and me. I’m led by emotions and she’s more logical. I’m the type to tell you my whole life story the first time we meet and she’s the type to listen. She’s more of a Solomon and I'm definitely more David. It’s quite an unusual pairing, to say the least, but somehow God used the two of us to grow each other more than any other relationship that I’ve ever had. Proverbs 27:17 in the Amplified translation says, “As Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens (and influences) another (through discussion).” Sherry has played a huge role in sharpening my edges.
Throughout my life, I’ve always sought out approval from others. I got my worth from my achievements, Facebook likes, and friends. My worth was never in who I was in Christ. Truth be told, even though I’ve been a Christian since I was 10, I never truly knew who I was in Christ.
Sherry knows who she is in Christ. When I’d hound her about why she didn’t like a Facebook post that I tagged her in, she’d tell me that I didn’t need to get my validation through her. It needed to come from God.
One day, I told Sherry that she was my best friend. I wouldn’t say it was mutual at first, but I figured I’d win her over. Sherry would never say that she was my best friend back. When I’d ask her why, she’d ask me this one question, “Amanda, do I not show you?” She wanted me to learn that words were empty if they weren’t backed by actions. Truth be told, I never knew how to be a best friend until Sherry. She showed me that being a best friend was more than saying it. Being a best friend was showing it. Although Sherry didn’t say that she was my best friend for years, she showed me. She didn’t show me through liking my Facebook post or taking 1,000 selfies with me like I wanted. She showed me by showing up when I needed her most. When I had an emotional breakdown, it was Sherry coming to my house with a Sonic pretzel and a sweet tea. She hugged me, cried with me, and prayed with me. She reminded me who I was in Christ. She rebuked the enemy on my behalf when suicidal thoughts came into my mind and fought for me when I was too weak to fight. When the hard questions like who I’d leave my kids to if something were to happen to both my husband and me came up, she didn’t hesitate to volunteer. Our families have spent holidays together and vacationed together. She called me her sister long before she’d ever accept my BFF title.
Sherry is the only friend whom I’ve received a prophetic word about. A year ago, we were told to “keep each other.” When we got the word, I laughed and told her that now she couldn’t get rid of me since God said that she had to keep me. However, the word “keep” meant more than just to keep each other physically. It meant we were to keep each other spiritually. We are to call each other to a higher standard. The second word I got is that Sherry was my “lifer”. That means that she’s not getting out of this friendship in just one season. Sorry, not sorry. Haha!
This last year, Sherry and I went from seeing each other every other week to going more than 6 months without seeing each other. During this time, my insecurities got the best of me. I started going back to the mentality of “best friend for now”. My rejection issues reared their ugly head as I tried to put up emotional walls and shut Sherry out. I felt like she was rejecting me, so I wanted to reject her first. During this past year, we’ve had to stand on our word to keep each other which definitely hasn't been easy. We’ve had some hard conversations with tears and raised voices, but we’ve made it through. This season I pushed Sherry away and for a short time she let me. But for some reason, God wouldn’t let me. He reminded me that I was to keep her. True friendship isn’t just about keeping each other when it’s convenient. It’s about keeping each other when we don’t even like each other. True friendships aren’t led solely by emotions. This season taught me how to be loyal when I didn’t want to be. It taught me how to love wholeheartedly even though I might get hurt. This season, Sherry saw the worst of me, and she stuck around. I guess I finally know what it’s like to be a real best friend.
A friend of mine once told me that Sherry was my “Mama Best Friend” and I feel like that title fits best. There are times as a mama where you can be your kids' friend, and there are times where you have to be a mama. Of course, it’s much more fun being your kid’s friend than it is being their strict mama, but if all you focus on is being your child’s friend then they’ll never reach their full potential. With any good relationship, there has to be balance. I never like correcting my child, but I love my child too much to see them settle for less than what God has for them. Thankfully, my Mama Best Friend feels the same way about me. I’ve never had anyone call me out the way Sherry has or call me to a higher standard. I know it would have been so much easier for Sherry to just be my best friend, but God knew I needed so much more. Thankfully, for me, Sherry stepped up to the plate. There comes a time in every parent/child relationship, where the child finally realizes just how much their parent loves them. When our friendship first started, I was like I was a bratty teenager that only saw how strict their mama was. However, gradually I feel like I’m maturing into an adult that understands just how much their mom loves them. Our friendship has taught me loyalty, conflict resolution, how to get my validation from Christ, and so much more. I couldn’t be more thankful for my Mama Best Friend.