Because We Need Laughter

Friends. The Backbone of Life.

two girls with eye masks lying down

I’ve always been so glad God made me a girl. I can’t even imagine hair loss after 30 or being expected to innately handle a drill gun. But of all the reasons to love being a woman- the thrill of carrying babies, the joy of wearing boot heels, sniffling our way out of speeding tickets- the blessing I’ve been most aware of lately, is the deep kind of friendship women tend to share, because, well, methinks we need it most.

I have always been extremely grateful for the amount of wonderful women in my life, and for the level of depth I’ve been blessed to have, in my friendships. But lately it’s all I can think about, as I’ve watched not one, but three of my best friends get married, ironically all within the last month. With each last “single friend” hug before they skip down the aisle towards a new adventure, two things have come to mind: God is faithful. And friends are the treasure of life.

The level of support and love I’ve received from friends, including an amazing mother and two sisters, has been such undeniable proof of God’s faithfulness and provision for me. Like so many of us, I’ve gone through loss and a fair amount heartache , that God has been able to diffuse, soften and sustain me through, with the unfaltering support of friends.

When I think of the tough and admittedly scary things we all go through- which for me have included a very lonely and stressful former marriage – it was first Jesus, and second, friends that got me through on a daily, if not hourly basis. Even though so many of the mistakes and hardships have been self – imposed, God has been so gracious in ensuring I’ve never once experienced what it feels like to go through one ounce of sadness, fear or confusion by myself, because I’ve always had at least six dear friends, right there on the other side of the phone or doorstep, praying, checking in, and providing constant comedic relief like texting an avocado emoji during tough times because they know for reason, guac makes my heart sing. (I dunno).
Seriously though. What would we do without that friend running over after a job layoff to assure us that despite the grim appearance of reality, our future will sparkle? What would we do without that apprehensive friend instantly cyber stalking that guy we just met with the “tasteful” neck tattoo, and consequently vowing to commence all shoe borrowing if you actually date him? How could we make it without those rare best friends who feel no moral conflict when staring straight into our eyes reassuring us the skirt’s just tight because European brands run small, and that first gray hair is surely just a strange side effect of switching vitamins.

And for those of us a bit farther along in life, our friendships only become more beautiful and meaningful, as we journey alongside each other through relationships, marriages, motherhood, and the painful things like divorce, health crisis and general life hardships. There’s something about looking back at decades of a friendship that began dancing around the room after scoring our first job, post-college  to holding each other’s babies, in mutual reassurance we’ll be stellar moms despite the fact that we can’t keep a cactus alive. We’ve celebrated the joys of decorating our first houses without our mother’s help, and prayed each other through bouts of anxiety and sadness, when lies and fear are thrown our way.
Truly. Friends are the backbone of life.

So it was these kinds of thoughts and memories swirling through my head, as I watched my best friend, and soul sister Lindsay strut down that aisle towards a grand new chapter, and frankly, I thought I’d do better. I had a year to emotionally prepare, but it took everything sans horse tranquilizers to remain composed.
I never like to compare or rate the level of closeness to any friend, because each add different blessings and strengths to our life, but I do believe certain relationships are hand crafted by God because he knew we’d need each other in a special ways. For Linds and I, the bond goes way beyond cousinhood, sharing the same love of sarcasm and suffering from the same procrastination disorder that leaves us paying triple for overnight shipping because we still can’t manage to “adult” well enough to run in the post office we pass daily. It’s of course so comforting to have friends who always understand, and never judge when witnessing you use unopened bill notices to paint your toes, or receive your birthday card a solid month late and doesn’t blink an eye when you’ve killed your fourth house plant, in a month.
But it goes so much deeper. I believe God knew we would both lose our dads at the same young age, and need the extra strength, comfort and security of each other, which has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. Linds has the rock of my life, and a never ending source of comfort and laughter.

Cheers to the gift of friendship, and cheers to you, Linds. God knew what he was doing…couldn’t have made it a day, without you.


Jessica Kastner is an award-winning journalist, author and contributor to the Christian Broadcasting Network, Huff Post, God TV, Beliefnet, Crosswalk and many more. When she's not burning dinner, daydreaming about the beach, she can be found on the trampoline with her copious amount of children, wishing she'd ordered the turbo shot.

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