By Lana Moline

There are a lot of responsibilities that come with being my friend.  That is because the position doesn’t happen quickly and I take it very seriously.  A friend to me is family that we can choose.  I fully intend to have friends for a lifetime, through thick or thin.  So a friend is someone who will do the work and can weather the storm.

The definition of a friend is someone who genuinely cares and is interested in your well-being.  It is someone with whom you can share and someone who is willing to lend a hand.  A friend is simply someone is willing to walk beside you on life’s journey.  A friend’s presence is like planting flowers on your path, adding beauty and making it all just a little bit more pleasant.  A friend is someone who encourages your very best and seeks it in their own life as well.  A friend is your heart’s reflection of all the things that matter the most.

I know something about being a friend and oddly enough my lessons were learned from heartbreak.  I had a relationship were the guy was unfaithful so of course that didn’t last.  But as I listened to his reasons of how he made the decision to step outside of our (then) relationship, I accepted the fact that I had not always been piped into where he was coming from.  Now I don’t condone what he did but after it was over I was able to see the part that I played in the demise of that relationship and I didn’t want that to happen again.  So from that I learned to ask reflective questions to make sure I understand and to let whomever I speak to know that I hear you and I care.

Another hard lesson learned was when I found myself the topic of an ugly gossip infused powwow.  Turns out, I had shared some personal information with the wrong person.  She, in turn, took that information and ran with it.  From there the information was distorted and my name was dragged through the mud.  Of course the lesson with this one is obvious and going forward I became very selective about who I shared my personal information and my indicator is examining how an individual refers to him/herself, how they handle the problems in their lives and how they regard the relationships of the ones that are closest to them.  Now I pay attention to whether someone speaks positively about their family, spouse, friends and especially themselves.

I keep my list of friends very short on purpose.  Although I know tons of great people and I fellowship with most, I believe the role of friendship is a title that should be given and accepted for the long haul.  I wholeheartedly believe that God should be the center of friendships and there is a purpose in our friendships.  These relationships help us to remain on point at all times and picks us up when we need that too.  So meeting and establishing friends is something I take to God in prayer.  God is so good until He has not only blessed me with wonderful God-fearing girlfriends who know how to have a great time but He has positioned Himself as my very best friend.  My constant friendship with God allows me to see that all of my friendships with others hinges on my friendship with Him.  Every day He shows me how to love and every day I am grateful because “a friend loves at all times.”

Lana Moline is an integral part of the Blackloveandmarriage.com writing team, freelance writer and poet who lives in Ft. Worth with her three kids and husband Emile. Married 11 years, both media professionals have vowed to maintain integrity in all aspects of print and broadcast journalism.Visit her atLana Moline Speaks.