(Photo by Selma Komisky)
The Value of Mature Friendships
By Michelle Ochen
Everyone wants to have lots of friends. It brings a source of acceptance and familiarity. Middle school and high school is the prime time that relationships form. Some will continue on into college and adult years and others will fade. Certainly we need friends within our age group, but having those who have lived a little more life than us often prove to be the most impactful.
I struggled with friendships in middle school and high school. I had many verbal friends, but was often the one forgotten about by invitation when Friday nights rolled around. I usually felt out of the loop and wrestled with feeling accepted. Before you feel sad for me, let me offer the encouragement I hope will bring to you reader. My lack of quantity in relationships my age led me to seek out older mentors in my life. I connected with several ladies from my church and youth group who shaped my life in many ways. Listening to their love stories inspired me to wait for God’s leading. Listening to their knowledge on life taught me skills beyond my years. Watching their walk with Jesus inspired me to know Him more.
Having older mentors in your life may not be the same as friends, but they are people you can go to with your cares and concerns who can offer you acceptance and guidance. Many of the women I grew closer to are women I can still call today for advice about life. I only stay in touch with a few friends from middle school and high school, but I have a handful of older mentors in my life I know are only a phone call away.
Perhaps you are one like me, never feeling apart of the “in” crowd or the one who struggled to feel contemporary in friendships. Instead of seeing it as a sorrow, seek out the other, older and mature people in your life. You may of not noticed these blessings had you been too busy hanging with friends of your own age.