Journeys are all about growth as a person. Even the most uncomfortable and downright heartbreaking circumstances can lead us to a place of abundance. Several years ago, I went through the relational loss of my best friends. It was an incredibly painful process, but journeying through that loss and learning to forgive them also taught me a lot about relationships and what true friendship should look like.
And from that point on, I focused on finding my T.R.I.B.E.
T is for Trust Each Other
Trust isn’t just about telling them a secret, but trusting someone with the intimacy of your life. It’s being able to confide in someone without the fear of judgement or letting them down. It’s being able to tell that person when they’ve hurt your feelings and working through that, only to see your relationship stronger on the other side of it. Trust means that you are safe and have the confidence that this person is going to give you the encouragement and support you need, no matter what.
R is for Be Ridiculous Together
The people you’re closest to need to be the people that you can be your full and complete self around. You can safely let out your sarcastic side without them taking it personally. You can say outlandish and nerdy things and make complete fools of yourselves together. You can have conversations in Facebook Messenger made up entirely of GIFs and memes. It’s all about being able to laugh together — and at each other — in safety.
I is for Iron Sharpens Iron
Those in your TRIBE — your selection of close, intimate friends — should hold you accountable to who you want to be and who they know you can become. You should be able to help each other grow and to strengthen each other. You should be able to approach each other with kindness, love and grace and express concerns without fear of ramifications.
B is for Battle Together
Battles come in many forms. It may be something spiritual that requires you to be a prayer warrior on behalf of your friend. It may be personal, where you need to be his/her defendor. You need to walk with each other, hold each other’s hand, be a shoulder to cry on and a rock to stand on. God does not intend for us to walk alone through struggles. And there should never be guilt when sharing your struggles with that friend, even if they’re struggling too.
E is for Encourage Each Other
This is about having people in your life that always lift you up, always edify, always see the best in you. You always give each other the benefit of the doubt. You recognize one another’s hearts and believe in each other, spurring one another on to greater things.
To #LiveAbundantly means to not walk through this life alone. It’s important to find your TRIBE — those people outside of your immediate family whom you trust, can be ridiculous with, sharpen each other, battle together and encourage to the end. Focus on those attributes and you’ll find friendships that are unbreakable.