I am a firm believer in the saying "choose your friends wisely". Some people only want to use you to make themselves feel better instead of a mutual sharing of each others problems and being there when it counts. Friends are a crucial part of a stable journey in this world. They are for me at least.

Throughout my life, I have had many "friends", but there are only a few that I can truly count on to be there for me and I for them. Others have come and gone, only being there for a brief moment in my life. Which is not a bad thing, but what a blessing it is to have a real friend who is as close as a brother. It's also very rare.

I remember when I was in the hospital the second time for a manic episode. Every single one of my friends who I was hanging out with at the time showed up. This was a huge blessing from God, and it blew me away. I cannot imagine going through that without knowing that someone cared about me and was willing to be there when I was at my worst.

Now, while I love everyone who was there for me, some of those who came to see me have come and gone. It's not a matter of leaving on bad terms, sometimes people drift apart because, well, that's just life. We all have different directions we go, and that can't be avoided.

That being said, I have one friend who I have been really close to through most of my life. He has been as close as a brother. We still spend time with each other often and are there when we need prayer, advice, a hug, or sometimes just a listening ear. We have been really close for a long time. Now there are others who I have been close to like this, and I would never say that they now mean nothing to me, those individuals have their lives and we can't be together like we used to be. And that's OK. They are still a blessing to me.

So, as I mentioned, choose your friends wisely. Pick those who don't only take from you, but are also willing to be there when you need a helping hand. Avoid toxic people who only bring drama and never have a positive or encouraging thing to say. Pick a friend who is willing to help bear the weight, and be a friend who can return the favor, no matter what. I can't count the number of times I have felt broken and talking to God just wasn't enough, and the only one who seemed to understand was a friend. Now clearly no person can do for us what Jesus can. Though a friend might help bear the weight, Jesus offers to take our burdens and give rest. But friends can still be a huge asset, and a good one is hard to find.