Why We Need the Encouragement of Friends

Two journeys – one in a foreign country and one on familiar terrain. Is it more important to have the encouragement of friends when life forces us out of our comfort zones? When do our friends become indispensable? Read below for one example:

During my travels to Minsk, I had traveling companions, so the delay and return to Frankfurt became a fun adventure: getting lost in the Frankfurt airport, dragging heavy luggage, puzzling over our dinner, waiting in long lines at customs.

We shared the challenges and laughed together when we overcame obstacles.Xmas pic

If I had traveled alone, I would have been overwhelmed by the vastness of the airport, the heaviness of my luggage, the loneliness of waiting and the strangeness of the languages.

If I had traveled alone, I would have had no one to share the challenges and no one to cheer me on. The company of others made the difficulties less intimidating.

Conversely, on my flight to Little Rock, I traveled by myself. But this flight was easy. I knew the airport and the language, and I carried only a small bag. It was okay to be alone.

If I missed a flight or was delayed, I could easily return to Kansas City. I could handle this one by myself. I didn’t need the support of traveling companions to conquer the familiar.

As I travel through life, the fellowship and encouragement of friends is so important. The more ominous the ride, the more I need friends.

Every day events and tasks are similar to my trip to Little Rock. They’re more fun when accompanied by a friend, but a companion is not essential.

It’s different during periods of personal turbulence. It’s impossible to manage these times alone. Friends are indispensable for my survival.

When have you needed that indispensable encouragement only friends can bring?

2013 Deborah Simon, Executive Director
GateWay of Hope Ministries – The Helping Place for Hurting Women