I have been reflecting a lot lately about friendship; what it means, who my true friends are, and how grateful I am to have them. In this day and time, so many people have forgotten the meaning of true friendship.

 As I sat here at my desk, my eyes were guided to a small, framed print which consists of a picture of a heart-shaped wreath of flowers. Hanging down from the top of the wreath are ribbons with hearts dangling at the ends. Below the picture is the message: “A friend loves at all times.” Proverbs 17:17.  This little 3 x3 print has been sitting on my desk for several months since we moved and I have to admit, it’s gathering a little dust. I’m telling you, I really felt something guiding my eyes to look at it.  I guess that maybe God is trying to tell me something? He was helping me out of a situation. I had prayed about what to write about this week and here, right in front of me, was my answer.

 Friendships, true friendships, are something to be treasured. Our friendship with God is important and should be nurtured every day. They way to do that is through prayer. One thing I learned a long time ago is that prayer doesn’t have to be something formal. It can be a simple conversation. One that you carry on with God throughout the day. You don’t have to stop what you are doing, get on your knees, bowing your head. Yes, when you have time, you can. But God just wants to know that you love Him and I’m sure it brings Him joy to know you made time for Him.

Another thing I’ve learned is that God is our one, true friend. In the Bible, we are told that God will never leave us nor forsake us. I truly believe that. Since I got saved, He’s been there for me every single day. Through my darkest days when I felt like I was in a pit, and on my brightest days when I felt like I was high upon a Mountain top. I may not always “feel” His presence, but that is where faith comes in. And the times when I do feel His presence, I get chill bumps. That’s when I know that the Holy Spirit is present. It happens in church, when I’m talking with fellow believers, when I’m singing hymns and praising His Holy name.

These days my friends list is a lot shorter than it has been in the past. I guess the older I get, the wiser I get? Haha. But I know this, a true friend is there through thick and thin, through the tough times, the broke times, through sickness, and death. One of my best friends came to my father’s funeral nearly four years ago. I hadn’t seen him in quite a while, but we go way back. We went to high school together and his mother and mine were best friends too. He came through the line at the viewing, hugged me, looked me dead in the eye and said, “If you need anything, you call me.” I saw and I felt his sincerity. And from that day forward, we have stayed in touch. We don’t’ speak every day. But we don’t need to. We text each other at least once a week, and we recently had dinner together when he passed through Lakeland.  He has been true to his word and I know if I needed him for anything, all I have to do is call.

There are a couple more people in my life I call true friends. Some I have known for over forty years and others I have met only recently, like in the last 6 months.  There are others who I feel the friendship is a little one-sided. But I know that I do what I feel led to do. And I try to follow those words written in the Bible: “A friend loves at all times.”



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Janine Beckner
Dana Janine Beckner is a local girl born in Mississippi but raised in South Georgia. She comes from a military family and believes strongly in her faith and family. A single mom of two sons….one in heaven, Derek Scott, and Joshua Taylor Colon, aged 21 years old. Her children are her life and her heart. She is also mom to six, yes six, furbabies, mostly rescues….the dogs are Gemma, Coco, and Red, the bloodhound. Then there are the kitties….Smokey, Ginger (aka..Sassy), and Milanee, (Mil-lah-nee) which is Hawaiian for “beautiful”) also known as “Spaz”. That’s a story in itself for the future. Currently, she works as a substitute teacher in the Lanier County School System, working with all grade levels, Pre-K through 12th grade. She resides in Lakeland at this time but hopes to come back home to Cook County, where she grew up, in the near future.


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