Walking Arm in Arm
I sat in the church pew with my friends — Michelle on my right and Lyla on my left — to sing the songs, eat the bread, drink the wine, pray the prayers, and listen to the message. I wanted to reach out and grab my friends’ hands, but I didn’t. Fear of freaking out my friends meant I kept my hands in my lap. Later, in the parking lot, I told them, “I almost reached out and grabbed your hands, but I didn’t want to freak you out.”
“You should have,” they both told me. “It would have been fine.”
When my husband and I visited Europe, we walked down street after street, in city after city, and saw pairs of women walking arm-in-arm everywhere we looked. They walked closely and it was clear their friendships were treasures.
I said to my husband, “I’m going to do that when we get home. I’m going to walk arm-in-arm with my girlfriends.”
Friendship is a gift. I’ve learned that the hard way. Finding someone who will talk you back from the edge, encourage you to follow your dream, stay up talking until 3:00 am, eat ice cream with you — straight from the container — hear your darkest confessions without flinching, and keep showing up anyway? That’s a gift. No, a treasure.
If you’ve got one good friend, you’ve got a treasure, that’s for sure. If you’ve got more than one good friend, you have what I’ve heard called an embarrassment of riches. I want my friends to know how much I love them. I want them to know they have saved my sanity on more than one occasion. I want them to know that sometimes my heart overflows with gratitude and love for them. So I’m turning a deaf ear to the voice that tells me I might just freak out my friends if I let them know how much they mean to me. A friend loves at all times. It’s as simple as that.
Decide today to become the kind of friend who hears others’ darkest confessions without flinching. Walking together, arm in arm. A friend who loves at all times.
This message was written by Deidra Riggs and appears in A Moment to Breathe, a 365-day devotional from the (in)courage community on sale now at DaySpring for just $12, and available where books are sold.Leave a Comment
Kim B Smith says
Deidra, I am happy to hear you are not letting your hag in the Attic (voice inside your head) rule you any longer. I was at a blogging conference this past June and met this amazing woman, (we are friends now) we decided to have dinner and we were sat at a table where one side is a booth, cushion-soft seating and the other side of the table were chairs. The soft side looked out onto the resort property, I asked if she wanted to share the cushy side of the table with me, so we sat side by side talking eating and enjoying. I am in my later 50’s and slowing down, living life from my heart and soul. Speaking my truth from my heart being firm and factual. No more sweeping into my Hag!
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I’ve seen and witnessed that too – women (friends or mother/daughter) walking arm in arm. I think, here in the US we are so concerned about infringing upon someone else’s personal space that we hold back our gestures of love and admiration. Having a good friend means that you allow them to “infringe” on your space and they allow you to “infringe” back. You listen to one another, pray with each other, affirm each other in words and actions, so why not infringe some more, grab their arm or their hand which really says (and this is vulnerable), “I really love you. You’re special to me.” It’s hard to put yourself out there, but I think we will find, more times than not, that that hand we extend is squeezed or the arm we hold out is grasped. We ALL need each other. Deidra, virtually grabbing your hand….maybe we can start a trend??
You have said exactly what I am feeling. Thank you for expressing it in words. Thank you.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
You’re welcome Libby….lifting you in prayer right now and praying God’s blessing upon you.
I am so blessed to have met Bev through this blog. Her friendship, understanding and compassion is such a gift. I extend my hand to you. I will walk arm and arm through whatever life brings your way. Praying for you and your family is a privilege and honor. You are a perfect example of showing God’s love. Blessed to have you friendship. Kathy
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I feel the exact same way…so thankful God made our paths to cross in cyber space. You are such a blessing with your big heart filled with love and compassion for others, your wisdom, and I am so blessed by the true gift of your friendship. You’ve helped me through some dark moments and celebrated the victories and for that, I am truly grateful. YOU are a BLESSING!!
Love you sweet friend….walking arm in arm with you today….
Perfect timing as I had decided to gift my closest girlfriends in Christ journals and encourage both of them to sign up for the daily message so we could all share an amazing 2018 in Christ and fellowship.
What a wonderful message. “ decide today to be the kind of friend who hears others darkest confessions without flinching. Walking together, arm in arm. A friend loveth at all times.” I have several treasure friends and feel richly blessed. I also love to put my arm around them. I love to walk arm in arm. Sometimes I think it startles a them. I am going to do it more. Thank you.
YES!!!! In this season of life, I actually have an “embarrassment of riches” and we meet without fail for breakfast every month. It might be the only time we see each other, but thanks to technology we can keep up in between. I find the older I have gotten the free-er “I love you” rolls off my tongue for friends and I am grateful.
Mary Hood says
Deidra, I have been blessed with many girlfriends and so often my words fall short of expressing what they mean to me. I think sometimes we are afraid of real affection being misinterpreted that we keep too much distance between us. Thank you for sharing what so many are feeling.
God has richly blessed me with friends who have held me up and held me close. With my parents and my siblings all deceased, these dear ones have formed a supportive framily-a family of friends to create joy in my life. I love you ladies! Thank you, Father for these special blessings!
Terry Trubiano says
Your devotions are so inspiring but is there any way you can use a black font instead of a grey one? It is always so hard to read. Thank you!
Good morning, Deidra Riggs. I hadn’t seen my mom in 2 years, and as I was visiting her in Florida last week we spent time together window shopping. I reached out and held her hand as we walked. We both giggled and smiled as we swung our holding hands back and forth not caring what onlookers thought. My mom and I walk very different walks in life, I with the Lord, and she a different path. We love and accept one another completely and never let our differences come between us. While we talked and shared our lives with one another I was able to share my heart for Jesus wide open with her. She listened, said she understood, and also shared her faith in Jesus. It was such a blessing to be able to hold in one hand hers, and in the other Jesus’. Grace and Peace to you this Christmas season.
One of the greatest compliments or endearing comment I have ever received was from a dear dear friend. She said to me, in essence, with you I can just be myself – warts and all. I know that feeling. I hope you have someone you can just be you with. Love as you want to be loved. The Bible tells us that if we want friends we must first show ourselves to be friendly.
Rashawnda Dunbar says
True friends really are treasures for which we should thank God each day. Your post is a great reminder to value those who have seen us at our best and also at our worst. Yet, regardless how “ugly” the ugly got, they stilled showed up. I thank God for my treasures, my sisters with whom I’ve weathered many of life’s storms.
God bless you and the treasures you call friends!
Oh, yes. I had an experience in my junior high school years that affected me for a long time. I was an avid reader, and a book (the title escapes me now) featured two friends who walked hand in hand. Oblivious to other cultural mores, I tried that with my best friend…um, let’s just say I realized from her reaction that wasn’t the thing to do. Never tried it again. Still won’t. I give hugs freely when I know for sure the recipient is comfortable, but beyond that, uh-uh.
Michele Morin says
Walking hand in hand – or arm in arm – is a lovely representation for what’s supposed to be happening on the spiritual level between friends of the heart. It’s sad that we have our guard up and our walls festooned with barbed wire.
Awe, this makes me smile. Friendship–such a treasure. Thanks for the reminder today. — Can’t wait to dive into this book. Trying to save it for 2018. It’s not been an easy wait. 🙂 ♥
Friendships are great and I value my female friends and certainly give them warm hugs when we meet, but if we are wives, we should be best friends with our husbands and they are the ones to whom we should turn for emotional and spiritual support! The closeness of 2 women walking arm in arm makes me feel sick and I do not see this as Biblical. WHY would we want to be like the world???? Do not be deceived.
Beth Williams says
Yes true friendship is a treasure. I have some good friends who have gone with me through trials of life. I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Why are we so scared to tell someone how we really feel. Just open up & let them know. Grab their hands, hug them whatever. We should stop being so stuffy & start being our authentic selves without any masks. God loves us just as we are-why can’t we love our friends the same way?