I have many acquaintances, and quite a few friends, but there are only a handful that I consider my “best” friends. These are friends with whom there are no pretenses, no trying to impress or outdo one another. Friends who have seen me at my worst–and who still love and accept me.

On Tuesday nights I get together with a couple of my best friends. We take turns playing hostess, with the hostess providing the meal. We dress in what we affectionately refer to as “frumpwear”, put our hair up, sometimes take off our makeup, and enjoy a casual evening. Our dogs play together as we eat, talk, vent, whine, and pray. Our outward appearances reflect our inner states of mind–after long days of work, of having to often be on our best behavior and bite our tongues, we are able to unwind and be real with each other. That is a tremendous blessing.

My boyfriend is another one of my best friends. We were friends for five years before we started dating, so we’ve had ample opportunity to see each other at our best and worst. Granted, I tend to dress a little nicer and a lot less frumpy when I see him (after all, men ARE still visual creatures!), but I know that I can be totally myself with him and that he loves me because of, and sometimes in spite of, that. He’s seen me with a runny nose and fever, he’s seen me bawl my eyes out, he’s seen me cranky and whiny and stressed out. And yes, he’s seen me in much more favorable situations as well. But the bottom line is that there’s no need for either of us to try to impress the other or to try to be something we’re not. Again, a tremendous blessing.

I think that this idea of best friends being able to be real with one another is a universal one, and I believe that it started with God. We are called many things in relation to God–His children, His sheep, His bride–but one of the dearest, in my opinion, is that we are called His friends.

I don’t think this refers to casual, “How are you doing?” “Fine, how are you?” friends. I think this is more along the lines of get down and dirty, throw on your frumpwear, call me at 3:00 in the morning if you need to kind of friendship. The kind of friendship where we can be real before God and know that He loves and accepts us no matter what.

Some of the most meaningful prayer times I’ve experienced have been when I let go of any pretense and allow myself to vent my full frustration, fears, sadness, or whatever other junk I’m feeling. I don’t have to “dress up” my prayers; I can let it all hang out–the good, the bad, and the ugly.

How thankful I am that God is the best kind of friend to have!