Guest writer feature: Jake Atkins

I'm hoping for this guest writer deal to be a growing trend here.  Big thanks to Jake--show him some love and respond to the post, and check him out at his site.

Best Friend 2.0

by jake atkins

What is it about that friend you had in college?  You know, the one that would connect with you so well.  How they would know what you were going to say before you even try to form the words.  The friend that has seen you journey through your best and worst times in life.

I've had a few friends in my life that are simply amazing.  Period.  Especially through the college years, we all tend to find a few select people that we let in closer than anyone else because, well, they just get us.

After moving to Seattle over two years ago, I spent the first few months trying to settle into things.  Meet new people.  Find a good faith community.  Apply for promising job opportunities.  But after those first few months had passed, I began asking myself why I hadn't found a new best friend yet.  Someone who clicked the same way that last best friend did.  Someone who met those same needs.  Someone who provided the same support and insight for my life.

What I've begun to realize is this:  I may never find a Seattle version of my old best friend.  I've subconsciously attempted to fit people in my current life into that former friend's role. When it wouldn't work, I would continue my search.  It's been like trying to find a good Philly cheesesteak in a metro coffee shop.

To try to fit a new friend into that old role is an injustice to your new friend.

In the back of my mind, I've been constantly comparing my current friends and relationships to those of my east coast past.  And I see others doing this as well.  There is a common search that I think we all go through after major life-changes.

"_____ just doesn't quite get me in the _____ area of my life like _____ used to."

I have to learn to accept that the people I have relationships with, through the various seasons of my life, will always be unique, different, and have something new to offer.  Not just the version 2.0 of the old.  By placing so much emphasis on the need that isn't being met, I've come to see how much I can be unappreciative, and even unaware, of what my current friends do bring to my life.  You miss the gift being offered.

God always has new things to show us.  During different times in our life, we have new and different needs.  New people in our lives are usually the simplest way God can show us those new things.

I'm finding most friends are irreplaceable and simply can't be duplicated by someone else three-thousand miles away.  My advice: Stop looking for your old friends in a new setting.  Begin to embrace and accept your new friends for exactly who they are in your current life.  Then your eyes will begin to open to who they are to you, not who they are not to you.