I am one of those lucky people who seems to have friendships that never end. My bridesmaids were nearly all women I’d known and been close with for the better part of a decade, if not longer. And we are all still friends.

L-R: Ingrid, Holly, Jen, Ica, Rachel and Jazzy. [Photo credit: Sara Tafoya Photography]

L-R: Ingrid, Holly (my sister), Jen, Ica, Rachel and Jazzy. [Photo credit: Sara Tafoya Photography]

I met Jazzy on the playground when we were 12. My cousin, Jen, helped me leave the party scene and (try to) stay on the straight and narrow the summer before I turned 17. I met Rachel in high school, and Ica in youth group. Ingrid was my newest, college friend, but by my wedding, we already had a few years behind us.

Each of these friends in their own way grounded and stabilized me. I could look into my past and see how each of these women helped shape and define me, dreamed with me about our future husbands and lives, splashed my canvas with creativity and fun, and helped deepen my love for God, giving me someone to walk life with.

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These friendships are foundational for me. In many ways, they are the launch pad of my life, the shoulders I stand on. They know the old me, the historic Sarah who changed her major at least three times and finally pulled the last major out of a cereal bowl in indecisive desperation. They knew what I looked like after too much to drink, they talked me out of bad relationships and consoled me when I couldn’t make people think I was cool. We shared wardrobes and bad ideas, midnight road trips and slumber parties.

They know me well. But in many ways, they know the old me best.

I am so thankful for these friends who are still integral in my life, but I also needed friends who didn’t just know my past. I needed friends who could see my future.

During the past two years, I’ve developed friendships with two women who have been brave enough to believe in me in an unprecedented way. They don’t just know I’m a writer – they read my blog regularly. They tell me they know I’m going to make it, that I will be an author some day. They tell me God wants me to write, that my “words will set the word on fire”.

These friends know little about my past, but they see the future me. They know the today-me struggles with discipline and self-doubt. They know sometimes I get writer’s block. They see my insecurity. And yet, they believe in me. They remind me of the God-breathed, Spirit-enhanced version of me.

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And I can see this in them as well. In these friendships without years of history, we only have a short collection of months to go on. But in getting to know each other, we are intentional to listen in to heaven and see what God says about the other, to not let one another dwell in the painful present but to call out the gifts and destiny in each woman.

No one friendship is better than the other. I need all these women. I need all these friendships. I need the foundational, grounding voices, the ones who know my past. And I need the friends with binoculars who know that what I only dream about is really my future history.

I am so thankful for the effortless friendships of the women who’ve known me in every season. And I am grateful for my new friends with their confident, reassuring voices of what’s to come.

As I write, I remember the importance of aiming my eyes toward the future for all my friends, no matter how long I’ve known them. We all need someone to see the giant in us when we feel next to invisible.

We will always need shoulders to stand on and eyes to see the future we are afraid to dream of for ourselves.

So let’s be intentional to nurture all our relationships, the old and the new. We can’t neglect any of them.

Do you have both kinds of friends? What can you do to cultivate these friendships in your life? Tell me in the Comments below.

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