Friendship is a beautiful gift from God and something I place tremendous value on in my life. I have the most loyal, steadfast, loving, caring, fun friends in the world—and I know it’s a complete cliché to say “I don’t know what I would do without them” but like, I truly don’t.
A few months back, one of my best friends moved to Germany with her cute little fam for her husband’s job. Heather and I first became friends back in high school, then we ended up going to the same college down in southern California—where she lived in the dorm room across from mine freshmen year, the dorm room directly above mine sophomore year, the apartment right next to mine junior year, and the bed across the room from mine in the house we shared with six other girls our senior year. For the past couple years of post-grad life, she lived an hour north of me and we still got to see each other regularly—I even got to become besties with her cute little Dilly boy once he was born too (I mean c’mon, LOOK AT THAT FACE). All that to say, we’ve lived a lot of life together in our 12+ years of friendship, and she’s one of those who is more like a sister than she is a friend.
Now that Heather lives in Germany and we don’t get to see each other all the time, we’ve had to get creative to stay connected. Though it’s taken intentionality, I can honestly say we’re still just as close if not closer than the days we were living in the same zip code. That being said, I thought it’d be fun to throw together a blog post sharing some of the things we’ve been doing, for those of you who may have long-distance besties too!
At the end of every day, text each other five things you are thankful from the day—this could be a simple moment that brought you joy, an area you saw God move, something fun you got to do, etc. I love this because it helps us challenge one another to be more grateful (an area are both wanting to grow in), and it trains our minds to look for God’s goodness in our lives and to thank Him. In addition to helping us cultivate gratitude individually, it also brings us closer as friends because it gives insight into the things going on in each other’s lives that might not come up in a typical catch-up conversation. Even after so many years of friendship, it’s still cool to learn new things by hearing about each other’s happy moments day-to-day.
When something stands out to you in your time with God, share it. Sometimes this means texting each other a verse, a thought or insight, or sharing a snippet from the day’s devotional that spoke to us. Other times it means hopping on the phone to process through something one of us is learning or something we sense God doing in our lives. I love it because it’s a direct way to stay connected with the most meaningful things happening in each other’s lives, and it also allows us to know how to best pray for, or simply support each other in the things we’re learning or wrestling through. Plenty of times one of us has also needed to hear and been encouraged by whatever it is the other person shared.
Okay I know this one’s not revolutionary or anything, but it’s still important! Don’t call only when you have big news to share, pick up the phone and call here and there just because. Most of the time it helps to plan ahead for phone or FaceTime dates, but with a nine-hour time difference and busy lives, that doesn’t always work. If we waited to secure a two-hour space on the schedule, we probably wouldn’t talk. Instead, we’ve found it best to just try calling when one of us has a pocket of time—generally my drive to work or lunch break tend to be good times for both of us. Sometimes we get the voicemail but lots of other times we don’t—and even if it’s only 15 minutes here or 20 minutes there, it’s still 15 or 20 minutes more than we would have had otherwise (but okay I’m never on the phone for that short LOL).
None of these things are rigid, or things we remember to do every day by any means. But they are creative and helpful little things we can do to share our lives and stay connected with each other’s too. Have you found other fun ways to stay connected to long distance friends? Share in the comments!
Hello I’m Kaci!
I love encouraging and discipling others in the Word of God, and I really love the One it all points to: Jesus.
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Another good way is to send voice messages via text/what’s app. Just hearing the other persons voice makes a huge difference in the world.
That’s such a good one! My friend was also just telling me there’s an app where you can send video text messages. So it’s like FaceTime but texting if you both aren’t free at the same time!
I love that you and Heather have been able to stay so close.