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September 12, 2023

The Imperfect Story of Us - Day 7 of #imperfect10

By Angela Beeler

Catherine, Emily, and I have been friends for over a decade. In that decade, each of our lives have gone through major changes that collectively include:

- Graduating from college
- Getting engaged
- Getting married
- Getting divorced
- Becoming a new mom
- Becoming a grandmother
- Changing jobs
- Starting businesses
- Changing churches
- Moving to new cities
- Buying homes
- Having health scares
- Losing loved ones

In each and every season, the three of us have had to learn how to be the friend that was needed and receive the friendship that was given.

People have often complimented the strength of our friendship, and perhaps some of the compliments are rooted in intrigue. After all, it isn’t common for three friends to successfully run a business together while keeping the friendship intact. In fact, just the other day we were in a meeting with a C-suite consultant who has worked with dozens of CEOs who make 7+ figures. She’s seen it all, but she admitted that she had never seen this – three best friends and business partners. It was the highest compliment to hear her commend us for achieving a friendship so strong that it has lasted over a decade and weathered the many storms of business ownership.

But the reason that this trio works is simple: We have a unified mission that keeps our eyes (and hearts) looking up and out. We’re building something that matters – and that matters to us. All three of us desire to help people find “their people” and develop lasting friendships within their REFIT communities. You can’t tell people how to find friendship – you have to show them through the friendships you yourself have cultivated.

I don’t want to leave you with the impression that our friendship is without struggles. We have endured some very difficult seasons. One of the biggest challenges we’ve faced as friends was when we were making the decision to buy our current (and at the time, new) REFIT Studio and HQ.  It wasn’t a unilateral decision. The day we signed the dotted line on our building wasn’t a great moment in our friendship (though it was a pivotal moment for our business).  We weren’t in agreement, and let me be clear: I wasn’t in agreement. It was a moment I had to “disagree and commit,” and I’m glad I did.  That decision turned out to be the right one, and I can easily admit that I was wrong.

Here’s why this story is important:

I think many of us falsely believe that “true friendship” is easy. That arguments or differences of opinions don’t exist. That we love being together all the time and that we all enjoy the same things. That we carry the same values and believe the same ideals. For the most part, we don’t fight. We love being together. We enjoy a lot of the same things. But as with all relationships, ours is imperfect.

True friendship is filled with imperfect moments. Those moments create depth and intimacy, which creates a strong foundation for friendship. 

Every imperfect situation we’ve encountered has turned into an opportunity to create a deeper bond within our friendship. We’ve had to choose to believe the best in each other over and over again – and it’s definitely a choice. If we choose to let cynicism, assumption or disbelief set in, it creates a crack in our friendship foundation. That’s not to say we don’t have any cracks, but it is to say that anytime a crack appears – we are quick to patch it with the strongest glue we can find. What’s the “glue” we use?  That’s easy:

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control. 

The next time you experience a crack in the foundation of your friendships (or any relationship you have) be quick to find the glue to fix it. Not only will it strengthen your foundation, but it will create a new level of intimacy for the people you love loving.

I also want to take a minute to acknowledge that maybe you’re still longing for any kind of friendship – even and especially an imperfect one.  Many people are experiencing that same longing and desire for deep, meaningful relationships.  I don’t have a magic pill that can make those friendships appear, but I will say this: Be the friend you want to have. When the time is right and the person is, too, you’ll find friendship in the most unexpected place - and often with the most unexpected person. (Emily and I met Catherine at the end of a soul train, remember?)

Reflect on your imperfect friendships:

– What’s the longest friendship you’ve had?  How did you handle conflict?
– Have you ever lost a friendship? Can you identify what caused the cracks in your foundation?
– Conflict often creates intimacy. Can you think of an example where a conflict actually created a stronger bond with a friend?
– What is your “super glue”? What comes easiest to you?



| Keep Reading: Imperfect Revolutions by Angela Beeler >>