My best friend is actually a neo-pagan. I bet you didn’t expect that to be the first sentence of this post, but it’s true. We met about six years ago in a summer intensive at the ballet school I attended. Back then, my faith didn’t mean much to me. I followed it pretty blindly even though I attended a Catholic school surrounded by other Catholic kids. Over the past five years, and especially in the past year, I have slowly grown closer and closer to my faith. We used to get into fights when I was first discovering my faith. He has always been incredibly smart, but also not very good at listening to different perspectives. Talking to him about my faith is like talking to a brick wall. It used to bother me a lot. I even dragged him to mass with me on one occasion. I have since realized that was not the solution to my problem, but I have also realized the importance of my faith friends.
I love all of my friends, but the ones that share my faith with me know a piece of me that can only be discovered through a shared love of God. My best friend, Allison, is one of those faith friends. When we are together, we stay up till the early morning, just talking about our faith. She is Lutheran and I am Catholic, but our Christian core is the same. We can discuss our differing ideas on what happens after we die. We can talk about how sometimes we doubt ourselves – and even Him. We can confide our deepest fears in one another because we know that the other will understand with perfect clarity. Our faith ties our souls together in a way even we can’t understand.
Our discussions make my personal faith flourish. I always walk away from our discussions with answers and even more questions. I love it. I love that in talking to someone at the same stage in their life, I can grow and swim in my faith. I love that I can confide in someone the struggles of being Catholic. I love my trust in her confidence in me. I love being able to call on her for prayers if I am in need. I love that she is always in mine because I am constantly associating her with them. Faith friends are really important. They are great for growing your faith and getting questions answered. They are perfect for making you questions parts of your faith and forcing you to search out the answers. On top of all that, they are also great for your mental heath and making you laugh so hard you pee. I highly suggest that, if you haven’t already, you start talking to kids in your youth group. Speak up when you see another person wearing a cross necklace. Mention you are Christian at lunch next week. It could change your whole life.