One of my greatest joys has been the friendships God has unexpectedly placed in my life. When I think of how God has orchestrated those friendships, I am always overwhelmed with gratitude.
The first eight years of our marriage were constant change and upheaval. We moved every two years with my husband's work. Our first move was to Lansing, MI, with a 6 week old baby; we had no family within 8 hours and no friends. I was desperately lonely, post-partum, and prayed for a friend. The Lord unexpectedly answered that prayer on top of a mountain in Estes Park, CO, by sending Mike and Amy. They looked familiar to us, and we all realized that we went to the same church in Lansing. We agreed that we were meant to be friends!
Then there was Sara in Lansing who prayed for a friend and found me! On our first outing, we were in a parking lot and a shopping cart smacked hard into my car. With her by my side, I looked around for the culprit, saw a guy, and yelled, "HEY! Was that your cart?!" Indignatanly he looked at me and yelled back, "NO!" Sara was like--let's get into the car NOW! Bless her, she had no idea what she was in for with this crazy 25 year old, no filter me!
One of my favorite God-appointed friendships was about 11 years ago on Hilton Head Island. Our daughter made a friend on the beach and introduced us to the family. We had so much in common--they were fun and crazy just like us. In fact, we met each other at the beach for four years; they've driven from Ohio to both of our sons' weddings; and their daughter lived with us while interning in Nashville. It's beautiful how our hearts are intertwined.
Throughout our moves from Illinois, to Michigan, to Kentucky, to Tennessee, I've seen the faithfulness of the Lord. I now have a friend group fondly called "Fight Club." The four of us get together once a month for dinner and an opportunity to just do life: "laugh til we cry; cry til we pray." We have rejoiced and mourned together. Isn't that friendship is all about?
Social media has given us the false notion that we really have hundreds of "friends," yet we're more lonely now than we've ever been. Why is that??! Perhaps because it's easier to put a thumbs up on someone's Facebook post than it is to spend the time & "get dirty" with real relationships. But oh the rewards of true friendships!! They're hard work but so worth it when we take the time to nourish deep friendships, allow our schedules to be interrupted by unexpected visits, and walk through life with those special people.
As I reflect on friendships, I can't help being reminded of all of you who've blessed us with your friendships and invited us into your lives. We don't take that blessing for granted. We love our conversations with you and write down how we can pray for you. You are precious to us, and we are thankful for you. You make unloading Christmas boxes in 100 degree weather worth it!
Til next time,
This blog is dedicated to my friends who have loved me over the years in spite of my crazy self! Thanks Annie, Sara, Amy, Rhonda, Dawn, Sarajane, Kelly, Christy, Brooke, and Tina! I'm a better person because of you!