Friday, March 17, 2017

Blessed by Friendship

I am linking up for Five Minute Friday.  The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today's prompt is "friend.". I love spending time with this crew. They bless me beyond words. We'd love to have you join us.  Just hop onto Twitter on Thursday evenings and follow the #fmfparty. Hope to see you there! 

May God give you for every storm, a rainbow.  
For every tear, a smile.
For every care, a promise
And a blessing in each trial. 
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song, 
And an answer for each prayer." (I just had to share this Irish prayer for today. It's so true) 

I was a kid that was picked on and teased so making friends was hard. I will never forget the day I met my best friend Mandy. She had been held back a few years because she had a kidney transplant. We grew up together. Her grandma and my mom good friends. I remember flying home for Mandy's wedding and standing next to her as she married her best friend. I also remember deeply the day my phone rang and Mandy's mom shared with me that Mandy had passed away. A piece of my heart taken with her.

Mandy was one of my first really close friends. I went off to college and began starring in plays where I made new friends. We shared in the joys and sadness of the characters we immersed ourselves in. One day our friend Chewy brought each of the girls a rose. It was an act of kindness. A few years later, Chewy moved away. And within months, we learned that he had taken his own life. A loss of another friend. 

At seminary, I made new friends too. These were people who understand the pain and agony of getting through these hard classes. We stood with each other on our days of ordination and consecration. We wiped each others tears. We prayed for one another. And even today, as the miles separate us, we still lift each other up in life's joys and sorrows and pray for one another.*

Meeting online friends is such a joy filled moment too. My sister and I rode down the elevator at the hotel. I Dane around the corner to find Val and Janel standing there. The moment Val spotted me she ran to me and embraced me in a hug that I'll never forget. The four of us drove to a restaurant where we did indeed break bread together. That week, Jen, my sister and I did too. Sitting at a restaurant with complete strangers, gathered at a table, where we would soon be served family style. A memory forever engrained in my heart and soul. 

Losing friends is never easy, but friendship prepares our hearts to love. I wouldn't be who I am without these friendships in my life. Friendships that remind me what life is about--joy, love, laughter, being together in the pain etc. I am so grateful for the ways that God has blessed my life with friends in this world--those in real life, those online etc. I cannot wait for the day that we all sit and break bread together. 

The truth is that "friends are friends forever if the Lord's the Lord of them (some old school Point of Grace lyrics)." God indeed provides faithful friends who are with us; sometimes those friends are for a season, or for a lifetime. 

Love you all dear friends!

*Where my five minutes ended, I just had to keep writing.

32 comments:

  1. These are such great words about friendship. I smiled and thanked God when I saw that I was friends with my Five Minute Friday neighbor this week. I now think I am going to look up that Point of Grace song on Youtube. :-) I hope you have a lovely weekend! Blessings, Jolene

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    1. I think that might be Michael W. Smith who wrote Friends (like 1986)? My mom had a hot pink sweatshirt with the album on it. :) Such a great song!

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    2. Jolene, Hope you had a lovely weekend. Mine was nice. Blessings to you too!

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    3. Christina, it is Point of Grace. The song is titled "Circle of Friends." We used it for a video my senior year of seminary. :)

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  2. I love your post, Tara. That Irish prayer is very touching. I was struck by your statement, "friendship prepares our hearts to love." It is such a gift not just to be able to receive love in the context of our relationships, but to give it. I was thinking how Jesus himself says there is no greater love than to give our lives for our friends. That's a high calling but Jesus has shown us the way. Thanks so much for writing today.

    Jeannie (your next-door neighbour at #34 in the linkup)

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    1. Thanks Jeannie! I love that Irish prayer too. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Nothing not to like in this post; however, several sad parts. And, the song? I remember it well!!!

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    1. Yes true some sad parts but they are part of the story! :)

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  4. Tara, what a beautiful gift friendship is. I can relate to being teased and then finding those that you finally feel that connection with in a meaningful way. Sorry for your losses over the years. Yes, friends are friends forever when He's the Lord of them and thankfully, He is the best friend of all!

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  5. Friendships take us on some unexpected journeys, happy and sad. Thanks for sharing some of yours.

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  6. I love your journey with friendship written out here so eloquently, Tara. What a gift to chronicle the loss and sweet finding of new friends who see you through.

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  7. Even the friendships that end too soon are so enriching. It's such a reminder to take the time to cherish each of the different qualities our friends bring to us.

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  8. Our friendships definitely have a huge impact, for good or for bad. There is something special about sharing together, both in the laughter and the tears.

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  9. Thank you for the Irish blessing! Your words are so true: "I wouldn't be who I am without these friendships in my life." I'm reminded of Proverbs 12:26, "The righteous should choose his friends carefully..." Stopping by from FMF #42

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  10. What an awesome post, Tara. :-)

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  11. Tara, I weep with your losses, but rejoice in your faith, hope, and friendship.

    And I LOVE the prayer!

    Erin go bragh!

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  12. Ah yes... Friends are friends forever, if the Lord's the lord of them!

    Amen and Amen! xoxo
    ~K~

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  13. So thankful for my friends near me and the online ones, too! Glad to call you my friend, Tara! Blessings to you!

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    1. Glad to call you my friend too! Blessings to you too!

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  14. <3 Love that song! And love the sharing of friendships. Sending love. #FMF

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    1. :) Sending love back to you too!

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  15. Tara,
    how beautiful. Our posts have such similar threads. :) Someday, you and I will get to share one of those amazing hugs! Until then, my friend, know how dear you are to my heart. You have loved me though you have not met me, and it has affirmed me to my very soul.
    Love,
    Tammy
    (#48 this week)

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    1. Yes they do have similar threads. Yes we will someday. I am so glad that my friendship has affirmed your very soul. Love you too!

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