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.