Doin' It Halfway Since 1996

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus

Tag Archives: Friendship

I Have These Friends . . .

Since marrying my guy, our little family has been transient. As exciting as gypsy living is, it is also equally heart wrenching. Having lived many different places, we know many different people. This means that we’re always missing someone. It also means that we have to say goodbye, a lot.

Right now I’m on the road, mostly visiting family. But I had the lovely pleasure of visiting my good friend Renata for a few hours this afternoon. I haven’t seen her in at least two years (her blog is new, her Etsy shop darling, and her heart, amazing – take some time to check her out). I’m kicking myself that I didn’t take a picture of the two of us together today.

Over cups of coffee and tea, we shared the last two years’ history, discussed our struggles, laughted at the craziness of motherhood, and shed a few tears. We both commented at how different life looks and feels and tastes and is than we expected it might be years ago when we had more youth, more health, and freshly optimistic dreams (more on that later).

As I do whenever we visit, I left her home refreshed and encouraged. And while some of the things we discussed left both our hearts heavy, I also felt so grateful to have a friend like this in my life.

In fact, I am blessed to have many friends like this in my life, my eternal friends. Time can pass, years even, without communication. But it doesn’t matter. The friendship transcends time. An email, a phone call, an instant message session, or a face-to-face encounter is only an excuse to pick up the friendship and start right where we left off before. There is no awkwardness, no need for small talk, no weirdness. Just two friends reuniting in the love of Christ.

In these moments, I get a little taste of heaven. This fellowship in part makes me long for fellowship in its entirety.

I have these kindred spirits tucked away all over the country and world. Different in every way, God has used them to love, encourage, challenge and convict me. They’ve shared my joy, held my hands, prayed for and with me, seen me at my worst, rejoiced with me at my best. They know my secrets. They laugh at my lame jokes. They get me. They each hold a piece of my heart and play various roles in my life’s history. I can only hope that I have blessed them a fraction as much as they have blessed me. Without these people, I would not be who I am.

I am a procrastinator by nature. I don’t call nearly enough. I’m not the best at correspondence. I hope that these friends know how much I love them and care about them. I’m thankful for things like texting and iPhones and Facebook and email. Keeping up with everyone is a little easier. I don’t always do it well, but I try. And I’m never sorry when I do.

What about you? Who is that person who you need to call or email or text? Don’t wait. Shoot a message now. Set a date to have coffee, even if it has to be miles apart over skype or face time. Pick up your friendship, dust it off, and remember the joy of having a friend who knows you well.

Don’t be Afraid to Sit in the Mud

I want to tell you about my amazing friend.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a gut-wrenching post describing my depression. While my heart is always in God’s hands, while each tear I shed is counted by him, while I fully trust his refining work and redemptive power in my life (and in this instance, my depression), I also know that a divinely placed friend was a ray of light in such a dark place.

It’s very rare to find someone who loves you unconditionally. However, at just the time I needed a friend like her, God sent her.

You see, we attended the same small church for a couple of years. We sat across from each other in the pews. We shook the other’s hand on Sunday. Said our short hellos. And then respectfully returned to our seats when the hymns started.

It took us three years before we became friends. And then, that only happened because we went to Bible study together.

Then I invited her and her husband over for dinner. And the four of us (hubs and I, her and her hubs) were like, “What took us so long?” Kindred spirits we were. Immediate, intimate friends.

As we quickly grew closer, we shared our struggles and opened our hearts. While our guys played PS3 in the background, we were hashing out the hard stuff in the other room. Her story. My story. Our hearts woven into a beautiful fabric of grace that only believers can share with one another.

She saw our family at its worst. She saw me at my worst. She didn’t run away. She drew closer. She came over and cleaned my kitchen. She stopped by just because. She prayed with me. She gave me hugs. She wasn’t afraid to get down in the mud and just be with me, being covered from head to toe in the nasty, putrid, mud of the world. She NEVER stopped loving me.

I’m not a psychiatrist or an expert. I’m just someone who has lived through it. I know for me, at the time, this friend was a life line. She let me be me at my worst and still loved me.

If you know someone who suffers from depression, I’m asking you to reach out to him or her. That person will not reach for you. In fact, he or she will shrink down into themselves. Depression is an isolator. It hinders its victims from having relationship. Don’t take it personally. If you look closely at your friend or loved one you’ll realize that he or she has been taken hostage by depression.

Maybe this person just needs you to sit in the mud. Maybe they just need you to be there. To pick up the slack where they let go. To say, “I don’t care how ugly this gets, I’m here, with you, because I love you.” Don’t be afraid to get dirty, even if it’s uncomfortable. You may be the only sign of life for that person, the only offering of love.

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