Saturday, December 11, 2010

A world of friends

Recently, I've had the pleasure of visiting a dear friend.  My, the years have changed us. I don't realize how much my appearance has changed until someone who hasn't seen me in a while tells me. I know Myrna was being kind in mentioning how much shorter my hair was from the last time she's seen me, and not mentioning my face looks fuller, or my tummy being rounder. She had to really look hard to recognize me.  Yes, a lot can happen in three years to a body.
This is Myrna, my friend.  She helped me through a very rough, emotional season in my life. She was volunteering as a Steven's Minister and I will never forget her making herself available on numerous occasions to compassionately listen as I vented, cried, and vented and cried some more.  I didn't think I needed that kind of help, but I set my hurt pride aside and gave this Steven's minister a try, and I found Myrna was just what I needed, God sent her to me.  She wasn't critical or pushy, just a friend who patiently listened no matter the hour, day or night. She put her own work aside, putting together a monthly local publication, to be my sounding board and caring shoulder for me to cry on when I desperately needed someone to vent my outbursts of pain and frustration while going through a divorce. She never was weary of hearing me, (or at least concealed that from me very well), as I needed to express my feelings to get past my emotional upheaval for the most part of a year.  Three years have passed since then.  I've healed, had my last cry and moved onward to better things in my life.  I learned immensely from that experience while wading through the muck and mire which I didn't want to be in, my life seemed to have turned on me and I couldn't do a thing about it... but just wait. The pain, the devastation that cut so deeply into my heart, does ease and lighten.  Each day I gradually became myself again, becoming stronger on my knees earnestly praying and trusting God for guidance, wisdom and grace. God answered my prayers quickly, because the tears that used to swell up in my eyes and pour down my face, now seem like a distant memory.  I waded  through that muck and mire to the other side, and thank God, it's good. I'm all the better and I'm just fine from the experience.  Looking back, I see God was right with me, even while I was hurting.  God has always provided everything  I've needed right on time. My shattered heart has mended (I never that it would be possible, but it has), and smiles and laughter have returned.  I had lost track of Myra for a while, and it was so nice to reconnect and visit with her.  She allowed me to take this photo of her. Seeing her that day, just before Thanksgiving, felt just like we used to visit. Only this time, both our faces had big smiles.

Look at that smile- a beautiful friend
I have many dear friends I wish I could see more often. Sadly, family, work, life, or separation of miles poses limits for keeping in touch more than I'd like.  Ah, great memories with my best-est of friends from high school, the Marines, college, my practice, and with those I've met in church.  My life is beaming with friends from every turn and chapter in my life.  Let me tell you one thing about real friends-when we meet, just as I recently met Myrna after not seeing her for three years, it's as if no years had passed at all. The only evidence that years had past is seeing how our bodies have changed. But on the inside, we still have that connection as friends. It's special and the passage of time doesn't touch that one bit with true friends. Thank God for friends who've held my hand and prayed with and for me through some pretty trying times, and the best part is they're there laughing and smiling with me in the good times. That's exactly how God is- faithful all the time. I thank Him for my world of friends.

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