The past two nights, I've enjoyed the privilege of sitting with new friends and a dear old friend.
Monday, I honked 45 times when I picked Amy up at her house. After all, it was her 45th birthday! We picked up another friend, and headed to Calhoun's on the River for a special night. All eight of us laughed loudly celebrating the gift of her life.
The funny thing is, several of these women were people I would have never pictured as potential friends just a few short years ago. Because of fear, I never would have pursued a relationship with some of these women. Sadly, I would have missed out on SO MUCH if I'd let my head lead me. Additionally, my mother sat beside me at the table in the group of friends - as another friend. What a gift! She's loved so many of my friends throughout my life. It was precious to spend the evening beside her.
Around the table, I witnessed God's gift of diversity. We are all very different, yet similar. Each one striving to follow hard after Jesus. What an encouragement to celebrate the body of Christ as we celebrated a special birthday. I cherish this gift of new friends.
Tuesday night, God gave me the gift of sitting with a college friend. We were together once after college about 10 years ago, but time has passed without face-to-face contact. Our Christmas cards sprinkle news from our families each year to one another, but beyond this, we haven't seen one another to connect.
Last night, we closed down Applebees at 1:00 am! (An extremely late night for two forty-plus-year-olds!)
Our conversation grew deeper and deeper with each passing minute. Time was short, so we didn't waste it on the non-essentials. Kathi, my friend, provided encouragement and nourishment for my heart! Over the past ten years, God has taken her on an uphill, steep, jagged, mountain hike. Not an easy road.
Yet, the Lord has comforted her in her greatest pain. After several miscarriages grieving the loss of children in the womb... After two adoptions that never materialized because the birth mothers' changed their mind at the last minute... After over ten years of waiting, hoping, praying, and yearning, God finally opened her womb for a child! What a MIRACULOUS GIFT! Doctors said it could not happen. She is now nursing this precious little one God brought into the world!
I'm thankful for true friends. Friends who reflect Christ - speaking truth, and always turning my heart to Jesus in times of trial. Friends who celebrate the work that Christ is doing and come alongside so we can all serve together. Friends who take a moment to encourage others even when their own life is hectic. Friends who will call after 10 years to say, "I'm coming to town. Can we get together?" Friends who read this blog, see a prayer request, and take the time to lift it to the throne of God before moving on.
Friends like this reflect the LOVE of Christ. I'm thankful God has blessed me with friends like
Thank you friends! You have blessed my life tremendously!
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.