Sunday, July 23, 2006

Friends

There was a time in our lives when we prayed for friends. We were so lonely and felt all alone in the world. Little did we know what would come next. Not only did God supernaturally bring us new friends but we also had people in our lives that we didn't know would come to be so dear to us.
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One such friend was a young man who was working for Mr. Potts. He started working for him almost sixteen years ago and even helped us move out-of-state, living here for almost a year helping to get the business back on it's feet after the move. Over the years, he has come to visit many times and his love of the Lord and committment to follow Him at all cost has been an inspiration to us and our children. He is only a few years younger than me, and after waiting on God for many years, he finally has a bride (as of 2 months ago). Can you imagine how valuable it is to have this man look across the table at your eighteen year old daughter and say, "God is so faithful. I wish I would have trusted him even more! He is worthy to be trusted and waited on!" They are visiting us now and what a blessing.
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Also about the time this man came into our lives, my sister, who was still single, had a few friends she ran around with. One of these friends was a single girl my age. After my sister got married (newlyweds sometimes forget others exsist) this girl became my very dear friend. She spent years coming over to my house on a weekly basis, and sometimes more often than that. Mr. Potts and I would sit up with her after the children were put to bed laughing and having deep conversations about God and life. My girls adored her. She loved them and knew them like they were her own children. She remembers the one who was a drama queen, the fiesty tom-boy, the emotional one and the one who didn't throw a fit or hardly made a noise when told she must eat her broccoli but instead used her fork to gouge the new dining room table. (It's amazing that they really don't change!) She made special decorated birthday cakes that will never be forgotten by the girls. After all of these years, even if we haven't talked for a while, we can see her or talk on the phone and it is exactly like old times. It's one of those friendships that once revisited, makes you feel as if you have never been away.
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Another old friend called me recently to get our current address in order to send a wedding invitation for their oldest daughter's wedding. These friends have an interesting story behind them. Right after we prayed for friends with the children (about thirteen years ago), we happened to stop at a garage sale. I pulled up and left the children in the van where I could see them and rummaged around. Seeing the children with me during school hours, the woman who was having the sale struck up a conversation with me about homeschooling. Turned out she also homeschooled and we ended up getting together many, many more times. After moving away we came back to visit and went to their house and after a short time of the kids getting reaquainted, they were having a grand time again.
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This "garage sale friend" was always trying to help us find a church, something we desperately wanted but couldn't find a place where we could settle in. She called me one day and told me about a woman she met in a Cracker Barrel restaurant that she swore was my soul-mate. She got her contact information and thought I might be interested in contacting her because we might be interested in their church. Well, the more she told me about this woman, she started sounding too familiar and I realized it was someone I already knew from another church that we had visited for a quite a while. We had often passed each other in the halls, remarking that we were always pregnant at the same time. I couldn't believe I knew the person this friend was telling me about. I did make the phone call and to make a long story short, we found the best friends we have ever had. Every person in our family matched with someone in their family and everyone became best friends. How many times does that happen? How many times do the women get along famously but the men don't really care for each other? This family was a perfect fit. After moving away eleven years ago, we have kept up on the phone and with visits. We are still very close (these are the movie-making friends!). After thirteen years, they are still the ones we turn to during a hard time. They are the ones we would trust our lives with and the lives of our children.
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We have other friends who are also dear to us that live about three hours away. This man was another one of Mr.Pott's employees from way back. Out of the blue he contacted us and then brought his wife and children to visit us and it was a close friendship from the beginning. We have rented beach houses together and gone back and forth visiting each other many times. I felt so honored when they were going through a difficult time with their church recently and wanted us to come visit them and be with them through it. They are planning on coming up in a couple of weeks and I so look forward to it. And we know they will be a comfort to us too!
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We have had friends who have turned against us, spread lies about us and hurt us in many ways. Those are real wounds. These old friends have been the balm that helps wounds heal. There is just such a comfort in knowing that we have such wonderful long-time friendships that have stood the test of time. These old friends give us the courage to trust again because you never know when you are forming another life-long friend and you can't form new friendships if you are nursing old wounds and are not willing to make yourself vulnerable.
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God has blessed us with old friends, new friends and a wonderful family. Truly our cup runneth over!

1 comment:

MS. FREE MIND said...

THAT WAS NICE AND I LIKE IT