Sunday, July 22, 2012
This is part of a series on Stones of Remembrance as I remember the hand of God in my life.
I have been richly blessed with the gift of friendship in my life.
I am a classic introvert and I was never one to have a large group of friends, but I don't ever recall feeling unwanted and without even one friend to call my own. I realize that not everyone gets that experience and I am thankful for this blessing.
There have been many friends that have been there for times and seasons and then we drifted naturally apart. This is natural. I'm grateful for those early childhood friends or the coworkers and classmates who shared my life for those months or years. Others have persisted though the changes and the miles. I value many many friendships in my life, but today I want to honor the friendship of two women in particular who I have had the pleasure of calling a friend for almost twenty years.
I distinctly remember pushing mattresses down the basement stairs at Michele's house. We had two or three queen sized mattresses that we shoved together between the support beams on the basement floor in front of the television. The top of our super-sized bed was strewn with snacks and magazines and VHS boxes. Michele and Anna and I painted our nails while we talked about the various drama of our early teenage life and our dreams for the future. One of our favorite past times was telling each other the story of how their life would turn out. Elaborate scenarios involving Italian men we met on cruises or our future famous children. So far, no Italian husbands and no children at all for the three of us, but I don't think any of us are unhappy with the life with reality gave us.
These women are the ones I think of when I hear that quote that says, "A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you." They know who I am and who I was and who I've always wanted to be. They give me funny looks when I do something out of character while still allowing me to change. They encourage me to chase my dreams. They appreciate my perks and allow me my flaws. The relationship with them has ebbed and flowed and changed over the years, but at the end of the day, I will always make time to see them and they for me and I know that I can count on them to remind me to seek God and to be true to who He created me to be.
My friendship with these women has absolutely gone through some "growing pains." There have been tears and inter-continental arguments. I went thorugh a period where I felt like those friendships were ending. I was in college, away from them, and experiencing a host of different things that we had never talked about. My life fell outside of the context of our childhood friendship and I wasn't sure how to merge the two. I still couldn't tell anyone else how to do it, but I think we were all kind of experiencing some similar thoughts and we bumbled our way through starting awkward conversations about things that were new to our friendship. And, it worked. It grew stronger and deeper and more grace-filled.
I am immensely grateful for this friendship. For what it has taught me about unconditional love, sacrifice, flexibility, grace, forgiveness, and wisdom in when to speak and when to be silent.
This blessing from God is today's stone of remembrance.
Other Stones of Remembrance:
Scripture in My Childhood
The Church That Built Me
Ode to the Internet
When You Return: Faith Refined
Posted by Nicole at 8:19 AM