It was almost 31 years ago. Really? Where has the time gone?
We met because of our husbands work. Oh all right, YES it was in Young Life. But that's not why we have stayed friends. We spent a month together, mostly without our husbands around, and we got to know each other.
It was uncanny how much of our lives intersected. How similar our backgrounds were, how we shared some of the same "sins". Those things that you don't really want others to know, but somehow feel "safe" telling a few. We bonded in a hallway and would be forever linked together through our bond in Christ.
We have shared so much together. From having and raising our children and wondering how on earth they made it to adulthood with us as their mothers, to rejoicing in the births of grandchildren
There has been joy and heartache and we have prayed for each other and our families. And we have laughed and cried together.
Somehow God helped us understand each other. She gets me and loves me in spite of who I am and I do the same for her. We have learned from our mistakes and shared deeply where God has touched us, taught us and disciplined us.
This friend is one I have gone to repeatedly over the years for prayer because I know that when I ask her to pray, she will. And then she shares her deep insightful thoughts God reveals to her and always will be honest with me.
We don't always have people who will be totally honest with us. This sweet friend is because you always get brutal honesty from her.
We haven't gone without our struggles but because of our love for Jesus and our love for each other, we have forged ahead and kept our friendship intact. We have forgiven each other and been better because of it.
So yesterday, during a very hard time of self-doubt and being attacked, I texted her and asked for prayer. Immediately she responded and I knew that she would keep praying. Oh I am so indebted to her for how she has prayed for me.
And this morning I had the privilege of having almost a 2 hour conversation with my friend where I laid my soul out and she encouraged me and affirmed me. This is what she has done faithfully to me for 31 years.
I have been incredibly blessed by her friendship for over half my life.
To me, she is so very dear and precious and I truly thank God for her.
I only hope that I can be half as good a friend to her as she is to me.
I pray that we each would be blessed with those forever type friends who rally for us, rejoice with us, cry with us and keep loving us, even amidst the pain and sin in our lives.
Truly friendship is God's gracious gift to us. THANK YOU LORD.
A friend loves at all times.