“Friends”

Still on my quest to conquer thirty-some years of accumulated ‘stuff,’ I came across remembrances of days that exploded with mama-emotion. Picking up the photo of my friend’s daughter who had passed away several years ago instantly caused my vision to go blurry with a flood of tears. I can remember praying for this young teenager while she lay in the hospital fighting for her life …

I was a fitness instructor and personal trainer at the time, and this precious child would frequent my classes whenever she was physically able. I can still see her smile in that large room. She smiled through her ordeal — this was extraordinary to witness, and I considered it an honor to have her spend what energy she had to workout among friends of her mom. We all cheered her on. Her bravery was unbelievable.

At one point, things had begun to turn around for her health and the cancer had paused — it wasn’t a remission, but there was no apparent further progression. It was just as if things had taken a moment to allow her and her mother to exhale. That small window of time did eventually begin to slowly close and the inevitable happened.

As I reached for the tissues and dried my eyes, I sent my friend a text — long overdue. Hoping that she had not changed her cell phone number, I prayed that my message would reach her. She responded. Ah! Sweet connection.

Fumbling through more papers, shredding away super old receipts and things, I stumbled upon yet another photograph from another dear friend. This was one taken several years ago and included herself, her oldest child (son) and her youngest child (daughter). It was a Christmas photo.

Their smiles were so warm and endearing and they stood so close to each other — you could almost feel the love that held the three of them together. Their eyes were bright and seemed full of anticipation. This tiny family had gone through so much. But you would not have suspected a thing was out of place by looking at this captured moment. It was exactly as my friend had described the interaction among them at the time.

Things have since changed and unfortunately their relationships are strained — for now. I have hope that GOD will provide the means for healing this family. There’s just something very unique and precious about them — an authenticity that resonated whenever I would encounter them. I want to shout out, “Hang in there, mama!” But I don’t want to discount the pain that she presently feels. She has always been there for me. And I want to be the same for her. Even if it means from behind the scenes in prayer.

So I sent her a text to let her know I was thinking of her. Her days are unlike mine, so I give her room to respond on her time.

Friends who do life together allow for life to happen — especially the unexpected. Whatever you are experiencing at this moment, I am praying for you. Because I love you more like a sister.

For there is no one here like him who will readily demonstrate his deep concern for you. Philippians 2:20 NET

A man can see his face in water. In the same way, a man can understand the thoughts of another man. Proverbs 27:19 EASY

Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble. Proverbs 17:17 MSG

  • Are there friends you deeply miss because your present situation has interrupted that connection? What is/are the obstacle(s) that are keeping you from reaching out?
  • Maybe there are unresolved issues between you and a dearly loved friend, that have fractured your relationship. What would happen if you stepped out in faith to rekindle that relationship?

Sometimes it’s time and growth that are needed to repair broken friendships. When two imperfect people expect perfection in a relationship, disappointment is bound to surface. Stepping back doesn’t mean stepping away forever.

I genuinely treasure my friends. Growing up, I always felt a bit awkward in the friendship department. Didn’t really understand how to acquire friends. Then I stumbled upon the fact that you have to be a friend in order to have friends.

Reading in Scripture about the people Jesus called His Friends — takes me back a few steps. At the time that they all walked the earth together, I’m sure Jesus’ Friends would forget (if they realized in the first place) that they were in the presence of GOD Himself. He was GOD with skin! Had emotions, physical feelings, enjoyed having feasts and meals with the people He loved — I’m sure that I would be scratching my head right alongside of the rest of them. When He left them, they cried and they missed Him.

I’m missing some friends of my own right now — and I’m sure that you are as well.

  • So what is stopping you from being the first to make the connection?

To all my Girlfriends out there, you know I love you to Heaven and Back! May I be the wonderful support to you that you have been to and for me throughout all these years. Here’s to you, Sister ~~

LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary

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