"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

03 May 2015

Through It All

photo courtesy of the saratogahiker blog
It was a picture-perfect mid-Spring day yesterday.  The area where I was headed looked very similar to the photo above although this photo was taken just a bit east of the southern Adirondacks where I spent the better part of the afternoon yesterday.

I was meeting a long-time friend.  My dear friend and sister-in-Christ, Diane.

We reconnected about 8 years ago.  Thanks to social media and my mother,  I discovered that she was back in the hometown area where we grew up.  I live about 2 hours east of where she lives with her elderly mom.  She grew up on a farm and I used to spend time there with her and her sisters and brother.  One summer she was my "babysitter"...she watched over me and my 2 younger sisters when she was in high school and I was going into junior high.  My mom would drive us up to the farm from our village home, and we would play and swim in their pool, all day long.  I am also good friends with her younger sister Debbie, who lives in TN and we stay in touch via FB. We all like to hike and we've hiked together when Deb has come to NY in the summer months. 

Yesterday, Diane and I met for lunch as we were long overdue for a good visit.  We did some shopping first, then sat for over and hour with lunch, chatting and catching up on all the news.  We then drove a bit north to a fave ice cream spot and had such a good conversation.  Christ unites us.  I love that I can talk with her, and she with me, about the deeper things of God.  About our struggles, triumphs, fears, futures, dreams and visions for our daughters.  (She has 2 daughters who are all grown up).

And as I drove away, me to the east, and she to the west, I started thanking God for our friendship. As I looked out over the mountains and river to the left of me, and the long stretch of highway in front of me, I thought of how connected we are.  The river to the left of me flows into the northern section of my town and it continues behind me past her town all the way across the state of NY. We are connected.  Not just because of those beloved mountains and that river, and not just because  we are united in Christ due to our salvation and being a part of the family of God, but because we have a shared past.

The good.  The bad.  And all the stuff in-between.  And between her early marriage, children, a move out of state, her divorce, and move back home to my college and grad school, and bad boyfriend, and career, and marriage and children, and all that came between....we are connected.  I've listened to her as she poured out her heart regarding the loss of her beloved niece.  She's listened to me as I've poured out my heart about another friend who I've lost, not to death, but to misunderstanding.  We both have marveled at the work God has done in our lives.  The mercy of Jesus in our lives.  The shared past that includes a story still left to share with others other than our closest friends.

All of these things unite us.  Our childhood church camp weeks in the summer.
Our parents' friendship, thus our friendship. The lunches, the deep talks, the silly banter, the Bible studies, the hikes, the coffee dates.

 And yet....even though we lost touch for the early part of my marriage, that re-connection was like we had never been out of touch! After about 15 years of not seeing each other, we picked up right where we left off....except....we saw growth in each other.  Emotionally. Spiritually. And it is good.  And it is because of God, our loving, forgiving, merciful, gracious Father.

And that's how it is with friends who leave an impact on your heart.

With friends who have a shared past.  With friends who share secrets.  With friends who struggle with the same issues, and share the same triumphs after a growth or knowledge or discernment. When God unites two hearts with similar circumstances and backgrounds,  there is nothing that can break that connection.  Even if we disagree on something like theology or doctrine, we always know that we have the Word of God to stand on....to unite us....and our childhood memories.  And our adult memories......life goes on....we go on.......and we are committed to staying friends.  Diane is one of my closest friends on an emotional level...closer than any of my  biological sisters.  That is a work of God.

image courtesy of pinterest

And so I thanked God for this friendship.  Let's not take these friends for granted that He gives us to enjoy and embrace.

Doing life alone is tough.

A friend, other than a spouse, is what all women need.  It's what we often crave.

Make time for your friendships to bloom and grow.

Looking back on everything we have shared is amazing.  It's amazing to think of what we went through as young children and teens and survived with out some of the consequences that could have happened.  We attribute this to the grace of God in our lives. It can only be God.

and as I sit here on a sunny deck, on a beautiful spring Sabbath morning, I thank Him for all the friends He has brought into my life to share the journey with.  And I never want to take it for granted.....because through it all......it's our Believing friends who help us stay connected with the most important Friend of all...........


Susanne said...

What a wonderful post on the strength of a good Godly friendship. I just lost my dear friend due to a move. I miss her terribly but we're determined to stay connected through phone, txt, and other venues. And I'm praying God brings yet another good friend into my life to share this journey with.

Melanie Lopata said...

This post made me cry!! I'm so glad and thankful to God that my mom has you for a friend. I love those friendships where you don't see the person a lot but like you said, it's like you were never out of touch!! I'm glad you two had a nice time. Mom definitely needed this :)