Living in Kansas City as a college student and young adult, God gave me the best group of friends. We all met at church and we hung out together, graduated together (well, not literally, as we went to different colleges), experienced our first "real" jobs together, grew in our Christian walk together, some of us got married, some even had children during that time. And some of us, including myself, moved to other parts of the country. As we moved, we did so knowing we had the best group of friends that thought of us, prayed for us and supported us in our new journeys.
Over the years, we've not kept in touch well. Which, in my case, is almost shameful as one of these great friends lives only an hour or so away from me. We both admit to being quite poor at keeping in touch. :)
As I've grown older and experienced many life changes -- dating, marriage, children, jobs, etc -- I've learned that friendships sometimes are harder to make as we grow older. And, many times, are different. In many cases, friends you have as a couple are different than friends when you are single and so on. And, quite honestly, I've mourned that fact over the last couple of years. I have many friends, but none like those dear friends from my young adulthood.
A month or so ago, I was bemoaning this fact to my husband. He gently reminded me of all the friends I do have and how special each one is, but I wanted that "special" friendship. In that moment, I wanted what I wanted and nothing he could say made me feel any better.
The next weekend I dug my cell phone out from where it is usually buried deep in my purse and found a message left by the friend I mentioned earlier that only lives about an hour away. Carla had left a message to let me know that another friend from this same group was coming to town in a few weeks and would I be around to be spend some time together? Would I be around??!! You bet... no matter what!
As they pulled into our driveway last Saturday, it was like there had been no time since we had last seen each other. I hadn't seen Carla in almost two years and Betty I hadn't seen in 12 years. It was if those years didn't exist.
As the three of us, along with my husband and children and Betty's newly adopted son, sat around and talked and laughed and shared and laughed some more, God gently reminded that I DID have special, dear friends. I already had the friendships that I had been asking God for over the last few years.
What I needed to do was to BE a friend and keep in touch. I live in a large metropolitan area where a one hour drive is nothing. Why am I not spending more time with Carla that lives that distance from me? Betty lives in another state, but in this age of technology how hard is it to pick up a phone, type an email, or send a text message?
So, this week, I am thankful for wonderful and dear friends that are with me where ever I go. They may not be physically nearby or a part of my daily life, but they are there and I need to protect those friendships, nurture them and not let them slip away.
I'm also thankful for such a sweet reminder from God that He has already answered my prayer and did so many years ago when I was first setting out on my own. He gave me a very, very special gift in this group of friends. Friends that I found I am as close to today as we were when we first met over 20 years ago.
What are you thankful for today? Join us in sharing our thanksgivings this week by visiting Iris at "Grace Alone.... ".