Last week I had breakfast with my friend, Arlene. We get together once a month and go to our favorite haunt, where we share breakfast, coffee, and friendship. We talk and laugh, sometimes cry, and pray. Then we talk, and laugh some more. The lunch crowd is usually beginning to arrive by the time we leave! It’s not easy for us to get together, as we have different work schedules, and other demands on our time. But, because we are friends, we have purposefully set this time aside to be with each other.
Another friend, Karen, and I get together at least twice a month to share our love of scrapbooking and card making. We share ideas, inspiration, and laugh, a lot! We share our hopes and dreams, and encourage each other. Again, making the time to do this together is a challenge at times, but we make it work, because it is important to our friendship.
Yet another friend, Sylvia, and I see each other frequently, as our husbands are also friends, and we get together often to socialize and play games at either their home or ours. We have known Sylvia and Richard for over 27 years. Sylvia and I have a special bond, and I cannot imagine these past almost three decades without them in our lives! We have been there through each others' ups and downs, through child-rearing, special occasions, sadness, and joy. We’ve supported each other’s choices and decisions, and helped each other through crises. Our friendship brings us both much joy.
My friend, Linda, and I like to go to the movies, and sometimes out to lunch or dinner, about once a month. We also socialize with Linda and her husband, Bob, having been friends with them for over 30 years. Linda was the first friend I made when I married my husband almost 33 years ago and moved to Rochester from Marcy, New York. She and I worked at the YMCA corporate offices together, and became fast friends. We, too, raised our families together, sharing joys and sorrows, hopes and dreams, often talking till late into the night about our plans and hopes. For me, Linda has been my rock, and a dear, special joy in my life.
I share other experiences and times with several other friends, as well, albeit not as frequently as the above. Distance (other cities and states), family obligations, and other circumstances keep us from getting together as often as we would like. We do, however, talk with each other, and keep in touch via telephone and email.
I have been thinking about how important my friends are to me. I believe friends are special people whom God brings into our lives. Sometimes a friend is for a season, and then is gone. Sometimes they are deeper friends, and stay with us for the long haul. Each one touches our lives in their own special way, leaving their unique imprint on our life story. We, in turn, leave our imprint on their lives. This is no trivial thing, if we are to believe, as I do, that people come into our lives for a reason. Sometimes the reason is really evident, as in the case of those friends who are in it for the long haul. Other times, the reason someone touched our lives briefly may not be known to us for a long time, sometimes never. Perhaps it is we who imparted something to them. It is not for us to know. I do believe, however, that it is all in God’s plan.
God uses us, and He uses our friends, to bring us, and them, special blessings. He never leaves us alone, as He is always with us. I believe our friends are given to us, chosen by Him, to be a reminder of His presence in our lives. I truly appreciate every one of these special people God has put in my life.
I resolve to try to be a better friend this year. I will take time from my busy life to be with them, to confirm our friendship through our time together. I will pray for them, and thank God for the gift of love He has given me through them.
Thank you, Lord, for those special people you have placed in my life. Thank you for those angels I call “friends,”and help me to be a blessing to them, as they are to me.