Wednesday, September 7, 2016

That kind of friend...

"Walking with a friend in the dark is better then walking alone in the light" 
 - Helen Kellar 

I've been in one of those darker brooding times where I contemplate life and all that entails. 
As I sit looking I see a mix of joy and sadness.
But sometimes, it seems, the sadness and big world of pain seems to overshadow the good.
Why is that?  
We are surrounded by more people and conveniences then ever and yet studies show we are more lonely then ever.
In my smallish bubble view, I wonder if truly caring and genuine friendship could be part of the answer.
We are selfish.
Scratch that.
I am selfish. 
Utterly completely 100% selfish.  S-E-L-F-I-S-H. 
It sounds so ugly when you spell it out. But that's what it boils down to. 
I was busy having a full fledged, complete with the "I'm even mad at the cute little kitty" attitude,  all out pity party for my self today. 
Get it?  
I was all absorbed in what all was wrong with my little orb, my space in life.  As I sat there, grumpy as ever I remembered the gratitude sermon I've been preaching...."There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for..."  
Yeah. Uh huh. 
Maybe in some people's perfect little lives that can be possible. 
But in mine?!   
My daughter is in heaven.  (in case you haven't figured it out yet that seems to be my biggest gripe/question for God and my handle for the grumps). 
 As I sat staring, my eyes were drawn to the tiny little bouquet of zinnias on my counter. 
 Lexi picked them for me and as she handed them to me she said "I love you mom!"  That's big from a kid that has been pretty non vocal about feelings and emotions.
And twice today my son came with his hugs and the declaration "You know what my favorite time of the day is mom? This hug..." 
So I do have some pretty big things I can count as God's showers of blessing...Come on focus.

A while back I took a giant leap and joined a bible study with a bunch of women I did not know. Yes, this social bug does have a few relational qualms. These women were an answer to prayer that I started praying after reading some of Jen Hatmaker's concepts in "For the Love". 
These women have truly taught me about friendship.  
We are all different with very different struggles. 
We are different ages. Single. Married. Some jabber. Some stuff. We represent different denominational backgrounds.  **GASP**!  
But we have so very much more in common. 
We are safety for the tough stuff. 
We are comfort in the tears and oh yeah we spend time howling with laughter too. 
And eating of course.  
They have taught me how to face tough situations with strength and resolve that is rooted and grounded in biblical principals. 
In them I gain perspective.  
Walking with them, I have learned in deeper ways how to look for the purpose in the pain. 
My eyes have been made more aware and tuned in to pain in others tho I still have a longgg way to go in this. 
And you bet your buttons,  I totally get the difference their unconditional love and friendship have made in my life. 
Are we perfect? 
We aren't necessarily bosom buddies or the kind of girls that have to chat every day.
But friendship like this is rare and precious and has value, so much value and added depth for life.
So back to the pain and loneliness,..
What if, instead of spending time snarling about how we perceive someone and their actions, we spent that time obeying God's calls to our souls to be kind?  Simple kindness goes a long way...
We don't know the journey many are on.  So we are not qualified to judge their pain.
What if, instead of staying put in our "sides" and view points on the trivial stuff we made more of an effort to spend time getting to know those who may have opposite views then we do?
My current journey has been public.  You've heard me wine and complain, celebrate and bemoan.  
And with this being my daughter in heaven's birthday month, the emotions run high and exhaustion overtakes me in surprising ways.  Grief is such hard work.  But I remain challenged by others who have shown me the depth of the father's love in how they have walked with me in the most unpleasant of states.
I want to be that kind of friend.