She's been around for a while now. 50 years to be exact. I'm sure she'd be thrilled about my drawing attention to that fact, but since she doesn't read my blog, I can say so with impunity.
We were thrust together as neighbors who happened to go to the same church, otherwise we might never have been drawn to one another. You see, we're different. I'm outspoken and opinionated and independent and adventurous. She holds her opinions close, knows how to look to others for help, and is acrophobic. And that's just the beginning. We're very, very different.
And yet…we're very much alike. We are both devoted to loving our children and to serving Christ's church. We are both teachers and lovers of literature and good food and wine and music. She has expanded my horizons in all of those shared loves. Above all, the foundational commitments of our hearts are the same and that ultimately led us to understand one another.
This friendship began out of convenience and necessity, but eventually grew to a friendship of choice and a different kind of necessity. We need each other. I especially need her. She has taught me what true friendship looks like.
She has sat for hours upon hours upon hours listening to my heart - my hurts, my confessions, my bewilderment, my anger, my devastation. She has laughed at my antics and wept with me in my grief. There must have been times when she was weary of my neediness and of helping to shoulder my burdens, yet she stayed by me and made herself always available.
She even stood by me when I made some difficult choices and she risked (and received) judgement and alienation from others for doing so. When I could no longer imagine that my life held any value, she stayed by my side and supported me and made sure my needs were met in both tangible and intangible ways.
I thank God for her and trust that he will bless her for her sacrificial love and friendship.
Happiest of birthdays to you, My Friend. I hope to return the favor of faithful friendship for the next 50 (or 30…that sounds like plenty, doesn't it?) My current effort to return the favor is not posting a picture of you on here!
The Lord bless you and keep you in his care.