Soon after Tara was diagnosed with cancer on January 30, I realized the value of friendship. First of all, Tara and I set aside our relationship as lovers for a period of time and we relied on our friendship alone. We have had conversations of great intimacy, sharing our deepest thoughts and feelings. I love that part of our relationship.
I guess I never really thought of why I spend time with “man-friends”, other than it is fun. But now it all makes sense. The hours invested in friendships pay their return in times of trial. When I need to talk, cry or vent, it is a friend that lends an ear or a shoulder.
Today, I had 2 friends approach me about an issue in my life that needed to be kept in check. It was uncomfortable. But they had courage to ask, patience to listen and wisdom to help me think it through. These are deep issues that have no obvious right or wrong answers. The conversation will be ongoing so it will take endurance and commitment on their part to see it through. But the intent is my family’s best interest and as pure a reflection of God’s glory as possible. These guys love me. Why would a friend ever withhold loving reproach if they see a brother in need of accountability or correction?
We try to teach our children the value of our family as friends. When my parents said that about my siblings I laughed. But now, my siblings are my best friends and I am so thankful. Some of my kids laugh now at the thought of their siblings being their best friends. But they will see. The very people that know them the best and love them in spite of their flaws are the ones that will ALWAYS be there for them.
Friends, thank you for loving us exactly where we are. Thank you for praying for us and helping us. You are true friends and we love you.
My first thought was “I can’t believe it!” But immediately was “of course I believe it!” Our kids club theme this month is friendship and as I read the script I was thinking that I was going to write this tonight for your family…”so cheer each other up with the hope you have. Build each other up. In fact that’s what you are doing.” I tell you the process to encourage you in the Lord’s leading. I realize that what we as Christians have is a fellowship that doesn’t need to have fears in our transparency because we are aware of our need for saving from ourselves. This acknowledges that we are actually worse than we (gulp) want to admit to ourselves, but somehow in that admission is freedom in Christ because He is the only one who is good ALL the time. Only as we mature can we accept those loving enough to hold up the mirror to our faces. Unveiled. Actually without Luis here I’ve had those thoughts that “who’s going to REALLY hold up that mirror and say the hard stuff to me!” That’s become evident and clear. My kids (praise The Lord). And frankly The Lord brings conviction in the scripture that He puts on our (my) path. It’s God’s best to have wise friends. He is always our shepherd. (Btw, does my organic lawn care come with tree trimming?! I know you all want to talk about other things too…;)
Just know that you are all always LOVED.