There are many people that come and go throughout our lifetime as friends.  Some are there for a moment or a season and they make you a better person for knowing them.  Some are there throughout your life and hold you up daily.  God blesses us through these special people.

I’m thinking back to friends who’ve come and gone or stayed in my life.

I had a special friend in 8th grade that I thought I’d be friends with forever, Christine Cox.  I felt like I had known her my whole life.  We were totally inseparable that year.  I’d love going to her house to spend the night because she was an only child and her mom made us things to eat and then would leave us alone to talk or giggle for hours. We’d talk about boys and dream weddings and things thirteen/fourteen year old girls thought about.  I don’t remember it all, but I do remember enjoying being her best friend.  Then we moved and although we kept in contact through the next year with letters, our lives drifted apart and then totally separated.  Although, I have no idea what happened in her life, she is part of mine and treasured for that year that we shared and all those ‘dreamy’ things we had in common.

In 10th grade, my best friend was Susan and we shared another friend named Kim.  Susan had a kind soul and a beautiful personality.  I can still picture her smile.  She had a warm generous family who welcomed me into their house.  I never heard Susan utter an unkind word about anyone.  We went to a small rural school where kids had grown up together.  Susan welcomed me into her group of friends with all the small dramas that fifteen/sixteen year old girls go through.  Her life seemed so tranquil and I soaked it up.  We moved the beginning of my junior year and we stayed in touch through letters for a while.  Unlike Christine, I found Susan again as an adult and I keep her with her activities on Facebook.  Like the young Susan, the older version is a beautiful Godly woman.

I was blessed to meet my friend, Arlene, in 11th grade.  We never actually had any classes together.   God put us together through work.  She became my sister friend.  There wasn’t anything we couldn’t discuss.  We were together through all the crazy work hours and family dramas for us both.  We lived together briefly through our senior year.  I can still remember running late and her driving in her yellow ‘Arlene Mobile’ to get us to school on time.  That still makes me smile!  We’ve been together through our marriages, births, sicknesses, and deaths.  She is still the one I call if I need someone to sit with me through difficult times.  Yes, we’ve grown apart, but at the core, I still consider her my Best Friend.  There’s so much history that we’ve shared with one another.  I can’t imagine my life without her.  I can sit on her couch and visit with her through the wee hours of the morning.  There is the comfort of knowing her since we were seventeen.  We’ve grown up together and time stops when we’re with one another.

John was my friend and I was blessed to be able to be his wife.  What started as a high school friend turned into my love.  I can’t imagine what my life would have been like if we hadn’t shared it together.  He has gifted me with his heart, security, and a son.   I’m forever grateful to God for planning my life and connecting it with John.  My future is already history to God, but I’m thankful for making it so beautiful thus far.

I’ve been blessed through adulthood with very special sister friends that I can call on when I need comfort or a laugh or someone to eat with.  I have four that I don’t think that I could live without in my life.  Each one is loving and unique in the gifts that God blessed them with.

Darlene’s gift is the giving of herself.  She welcomes me in with open arms and a loving attitude.  She is nonjudgmental and an awesome listener.  I love that I can come and sit with her on the couch or even on her bed and pour out my heart or simply talk about inconsequential things while we spend time with one another.  She has let me spend so much time with her that I know her kitchen almost as well as I know my own.  That right there says, “Welcome!”  Her husband, Brent, I consider my sweet friend too and I can’t imagine not having them in my life.  I feel like I’ve stepped into their family whenever I’m with them.  I love her heart and I’m so thankful that she’s a part of my life.

Katie’s gift is one of service and time.  If I need anything done or a place to whittle away time, I can go to Katie.  Katie is one of those unique people that can make ordinary things funny.  God has given her the gift of story telling.  She can make us laugh so much that we pee in our pants!  She is also a great listener.  Katie will volunteer herself to do things even your family wouldn’t want to do.  I can’t catalogue all the time she spent with me on her knees helping tile Cam’s room.  When I didn’t want to do it, she’d schedule a time to come over, so it could get finished.  I love spending time with Katie.  She is easy to be with no matter if it’s simply sitting on a swing, walking or working.  I feel so blessed to be her friend.

Sally has the gift of language.  I know that may sound strange, but if the words need to be said, she won’t hesitate to truthfully tell me things that need to be said.  I love her honesty and I know she has my best interest at heart.  However blunt Sally is, she can say things in a way that make you want to hug her for being truthful.  She is one of my teaching partners and if a parent needs to be told something in a positive way, she’s the one we call on to do it.  She does the same for me.  I love that when I’m out of order about something, she’ll give me a Godly woman’s perspective.  I need that sometimes because my tongue sometimes gets out of control.  I appreciate her as a woman and a friend, not to mention the wonderful advice she gives about shoes!

Karen has the gift or organizing.  God has blessed her with a smile and a wonderful way of being able to manage details and people.  I am always grateful that Karen organized John’s funeral for me.  I was overwhelmed with all the things that needed to be done and she stepped in and I didn’t have to worry about that.  She consulted me and then did what was needed.  She has done that so much to help with other things as well.  Karen when she talks to me makes me feel special.  She’s like a ray of light that shines through a window.  Blessed to be warmed by her light.

I am ashamed that sometimes I don’t feel like I am an equal friend to them.  I do feel honored to be called their friend and cannot imagine my life without them in it.  I believe God sends people in the form of gifts and I’m so happy that they are MY gifts.  Thank you my sweet sisters.