Sunday, October 9, 2011

Remembering Friendships

My first best friend is Connie. She lives one house away in our very family friendly neighborhood. Connie’s family is Catholic and she gets to wear a uniform to school (I attend public school – no uniforms required). I remember being jealous of that uniform. Crazy, isn’t it?

My next best friend is Marilyn, my college roommate. Marilyn graciously includes me in her family’s Thanksgiving celebration. She warns me though to not take the name of the Lord in vain in her parent’s presence (“oh God” was a fairly common exclamation of mine in those days).

Then there is Liz, Barb, Kathy, Carol, Paula and many others. We raise our children together through their elementary years. We spend a lot of time together. One especially fun memory is coming home from a weekend retreat and stopping for dinner. As we consume our food, we remember, we tell stories, and laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

More recent best friends are my gramma friends: Kay, Louise, Mary and Melissa (the  female half of our couples group). We are doing life together and encouraging one another on the journey.

As I recall these various friends,
I realize that they parallel my journey with God.

Connie’s uniform signifies to me that God is important to her. I could not have voiced this in junior high school but I believe even back then, God is important to me too. Her uniform reflects my heart.

I mark my college years as the time when my friendship with God really begins; I am surrounded by friends who love God, I participate in personal Bible study, I attend retreats to spur on my relationship with God, and I hear God’s voice whisper in my ear for the first time. I remember the place. I remember who else is there. I REMEMBER HIS WORDS! That is HUGE! God speaks into my circumstances in His still small voice! A personal message – kind of like Marilyn warning me about my speech. 

Although the still small voice is my first remembrance of a friendship with God, more often I hear God’s voice through His Word – a certain verse or passage jumps off the page as I read and I know God is speaking to me. Romans 15:5 and 6 is one of those special passages. It is God’s word to me for our marriage. To this day, I write the words of that Scripture on every wedding card I sign.

Often I hear the voice of God through the words of my friends; sometimes as we do Bible study together, sometimes as we pray, sometimes as we take walks or share lunch together, almost always in church. What a wonderful gift friendships are! I appreciate the Truth I hear through the words and see in the lives of my friends. As we celebrate together and as we cry together, God is reflected in them and they challenge me to keep developing my friendship with God.

Thank you my friends – those who I have named and many who were not named.

Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.
I was a Girl Scout once.  J

“…but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Proverbs 18:24

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