Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Friends (part 1)

I'm reminded to be thankful of the friends in my life.....

The other night I was (stalking profiles) on Facebook when a friend messaged me to give her a call - it was 10:30 at night and she had more to say than could fit into a chat box.
The great thing was that we picked up right where we'd left off - supporting one another with struggles in our families and connecting over shared past experiences. We haven't worked together since Hannah was born (five years ago), but the voice on the phone was same. Funny how our lives have taken different directions - she chose the career path and public schools for her daughters while I chose to stay at home and homeschool. Each one of us took a brief, wistful peek at the other's lifestyle, and settled back, happy with our own choice.

My Northern California friend and I also connect regularly - she mails books, music CDs and countless photos online. While we worship the same God, our "faith lifestyles" are different, and I've been challenged to examine my own convictions at times. We saw each other last - was it three years ago? - and hope to get together sometime this year. This friendship means so much to me because it began before I was a teenager and has ebbed and flowed along with the changes in each of our lives. She's one of the first I turn to when I am troubled and need an ear (eyes, really).

Facebook has also made friends out of acquaintances - literally! My Friend List contains folks with whom I had only casual relationships in the past, but have become closer with as we share our experiences in our everyday life now. I'm glad to share my stories and theirs in brief status updates, but also look forward to affirmation, advice and suggestions from "many counselors." And although I've had to whittle and prune my Friend List from time to time, it has served to make it even stronger.

Once transplanted to Alleghany County, I was afraid I wouldn't manage to connect to other women to develop meaningful relationships. As it turned out, the Internet has been a part of this as well. We first used Facebook as a tool to schedule park playdates and birthday party invites - but its also been a tool for encouragement and support.

My heart shudders that a good local friend lost her dear mother-in-law to a drunk driver only weeks ago. As the hurt and sorrow of this tragedy have settled on her family, other local friends have been at the ready to lift her up in prayer, feed her family and gather together to remember this remarkable woman and the loved ones she left behind.

I'm excited for new, developing friendships as well. There's the friend who's shared that she's discovered a God-Shaped Void in her life....homeschoolin' mamas who have much to share of their own experience at the kitchen table....and still others whom the Lord has yet to reveal.

For all of these relationships I am humbled and grateful.

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