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The Gift of Friendship

best-friends

A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out. 

Walter Winchell

I can’t imagine what life would be like without friends. My life has been so incredibly enriched by the vast variety of friends God has blessed my life with over the years. And it’s precisely that variety that I love most about friendship. Each one is a marvel and a gift...uniquely and divinely God-designed. Just like snowflakes, no two friends or friendships are the same.

Take my friendship with my childhood pal, Nancy, for instance. Despite long years of separation and 1,000’s of miles between us, we have come to so appreciate what God began in us long years ago. We may not share the daily stuff of life, but, we share a common history that is both precious and valuable.

Then there’s Michele. She befriended this new kid, who wasn’t even sure she wanted friends after yet another move in the middle of her 9th grade year. But, God kept prompting her to reach out and love me through that difficult transition and a superglue bond developed. Over the years I’ve held her babies, cheered for their sporting events, cried at their Weddings and rejoiced with her as grandbabies have been added to her quiver. What a gift!

Some friendships are forged out of hardships. That’s how my friendship with Lynn got its start. Pulling into her driveway for a first-time get together, my car slid on an icy patch and buried itself in her five-foot snowbank. Without hesitation, she and her two young boys came out of the house bundled in winter attire, carrying shovels. We spent the next hour freezing, shoveling, sweating and laughing till our sides hurt. Finally a nice man came along and gave us the extra Umph we needed to release my car from its snowy grave. Over soup that day it was decided that, “Friends who shovel together stay together!” And that has been the case for us ever since.

When my sister was diagnosed with brain cancer we were in the midst of a move to White Bear Lake. Our friends (and you know who you are!) rallied together while I was at Mayo Clinic and wallpapered our new place, packed up the old and moved everything into the new, even filling my kitchen cupboards. When I tucked my sister’s kids and my own into bed that first night in our new place, I noticed that our friends had even hung pictures on the walls. With all of the upheaval that my little niece and nephews were experiencing, my friends went the extra mile to make them feel “at home.”

Since that time, God has seen fit to bless my life with a traveling bud, Nanc’. Her friendship has been a precious gift to me when life gets especially difficult and dark! She’s traveled to Pennsylvania to hold my Grandma Simey’s hand with me when Alzheimer’s was taking her, and she’s whisked me away in her RV when I needed a little R&R time. Our trips to Dominican, Wyoming, the Gunflint Trail, Galena and our train ride to Chicago have stretched and blessed my life beyond words.

And then there are my Soul Sisters. A quintet of hearts – that are oh so different from one another – yet beat as one! Prayer bonded us, service challenged us, doing life together has blessed us.

And then there are all the other love gifts God has brought into my life! Friends like sweetest Linda, creatively gifted and dearly missed Alyn, helpmates LuAnn and Barbara, walking bud Cindy, tender-hearted C'een, sister-kin Sailija, merrymaking Mel, prayer warrior Jeannie, soul companion Mariann, heart friend and humor-gifting Sue, and so many countless others of you. 

Thank you God for the beautifully diverse friends and friendships you have so graciously given to me as I journey through life. I am rich beyond words!

“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”

A. A. Milne

Leadership Lessons
Ugly!
 

Comments 1

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Barbara (website) on Tuesday, 01 April 2014 15:08

Julie,

Nice to meet you. I'm hopping over from Ann's link up to count gifts with you, but was amazed to see that we share MN and UNWSP connections. Fun.

Friendships are a treasured thing, huh? Thanks for letting me peek into yours. Wow, the ones who moved you into your new home, and stocked your cupboards were so sweet in that hard time.

Have a great week,
Jennifer Dougan
http://www.jenniferdougan.com

0
Julie, Nice to meet you. I'm hopping over from Ann's link up to count gifts with you, but was amazed to see that we share MN and UNWSP connections. :) Fun. Friendships are a treasured thing, huh? Thanks for letting me peek into yours. Wow, the ones who moved you into your new home, and stocked your cupboards were so sweet in that hard time. Have a great week, Jennifer Dougan www.jenniferdougan.com

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