Monday, June 30, 2008

There's Not a Friend

"A man with many friends may be harmed,
but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother."

Proverbs 18:24

Have you ever distanced yourself from a friend? Not purposely, but you ran into them weeks, months, years later and realized what you had done.

I have done that more times than I like to admit. I often make excuses behind my reasoning for doing so. Come to find out, none of them are worth explaining to that friend I left behind. Why is it so hard to hang on to those we cherish the most?

Getting married, getting pregnant, and getting old were the reasons behind my distance. Honestly, they are all good reasons for leaving other things behind, but your friends? There's no making that okay.

I visited the church I grew up in yesterday for lunch and a singing. I saw one of my dearest friends. (If you haven't learned it yet, the friends GOD has given you are the best ones you'll ever find.) As we hugged and looked at one another, it came to my mind that the last time I spoke to him was his birthday almost 3 months ago. The time before that, I really cannot recall. I told my husband as we were leaving that it was so good to have that one friend(s) that, no matter how long it had been, you could always pick up where you left off.

Jeremy is one of those friends... Truthfully, I have many friends like that. Seems as if we haven't talked in ages, but when you see them again, your mind wanders back to when you saw each other last, and you begin your conversation from there.

In sitting talking to him, I realized I had missed some important circumstances in his life... getting his first job since graduating college together, buying his first home, his learning lessons the hard way, and the healing of his wounds. My heart ached as I listened to him talking because it was so easy... My childhood friend and I were no longer the best of friends.

Who have you left behind? Is there anyone you miss today? My heart is LONGING for genuine relationships, and yet, I have no idea how to make them. I have friends scattered throughout the world, and I cannot seem to hold onto them. Are you hurting like me, in the sense that you need a friend?

In a way, I have two things I mean to say...

1) If I have someway neglected our friendship, please forgive me. There are so many that I know of, it would be hard to sit and think of them all. If you need me, please know that I am here.

2) There is no friend like Christ. He'll provide you with every relationship you need IN HIM. When He can't be as close as you'd like Him, pray for Him to help you to draw closer. He's all we need.

What about that? Have you forsaken your friendship with Christ? I have just recently learned what a friend He truly is, and it has taken me months to realize that I was the one who left Him. Maybe, just maybe, because I had neglected Him, I had begun distancing myself from friends... It's me. My fault. There's no friends because I'm not one. Lord, help me to be a friend again.

"There's not a friend like the lowly Jesus; no, not one."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Have We Ever Met?

If you had met me in February, you would have come to know a person full of hurt, disappointment, and heartache. If you had met me in March, you would have seen a person drowning in sorrow. If you had met me in April, you would have noticed that I was struggling to even love again. If you would have met me in May, you would have given up on me too.

If you had met me yesterday, you would have met the most thankful woman in the world. You would have seen how happy I was/am to be in love. You would have noticed how hard I tried to surprise my husband on his 28th birthday. You would have enjoyed watching me bake his favorite cupcakes and actually clean the house. You would have laughed to see me working out (oh yes, I am on a roll, and bound and determined). You would have wondered if anything could bring me down.

If you meet me today, you'll see my insecurities. You will understand that my life seems as if it's one long roller coaster ride that has no end. You will see my humble attempts at becoming a better wife and being a mother who is trying to be completely honored with the fact that her child is in Heaven. You will see how lonely I am - missing friends and realizing how much life has changed in just 2 short years. You will wonder about my heart - if I care or seem to notice what is going on around me. You will worry I have lost all hope in life. It would be okay for you to admit it... Because in some ways, it's all true.

If you meet me tomorrow, I promise I'll be trying harder than I was today. You will see that I'll be reading even more of my Bible to hear Him speak. You will learn that I am looking forward to my date night with my husband - something we haven't had in four months because the pain has overwhelmed me. You will see me swimming - weightless and free of guilt of the life I've lived. You would not have to wonder where my priorities lie, but solely on my relationship with Christ and then my best friend in the world. You'll see that I'm making the best out of what God has given me, and how hard that is for me. You'd want to keep your distance because I will still be fragile, but soon you'd realize how I long for your friendship.

Tomorrow will be another day... I'm praying that I have that chance. I realize how difficult it is to be my friend, relative, and reader, for that matter. Understand that I wish I could take it all back - every mistake, regret, circumstance, and tear. I hope that you know I do. I've done things I'm not proud of in the past, and even now, in the present time, I've walked and remained in the valley of the shadow of death, when God is urging me to move on. I've left you behind, I've neglected our relationship, and I've let go of life. Forgive me. I long to love, live, and laugh again... My perspective is clear, and my thoughts are vivid. I know it is God's push that has caused me to smile today... It will happen again... Maybe tomorrow, or even tonight, but I know God is holding my hand, and these are just seasons... And yes, they come and go.

Acts 3:19
"Therefore repent and turn back, that your sins may be wiped out so that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord."

Thursday, June 19, 2008

God is Not the Author of Confusion

I've been reminding myself this a lot lately... Well, mostly just because I've really been confused.

I wake up after having had dreams that are ironic, frightening, and just odd. My emotions are at that point too, ironic, frightening, and odd.

In a small way, I realize that the devil is trying to creep into my life and destroy what good things God has done for me. It's easy to let him divide and conquer, but it's much more rewarding to realize that God is in complete control. All of my worries and doubts are nothing to God, and He can rid me of all of them if I'll simply trust in Him.

In a period of just a few weeks, I have learned these facts of life, and I encourage you to instill them in your own:

1. God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), but He expects you to seek out truth for yourself; therefore, READ YOUR BIBLE. Take 15 minutes. It's really life-altering.

2. The devil will hit you when you are down... or up. He doesn't care. Stay guarded having on the FULL ARMOR OF GOD (Ephesians 6:10-18).

3. Children truly are a blessing in this life. Do not take one second with them forgranted, be you a parent, sibling, or admirer. It is OUR responsibility to lead children in the way of the Lord (Matthew 18:5).

4. Love your spouse as God loves His church, and wives, Titus 2 states that we should LOVE our husbands. The Apostle Paul did not mean for us to love with an agape love, which means self-sacrificing, as Jesus sacrificed Himself for the world. But Paul used the term phileo for love in this chapter, which means to love passionately and affectionately. Take time to do that every day. Stop thinking about how we wish we could change them and start seeing the BLESSINGS which God has given you in Him.

5. The past is the past. Do not let Satan tell you it matters. I'm reminded of Ecclesiastes 3 when we learn that there is a time for everything, and not all of it is wonderful. The past is over, and the future isn't ours either. Live for today.

6. Take care of yourself. Take time for yourself. We are to be a worker for the Lord and if we cannot present ourselves in the best manner possible, what can we do for Him(Corinthians 6:19-20)?

7. Set your affections on things above... Let me give scripture reference to that too...
1 Corinthians 10:31So Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Colossians 3:2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.
Matthew 6:19-21 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Here I am, Lord, take me as dazed as I am and make me more like You.

I realize I don't usually write in this manner, but God is teaching me where I need to be... I hope it will encourage you to fall at His feet and open up His Word.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Longing to Love Again

I thought of you today...

What you were wearing and how the sun would have been touching your face. I imagined the smile you might have and how you would be enjoying yourself. I wondered how you had changed and how long it had been since I held you. I couldn't wait to love you. I thought about the next few days and weeks. What it would mean to see you again. To hold you tighter than ever before, and to know without a shadow of doubt that you were the greatest gift in my life.

I also thought of what used to be...

How we almost had him. How we are Heavenly parents. How excited and scared we were when we knew he was coming. How our hearts broke and how hard we were on each other when we realized he was gone. I thought about how we told all of our friends and family and how crazy all of that was.

I also pictured what is to come...

I thought about how one day, very soon, I will hold you closer than the last time. The surprises I have in store for you, the summer we will spend serving Christ, the days with our family, and the nights alone with one another. Those are things I can't wait for.

And though, I've spent the first part of this year missing our child, I realized today that nothing is harder than missing you... You are my best friend, and life without you doesn't make sense. I am so ready to see your face again.

"...When I found him, whom my soul loves; I held on to him and would not let him go..." (Song of Solomon 3:4)