Monthly Archives: July 2010

Friends

We have made our annual summer road trip to West Virginia and Virginia.  It has been a totally jam-packed two weeks of cookouts and late nights and visits with family and friends and Vacation Bible School and watching my kids try to cram as much Disney Channel into their days as possible because we don’t have cable at home.

I have had the best time — the BEST time — reconnecting with friends from all different stages and phases of life.

I visited the WV state 4-H camp that is one of my most favorite places on earth.  While there, I was reminded once again how much I love those friendships that aren’t really affected by time or space.  I saw a friend I haven’t seen in more than 10 years.  She and I hugged and then sat and talked, and it was like no time had passed at all.  Our conversation very quickly passed through all the surface stuff, and we talked honestly and openly about our lives.  I love Love LOVE that kind of friendship!

I saw other friends there too.  Friends I saw last year, friends I hadn’t seen for a few years, and a friend I hadn’t seen in at least 20 years.  There was a lot of hugging, enjoying some 4-H traditions, and some good conversation.  Those friendships and that place make me feel young again.  When I’m there, I’m reminded of who I was before I became a wife and mother and missionary.  And that’s a good thing.

I also attended my 20th high school reunion.  Though many of my closest high school friends didn’t come to the reunion, I had a really good time.  Facebook is a funny thing.  Because of Facebook, I’ve reconnected with all sorts of people from high school — some of whom I knew, but not extremely well.  It was so fun to show up at a reunion & feel genuinely happy and excited to see people I wasn’t super-close to in high school.  And it’s all because I know when they’re having a bad day and what they fed their kids for breakfast and where they took their last vacation — thanks to Facebook.

I’ve visited with church friends in Virginia — the friends who brought meals when my kids were born and taught Children’s Church with me, the friends who have gone on mission trips with me or my husband, the friends who cried with me when I had to have a hysterectomy.  These are the friends who have rocked my babies in the nursery, the friends my family has shared many meals with over the years.  These are the friends I cried for every Sunday morning the first two months I lived in Florida.  I love these people!  They are like family!

And I’ve visited with the girlfriends, the group of girls I grew close to in my years of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers).  These are the friends who were pregnant and nursing when I was pregnant and nursing, the friends whose children were going through weird preschool stages the same time mine were.  These are my Girls’ Night Out girlfriends.  We’ve had more cups of coffee and breakfast casseroles together than I can count!  And we’ve laughed and cried and laughed and laughed a lot over the years.  These girls are the support system I knew would be most difficult to replicate in Florida.  And it’s true!  They’re irreplaceable!

I also got to visit with my closest friend from my teaching days.  Actually, I was treated to TWO visits with her!  She loves my kids and I love her son.  We can each count on the other to pray for our children.  She is a great resource of information and support and advice, especially when it comes to school-stuff for my kids.  And she is one of the funniest people I know.  You know how there are people who fill you up and people who drain you dry?  She’s definitely one of the fill-you-up kind of people!  I just love her.

And so, after a couple weeks full of friend-time, my cup is full and overflowing.

I sure have been blessed with good friendships in my life.  And I’m especially blessed to be able to visit with and reconnect with so many of my friends so often.  I am rich!  Rich in all the ways that really matter anyway.

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We Are Invincible — as long as He says we are

Last year when my husband nearly died but didn’t because so many little details fell into place at exactly the right time, it was obvious God spared his life.

Our family doctor just happened to insist on doing an EKG just because my husband was diabetic, even though he didn’t have any signs of heart disease — he wasn’t overweight; he didn’t have high blood pressure; he didn’t have chest pains or swelling or any other heart issues at all.  But the family doctor did an EKG.  And it wasn’t right.  And one thing led to another which led to another, and my husband didn’t die.  But he could have if our family doctor hadn’t done that EKG.

This year we have also seen God intervene in some pretty obvious ways.  Little details lined up and even some weird things fell into place which led to other things falling into place.  And all of it culminated in the trip to Boston and the diagnosis of sarcoidosis instead of ARVD, which leads to treatment, which leads to less heart damage, which leads to a longer, fuller life — we hope.  Or whatever it leads to, at least we have seen God’s hand at work.  He has been so conspicuous throughout it all.

So I was telling a friend today that God has intervened so many times already, showing that it wasn’t Patrick’s time yet.  That comforts me.  I mean, I know God is sovereign.  I grew up in church.  I went to a Christian college.  I’ve done a lot of years of Bible Study Fellowship.  I know God is sovereign.  But it’s still nice when He makes it really evident.

I told my friend that I have been reminded of the Bible accounts of the mobs trying to snag Jesus and kill Him.  But they weren’t successful because it wasn’t His time.  But when it was Jesus’ time, He just gave Himself up to the authorities and didn’t really speak up in His own defense.  It was time.  So He died.

God has made it really clear to me that He didn’t allow Patrick to die because it wasn’t time yet.  He is absolutely in control.  And so, when it is Patrick’s time (if I’m still around), I won’t be wondering what if we had done this or what if the doctors had done that or what if anything.  There will be no what if’s.  I’ll know that it’s his time.  Because God has intervened so obviously when it wasn’t his time.

I’m not trying to be morbid; I find that extremely comforting.  And I hope that whenever I die, my family members are consoled with that truth — God is completely in control, always.

I’m reminded of my sweet 10-year-old daughter Rachel and her prayer for her daddy the first weekend he was in the hospital.  She said, “And, God, I thank you that my daddy is completely invincible until You are ready to take him home.” What a truth!

I’m so thankful that my Father has gone to great lengths to show me His involvement, His sovereignty in our lives.  I’m so grateful He has taken the time to patiently build my faith.  I’m so glad that we’re invincible as long as He says we are.

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