a new kind of friend

sitting in the teacher's lounge almost ten years ago, talking about hairstyles and uncomfortable high heeled shoes, an awesome friendship began.

we both had just moved from far away and to teach at the same school in different grades. two new teachers became instant new friends. we had a lot in common and hit it off immediately.

we were each in a different stage of life, she was newly married and i was no where near it. i got to know her husband and became friends with him. i would hang out with them when i wasn't out doing my single life thing.

gradually, my friend began to introduce me to one of her friends. a friend i didn't know well at that time but i had heard of him, who didn't?

she began to tell me about God she and shared her faith.

i knew of God, i had prayed before, and even been in church on occasion while i was growing up.

then one night, while her husband and the guy i was dating (my future husband) , were out of town, we had a good old fashioned sleepover. early in the evening, we began a discussion about having a relationship with Christ. i had questions about what it meant. i thought i had that if i knew of God and knew some about a particular religion. i believed in God and thought that meant i had a relationship with Him. she taught me otherwise. not only in this one conversation but over several months of sharing her heart and allowing me to see Christ through her.

that night, we called her husband and on a three way phone conversation i accepted Christ in my heart. i was ready to turn away from the displeasing, unsatisfied and unhappy life i was living. i was ready for joy and contentment. later that night, my sweet friend also baptized me.

God placed her in my life for a big reason.

we have been friends for almost ten years. wow. she was in my wedding. we were pregnant together with all three of our babies. our oldest boys, were only three days apart and spent many years growing up together.

our friendship went through some hard times and we went our separate ways for a couple of years. it was unhealthy and needed healing. during that separation, i had no idea what kind of healing or how it would occur.

then a few months ago, God prompted me to reconnect with her and i was obedient. i am so glad that i was. by the grace and mercy of God, we were able to forgive each other and move forward. neither of us were sure how that would look. and what would happen in our friendship, would it stay mutual and acquaintance like or would it be deep and close?

it has only been a few months but we have been able to have such an amazing friendship. we have been able to become very close. we have so much fun together. we are so real and transparent with one another. and our children have been loving their time together.

the Lord has truly worked in my heart and in our friendship to bring us to this point. i am so blessed to have her in my life. i am so thankful to God for bringing us back together and healing this friendship.

during this whole time of us rebuilding our friendship, her and her husband have been preparing to move out of the state. they are being led to take their gifts and use them in a church several hours away. i am so excited to see how God uses them for His glory. they know this is the call of God and they are being obedient. and who can stop them? not me, although, i have tried a few acts of bribery to get them to stay and they won't budge.

so, with no other choice, i have begun over the last week to prepare myself for this change in our friendship - to not have her nearby (7 minutes to be exact). i have begun to shed tears when least expected. i have been spending as much time with her as i can. i feel like i am suffering another loss although i know in my heart that our friendship will not be lost. i know it has been found. with the power of Christ it has been found. it just looks a little different with us being apart.

i know that God put the courage and initiative in my heart at the exact time he did so we could reconnect and rebuild our friendship. i also know this story of our friendship is large part of my testimony. one that will testify to the love and faithfulness of Jesus. this friend has been a large part of who i am today. and i thank her for that. i thank God for putting her in my life. because without her i wouldn't know Him.

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