Saturday, August 6, 2011

Friendship... across the miles - across the years!

Gratitude Journal
1. Memory of friends in special places
2. Memory of friends in special groups
3. Memory of friends from special chapters of my life
4. Memory of friends
5. Memory!

I thank God for every remembrance of thee. Phil 1:3

I recently experienced one of those roller coasters of stress and anxiety that life can throw our way some times. I flew to Denver for a week long conference one day and later that same evening I received word that a family member back home was very ill. She had been hospitalized.

Immediately I was surrounded by close friends who sustained me - supported me - loved me - and cared for my emotions through the next 24 hours as I planned my return home.

This experience reminded me of the many times I have been 'held' by friends during difficult times. Friends are such a gift. To all those folks - past and present - who have touched my life in special ways I give God thanks!

We were not destined to live in isolation. Even the most introverted person needs community. We need persons who care and reach out... not just in times of stress and anxiety, but also friends who rejoice and celebrate with us in the good times.

I also was reminded of the gift of memory. I was blessed to be able to see - in my minds eye - that great cloud of folks who have sustained me through difficult situations or hugged me or whispered words of encouragement or held my hand or touched my shoulder offering physical and emotional strength. Those visual reminders brought joy.

Sometimes we find ourselves in places or events that pinch real hard. In those moments I suggest we stop - breath deep and seek to listen to those special people God has given us. People who are not just people. True friends are not just pieces of furniture we push around the stage of our lives. Friends are gifts from God.

For each of you - I pray in this moment you know how much you mean to me and how much I both love and appreciate your love in return!