Friday, December 17, 2010

Reverb 10: Day 16: Friends

The December 16th Reverb 10 prompt:

December 16 – Friendship

How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?

(Author: Martha Mihalick)

This has been a year for shift and change in friendships.

There have been the new friendships at house church.  The settling into a rhythm there, being welcomed, laughing, talking about who we are as a group, about faith and life and all the goofy little things of life.  They've shaped my perspective as I've thought about mission, and about humility.  They've been the people who've come around me in some really challenging moments this year, hugging me when I cried, laughing with me, giving me space to share the honest truth about how I'm really doing, and even helping me a bit financially in some challenging moments.  They made me welcome and gave me a home to land in for my faith, and I can't imagine my week without that Thursday night gathering.  I miss it when I'm away from it.

There have been shifting friendships, old ones rekindled, and new ones born.

There has been a group of friends who have honored my request to come around me and pray with me and journey with me through some tough stuff.

There was the adding of voices and personality that came when I flew to California and spent a week in person with a friend who'd already become dear via blogging and emailing.  Her voice, already among my trusted friends before that trip, has been important in the journey of healing that this year of crazy deconstruction has encompassed.  It's the checking in at night and rating the day, the trading of snarky emails, the moments of humor (ridiculous or dark), the shared love for the world, for Jesus, and for books that has made it fun.  The trading of book recommendations particularly makes me smile - there are few people who have managed to successfully recommend books to me, but she has made numerous timely suggestions that I've loved!

I don't know how to describe, exactly, the way friendships have changed me this year.  But I can say with great certainty that they have.  That I have been blessed with friends who I love, and who love me in return.  With people who have been there in a year that hasn't exactly been filled with triumphant moments.  Who in the moments I was least able to believe myself loved and lovable, came around me and showed me in tangible and intangible ways that the truth was the opposite of what I felt and believed.  They taught me that I could struggle, and need support and encouragement and prayer, and not be a burden, the way I was so convinced I was.  That was a thought that drove me to hide the broken bits, or the severity of the hard days.  The people I'm privileged to call friends have been carriers of God's love for me this year in ways that I truly can't wrap words around, and I'm so grateful for them.


Anonymous said...

Hugs to you, friend. The palm trees and I look forward to another visit sometime!

Lisa said...

Hugs back. And there will definitely be another visit to the palm trees, but especially to you, friend!