Growing up I always wanted a best friend. I wanted that friend who lived next door and we could talk to each other through our windows. The friend who would lay awake all night with you to chat about life, boys, and parents. The friend who knew every single detail about you and still loved you. A friend you graduated primary school with, then high school, and finally college. The friend who was your maid of honor and there when all your kids were born. This was not a reality for me. Many times I have been sad about this. We moved a lot growing up. Not only from town to town but state to state. Facebook has allowed me to keep in touch with a few high school friends. But for the most part my closest friends now I met in college or since I have had kids. Right before my surgery I longed for that life long friend. I needed a person who would visit me in my pain. Someone who would not judge and lift me up when I fell. Someone who would give encouragement. In my tiny mind, I guess I felt one person needed to fill all those rolls. But God showed me different, as He does so many times!
My sister, Cassandra, became one of my sleepover buddies. She spent many nights on my futon. We would watch netflix and talk. We have always had the "older/younger" sister relationship. But for the first time, I felt so close to her. I loved listening to her talk about her plans for the future. I loved having her hear, close. My kids loved have sleepovers with their aunt. Right alongside her was my sis-in-law and brother. They live in Cincy, so they brought me home cooked yummies for dinner. They brought my niece and nephew up to the hospital. What a blessing to have little life around me! And of course my parents and hubby endlessly provided and still do! My dear Joyce (who the kiddos call Auntie Joyce) has been in my life almost as long as my parents. She is the one who I rely on when I can't have my mom. Even though we do not see each other much, she lets me know her love is always there.
It was also a beautiful gift to have 3 women who had been in my shoes as friends. Kathy had proceeded me in the same surgery with the same doctor only a month before. And guess how we met? MOPS, several years ago. It was when I was on the steering team, and she was a new mom. She was in my discussion group, and we connected. Who knew at that time we were both suffering in the same way!? Then while in the hospital I quickly became friends with Jennifer. She also had the same surgery and lives in cincy. She answered so many questions for me, and just reminded me how important it was to take it slow. She was a breath of fresh air, and a great inspiration. And of course my dear Monica! She often tells me we were knit from the same cloth. I do believe she is right. Even though we have only been friends 2 years, it seems a lifetime. We think and act almost in the same way. We share so many of the same dreams, and see the world through the same glasses. She inspires me daily to never give up my walk with Christ. To cling to Him even in the darkest moments.
There were so many ladies who have been a blessing in one way or another. Some other ladies I met through MOPS cooked meals and snacks for my freezer! You would not believe the amount of food they made. Beyond that we had endless meals from friends and strangers. One meal that was brought moved me completely. It was right after surgery and I felt horrible. This friend I have only known a few months. She came with a wonderful spread. Then she asked if she could pray with me. I was overjoyed! She was the first person who has asked to pray with me since I left my church in Athens. At Brookfield people always offered to pray with you, and I desperately missed that. So here this new friend sat, held my hands and prayed for me!!! What a wonderful gift she gave me. Another friend has come and cleaned. And our dear sweet friend has faithfully come every week to clean my house and do my laundry. She cares for my kids and listens to me cry. She does flashcards with Aidan and lets me take naps. Miss Nonie has been a life saver, and I am beyond blessed by her generosity! Still another friend has picked up laundry to iron for me! And the Amazing Darla and Brett watched over or beloved Ranger for almost 2 months!!!
This post could go on and on...but it will not! :) I just have to thank a few more amazing friends. My dear sweet friend Jen (Aidan's Godmom) and my other sweet friend Jenn (Chan's Godmom) have been huge supporters by taking the kids, fixing food, praying, talking, and just being there for us always! Many of you know I enjoy to sew. My 2 sewing buddies have been a source of great comfort to me. Beth has provided meals, watched my children, taken Brooke to Awana and encouraged me so many times. Jen has also provided meals, and sent me endless texts just to check up on me. Every time I get a text from her I smile, knowing that she took time away from her 4 kiddos to check on me! Friends from our home school co-op have helped Aidan and Brooke to get there so they do not miss out! My dear friend Jen has listened to emails, texts, and my own voice when I just needed a friend. Before we moved to Athens she gave me a card. It said, "We will always be friends, I pinky swear." I love this card and still have it on my fridge. Every time I see it, I am reminded of her love for me and my family, and all the times she has hugged me and let me cry on her shoulder! You do not find many friends like that! And then there is my Julie! Julie has been my friend since college. She is the friend who pretty much knows everything about me, and she still invites me over for coffee! ;) She has given in more ways then I can even list. She has done my shopping, cooked, taken my kids, listened, fed me coffee, and just been there.
As this is only a blog post I can't mention every single person who made an impact on my life over the past few months. But I am so grateful for all who took even a moment to pray and love on our family. To be honest, these have been some of my darkest days. I have felt great abandonment and sadness. I am blessed beyond measure knowing that God had me in His arms. Blessed to have a family who would move mountains to help me. And friends who have shown up in so many ways. I sit here and know that many uncertainties lay ahead, but I can rest knowing He has a plan. This post may just seem like a long list of thank you's but for me it is a way to show even something small like prayer or a text can make a huge impact. We can cause great love or great sadness in others lives. Think about this for a moment....even with all the love and support I still have felt great sadness. Imagine a person who has no support, no one praying, texting or loving on them. Please find a way to make a small difference every day. God knew just what I needed to get through, and He also knows who else needs some encouragement and love! Happy Thanksgiving! Here is a song that inspires me to be a better friend! love you friends!
I'm With You