Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Blessing of Friends

Tonight I visited with four friends who've faced some serious challenges this year. One beautiful woman has to move. She is leaving neighbors and friends that she adores because her husband has been transferred. Although she believed they were settled into their dream home permanently, yesterday they sold their home. (In this economy, that is a blessing!)

Another dear friend is caring for her bipolar mother, who cycles from deep depression one day to mania the next. Her mom's psychiatrist continues to adjust her mom's medications, but her mom is very sick right now. Meanwhile, my friend is mothering four children along with her own mother.

Another friend has overwhelming responsibilities at work. Her drug-addicted nephew has convinced her elderly mother to give him all of her savings, and she has some serious financial challenges herself.

Another friend's husband lost his job. She has returned to work, needs surgery, and has no medical insurance. Yet, all these women are joyful, caring, and compassionate. They lift me up when I am down, and hopefully my love for them lightens their loads a bit. They love the Lord, and that love is reflected in their faces, words, and actions. They care about others and serve others in community and church organizations. They are kind, forgiving, and patient. I thank God for their friendship.

We all need friends who lift us up, who love us, and who inspire us to be our best selves. And we need to be good friends to ourselves! The Lord asks us to love others as we love ourselves, not instead of loving ourselves.

Let's celebrate friendship today. If you need more friends, ask God to bring you some. He will. If you're being especially hard on yourself, ask Him to help you see yourself through His loving eyes. He will. He is the Best Friend ever! He waits to bless you. All you have to do is ask and then believe.
© Carol Brown

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