8 months ago
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Even now as I am writing this I am being loved well by someone I've only known for 194 days. 194 days - that's barely over six months. Yet here I am, sitting in my pj's on her couch, with everyone else upstairs fast asleep, because medically I can't be alone for a couple of days. When it came to that point, she opened her door, without hesitation and said, come here. You are not only welcome, you are wanted. Wow. Even now I am speechless.
Then today, when I needed to be drug tooth and nail (almost literally) to the doctor, another friend did not hesitate to say, "I will take you....I'll be right there." She not only took me, she went into the appointment with me, listened to everything the doctor said, taking notes the whole time, because I knew that I wouldn't remember everything, if anything.
Then there's my poor post-surgery friend, whom I've known even fewer than 194 days who's been calling me, checking up on me, been in cahoots with my other friends, to make sure I'm following Drs orders...even when I can't actually remember them.
Or how about my friend who called me on his way to work in the wee hours of the morning yesterday just to check with me, let me cry and tell me he cared and would be praying for me...
These are all NEW friends...this doesn't even count all of the ROCK SOLID friends that have been in my life forever.
What in the world did I ever do to deserve such loving and amazing friends? Nothing that I can think of....they are just those kind of people...the kind that love God and as a result, love those around them, and love them well.
I lost a dear friend this week. A friend that I dearly loved...dearly loved. He was amazing and bright, funny and smart, the kind of guy everyone loved. I lost track of him, but I always trusted that he would come back into my life one day. The I got the email on Tuesday night that he was gone. Something very bad and very wrong had entangled itself up in his life and caused him to believe his life wasn't worth living anymore. I've been there. I was there...more than one. My heart aches and my eyes are hot with tears for more reasons that I can explain, and for even more reasons than I can come to grapple with...my reasons, his reason, his darkness, my darkness, his pain, my pain, his feelings of utter hopelessness, my feelings of utter hopelessness.
But something changed for me that just must not have clicked for him. On February 1, 2009, Jesus knocked on the door to my heart and He said, "April, it's time for you to start living a part from that hopelessness you've been holding onto for so long. It's time for you to be grateful to be alive." I answered the knock, and have slowly but sure been making changes.
I wish Bradley would have answered that knock. I'm sure Jesus gave him the same opportunity He gave me. I'm so incredibly sad that Brad really isn't going to walk back into my life like I always hoped he would. My heart is breaking that I'll never share the laughter with him again, or the incredible hugs, or holding hands while we walked on the beach talking about all the cool things God was doing. No, somewhere along the way Satan stole Brad's joy. I get it. I really do. I was there. I was there. In fact, I visited that very lonely place yesterday. It sucked.
But I didn't stay there because when I answered Jesus' call on February 1, He brought a lot of pretty amazing friends into my life that recognized where I was headed yesterday. They hollered from afar, and when that didn't work, they literally showed up on my doorstep, took me by the hand and said, "uhh, you're coming with me until you're out of this black hole. You don't belong here anymore."
I'm more grateful than I know how to express for my friends. They truly are Jesus with skin on. Father give me balance and wisdom. Help me to always be the best kind of friend that you'd have me to be.
I pray for mercy, peace and comfort for my dear friend Brad's family. I can't wait to have a nice long sit-down with Brad in heaven...first I'll smack him, then I'll hug him, then I'll make him go for one of our long walks while I hold his hand, tell him how much I love him and find out what the heck happened.
Thank you so much to EVERYONE that's been here for me this week, especially 3 of my J angels. I don't know where I'd be tonight if it weren't for you. I'm certain I wouldn't be on the Hofer couch in my jammies writing this blog...