The hidden power of friends

Twenty years ago or so when I was past the first flush of being “newly married” and living away from family or the friends of my youth, I discovered that I actually needed more than just my marriage in the way of a social life.  In short, I needed a close friend or two.  I remember praying more than once that I could make a good, close friend – someone I could really be myself with.  I missed the association with other women that I had had in high school and college.  Tom was great for a lot of things – but he was sorely lacking in the “girl talk” department!

It took a few years and a couple of moves, but finally that prayer was answered when an invitation to become walking partners turned into something more (Shannon, I’m talking about you!).  I don’t know about anyone else, but I have found that making friends as an adult hasn’t been easy.  Friendship takes time and lots of talking and a certain amount of “kindred spirit” connection (as Anne of Green Gables would say).  For many years one good friend worked pretty well for me – and then this wonderful friend moved and at the same time I was forced to accept that I was pretty severely depressed.  Among the many good bits of counsel my therapist gave me was the suggestion that I needed to broaden my social circle.

I’ve been grateful many times for that bit of inspired advice, but never more so than now.  I turned 50 today.  It’s kind of a big milestone birthday but I figured I’d just let this one slide by.  Haley and I would go somewhere nice for dinner and that would be good enough.  However, I didn’t count on the many good friends that I have been blessed with over the years.  I thought I was meeting a friend for lunch – but instead there was a sizable group who all came to lunch just to show me they cared about me.  I have received texts and cards and treats all day long from women who have been by my side since before Tom died, but most especially in the years since.  I am overwhelmed with the riches of friendship that my Heavenly Father has so mercifully blessed me with over the years.  There’s no denying that being a widow comes with its fair share of loneliness, but these wonderful friends have quietly lifted me when I was feeling down, have rejoiced with me when I needed someone to share my triumphs with, and have shown me over and over that I have not been forgotten or left out just because my life circumstances have changed.

So here’s to the true power for good of friendship!  And to the tender mercies of a loving God.

19. April 2018 by tjsjohanna
Categories: Blog | Tags: , | 3 comments

Comments (3)

  1. I’m so grateful you have been blessed with good friends and am also grateful that your friendship has blessed me. Having you as my visiting teacher when we moved to Colorado, away from family and friends, was a tender mercy for me.

    • Me too! I loved our visits and especially having an understanding listening ear when I shared my struggles with Andrew. You have been a blessing in my life that makes me doubly grateful for the visiting teaching program…. Or I guess ministering program now!

  2. I hope you had a great day! I wish I was there in that surprise group at lunch and I’m so glad to have grown up and discovered the friendship we have now

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