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.