Thursday, April 20, 2017

How much do you really want it???



"Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important."
C.S. Lewis





Lately, God has been really surrounding me with some amazing women. Some here near me, some in other places...a very special one I've become very close with lately as God has placed her & her beautiful journey at just the perfect time...for both of us. Though we've known each other for about 7 years, give or take, we've attempted several times to get to know each other. She's about 15 years younger than me in this world's years...but in wisdom, she's ages wiser than I am.

Honestly, with the age gap comes differing interests in lots of areas & many times in the beginning when I first met her, I would let that keep me from letting myself get to really know this amazing person. But in the last several years it's been very different. Our differences are intriguing to me & I think her as well. Not only that but when we started having real conversations I instantly felt connected to her.

I am not an easy person to get to know. I am very friendly to everyone I meet, if I get half a chance. But I struggle sometimes with pride. So when I get excited about something I just find totally wonderful, or I believe I hear God is telling me something for someone else, I am kinda like that old game where the card holding machine would randomly just pop up & throw the cards in the air everywhere...I just pop off with what I heard. Some times it's not in a very gentle way at all...some times if I am being completely transparent...I would have to say it might even have a bite to it. Those times have injured hearts. They have done the exact opposite of God's plan...they have pushed people away from me & I would guess maybe even away from God.

So, this young woman I will call her my artist friend...so I will call her artsy. Artsy is gifted at so many things. She's just naturally talented at really interesting arts & crafts. She's taught me a little bit about my sewing machine, which I actually enjoyed, talent however was a whole other subject. She however has made several baby quilts & lots of other things, including a beautiful bag for me. Her heart is to teach others to enjoy creating. I believe this is her calling...not really to adults, but mostly to children...preschool & up. 

For me though it's really more than just learning arts & crafts or sewing from her. God placed her in my life to be His coarse sandpaper for me. He has used her several times to get my attention back...He's taught me through her that "it's not about me." She's a tiny little wisp, but she's a mighty soldier for God. I don't even know if she knows how mighty she is? But God does.

On several occasions in the last 7+ years when I have struggled with a test, or trial & gotten frustrated & been ready to give up hope...God used her to tell me to "stop letting it get to me. It is what it is...God doesnt tell us it'll be easy, He only says it will be worth it." When I have struggled with my children, husband or family she's reminded me that I can't control them...only how I react to them. 

I can honestly say this...if God has been telling me something nicely for too long...He will bring Artsy in & she has no fear...no fear of being honest, no fear of upsetting me, no fear of how I may react...she only has love for me...& in that love, she shows me she trusts me by being the friend God is asking her to be...a real friend, a biblical friend. 

We have also been able to share our hearts about struggles we have. We both feel things very deeply...in the past I have been one that reacts quickly & at times have regretted the quick reactions...just as quickly. But Artsy, she processes things. She is not "teaching" me by telling me how to process things...she actually is a wonderful example of this. She will stop, breath, process then either ask more questions...or share her heart with me. She doesnt have expectations that far exceed her willingness to be a part of...she makes the time to listen & sometimes just sit quietly with me, or me with her.

She told me from the beginning that she "likes a friend who answers the phone, or texts. Who follows through with plans they make & who isn't a part time friend." That was several years ago & I have to tell you that she does exactly that. She picks up the phone if she possibly can, she works during the day & it's difficult. But she will answer texts & call as soon as she's off. So her expectations come from the kind of amazing friend she is...that is what she wants.

Recently, Artsy shared with me that they are moving back to their home state. Probably the beginning of June-ish. I honestly thought I was gonna have a panic attack...but God. God reminded me that our friendship can withstand being mostly phone calls...He also reminded me that her home state, it's the home state to so MANY beautiful woman He has placed in my life...so He's just taking one more there. So I have honestly just had total peace about it. I think she does too. 

Today we spent the entire afternoon/early evening together. She picked me up & we went to a couple of stores. Then had lunch. Then she took me to take a very important step in this battle I am in. We picked up her wonderful man child & young woman child took them home & headed back out together. We ended up having to wait quite awhile at one place with lots of other people...most of the time people that are with me when I am around lots of people, get a little upset or maybe embarrassed of me because I love when God gives me the chance to talk to people...to smile & make conversation...but Artsy, she's a little shy, but in the right environment, she's more like a bright shining light!!! 

We headed back to the house so I could try to make it home before sweet hubby hit the sack at 7. I drove home thanking God for this dear sister...I see what a gift she really is...when I have felt sadness & said to God, "I waited so late." He reminds me that she's His princess & we have eternity.

So thank you Artsy, thank you for loving me enough to share truth even in times when you knew I would probably be in denial...but you trusted God enough to know that if you said what needed to be said...God could work through that. That my sister is REAL love...that's a REAL friend...you will ALWAYS be my sister, 
you will ALWAYS be my friend. Of course I will come see you...& phones are a gift from God.

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
Proverbs 17:17