Monday, March 9, 2009

Grace and Gratitude # 1 - True Friends

There are just certain days that life is so difficult that all I can do is concentrate on what I have to be grateful for. For many years, I found myself here more than not. Some days, I thought, "I am alive." and that was good enough.

Recently, though, I have had the opposite problem. Life is so sweet that all I can do is think about how blessed I am, how much God must really love me to give me so much. And even though things are not perfect, there is so much good in my life, that is far outweighs the attitude of my grumpy co-worker, the emotions of having a 15 year old daughter, the fact that I miss my son who lives half a country away, and that I can't seem to get motivated to loose this extra weight that I am carrying around. All these things, although serious disturbances, are mere bumps in the road of a blessed journey.

All of my life, I have wished and prayed for real friends, one's who I can count on in good times and bad times. I have loved with all of my heart and been hurt....more than once. For a while, I thought I would never have friends who would love me when I put my foot in my mouth the same as they love me when I am behaving well. I have prayed and pleaded for authentic Christian fellowship with sisters who will not walk out when I sin, when I say stupid things, or when I act irrationally. While praying this, I have held on to those who I thought were real, only to find out that they are fickle imitations. They have been jealous, blackmailed emotions, lied, and walked out during tough times.

Today, I find myself throwing caution to the wind and just being myself. After all, I have nothing left to loose. The people in my life who I now trust with my life, sins, my deepest struggles, the fears that others have only shaken their heads over...have proven to be completely genuine. Spending time with these sweet sister's has changed my outlook on life, given me hope that authentic relationships still exist, and that God's example and plan for relationship can be followed. No more fear that my friend's husband's jealousy will sabotage a relationship. It did, and I survived. No more fear that the friend who I shared with from the heart would turn away. She did, and I survived. Those situations do not imitate the loving Father that I know. Since I have chosen to be real about who I am, what I believe, and how I feel, genuine friends have surrounded me, loved me, cared for me, prayed for me, and exhorted me in ways that I only read about in scripture. I feel so blessed. It is the Bible Study Behind The Eyes in action!

So, I know it is not Thanksgiving, but I am so thankful that I thing I will spend this week writing about the wonderful things in my life that give me joy. God's blessings have been showered on me.


grey like snuffie said...

Such a wonderful post...BRAVO! Throwing caution to the wind was a good choice.

Mary Ann Duncan said...


Paula (SweetPea) said...

This is so wonderful, Liz. It is a such a blessing to have been so badly wounded by friends and now be faced with such beautiful friendship. I can so relate to being rejected and abandon my friends you called BFF. I don't know the real reasons mine have turned from me but I try not to beat that dead horse in my mind. Trusting God there is a reason and season for it all. I, too, am blessed with new friends in my church group. Maybe not the deep confidantes I want (YET) but opportunities and definitely love from them.

Thanks for sharing the bright side of a dark and so very painful world.