I am so thankful for my friends. Old and new, young and old, similar to me and as different as night and day. What a wonderful God we serve who knows us so well, that He places just the right people in our lives at the perfect time. A friend who teaches, a friend who guides, a friend who listens, and friend who challenges us to be better. Each friendship is unique, and I love that.
A friend of mine shared a story with me today that moved me, and I would like to share it with you. It really shows how powerful friendship can be if we allow it to.
My friend "Ann" has a friend "Kay" who is terminally ill. She has pancreatic cancer. She is only in her mid-forties. She has three children, the youngest who is in high school. Ann has been visiting Kay regularly, just sitting with her and loving her. Kay's oldest son is engaged to be married on Sunday. A while ago, Kay shared her concern about not being able to put together the rehearsal dinner for her son and his fiancee, whose family lives in Illinois. Kay's health is failing fast. After talking about it, Ann offers to go to Illinois this weekend and organize the rehearsal dinner for her friend Kay. She knows none of the fiancee's family. She is not familiar with the area. But what she does know is that she loves her friend, and she wants to do this act of kindness for her and her family.
Ann told me today that she visited Kay, and with tears in her eyes, shared with me that she would be surprised if she lived until this weekend. And even though doing this task for Kay really puts her out of her comfort zone, her love for her sister in Christ outweighs her discomfort of traveling to an unknown place and basically being around a bunch of people she doesn't know.
This story of the power of friendship has been on my mind all day. What a servant's heart Ann has. I thought about if I was in the same situation, would I have the courage to do the same? Would my selfish desires or discomfort win over? Would I put myself out there to love as freely and openly as Ann does?
When God created us, He created a part of us that needs relationships and friendships. God wants us to have a body of believers we surround ourselves with to love, laugh, support, and hold each other accountable. He sometimes works through our friends to serve his purposes here on earth. I know He put Ann in Kay's life for a reason, too.
How can you be a better friend? How can you let your friends know you appreciate them? I know that I sometime take my friends for granted. I am planning on letting them know how much I love them for who they are!
"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
** Kay did get to see her son say his vows a few weeks ago. Her son and fiancee made a special trip to see her, dress and all, to get married before the official wedding, knowing that she would not be able to go.