Today I am friendsick. Longing to sit and be with my dearest friends…longing to hear their hearts and share mine…longing to hold the babies of some and longing to hold the hands of others as they wait on God for promises.
God has given me the most phenomenal friends on the planet…I will boldly proclaim it…I have the best friends in the world. I always have. I remember moving to Tacoma to go to college and being convinced I could never find friends like the ones I had in Colorado. I spent my entire first semester wishing I could go back…go back to Colorado, or bring my Colorado friends there…
But you know, God provided. He didn’t replace, but He provided. And within the matter of a few months I began to develop new friendships. New, deep, rich friendships. And suddenly, if “home is where your heart is,” I had two homes. My “Colorado Friends” and my “Tacoma Friends.”
For my 30th, I was extravagantly blessed. Extravagantly poured out upon. Not with physical gifts, but with the much-more-valuable gift of friendship. With both my “Colorado” and my “Tacoma” friends…I was extravagantly loved.
My 30th, Part I
The thing that marks my “Colorado Friends” more than anything else is faithfulness. These are my faithful, FUN friends. Faithful for 22 years. And there is no doubt they will be faithful friends for 22 more. I am so grateful for these life-long friends!!
My 30th, Part II
And each of these friends of mine came prepared with an exhortation for me. Powerful words of truth, of love, of memories…there were lots of tears and lots of laughs.
I wish I had more adequate words to describe those few hours of fellowship with my “Tacoma Friends…” Rich, sweet, tender, joyous… But all I can say is, at the end of the night, my tank was full to overflowing. I left to head back to the mission field filled to overflowing with abundant love from my friends. I’m so, so grateful for every way these women have walked with me over the last 12 years, and have continued to walk with me in the last 7 months since I’ve been gone. I would not be who I am today were it not for each of these women in different ways. Texts, phone calls, and messages came in from my friends who were afar…even a DVD video from Danielle, who exhorted me through tears and even sang me happy birthday :).
So, so, so grateful for the gift of my friends…ALL of them, including the ones not pictured here…there are SO MANY MORE who are spread all over the U.S. and even one in England!! And now, my prayer is that God would not replace, but provide new friends as we are in a new chapter and season of life. A new home, a new job, a new country! And in the meantime, I celebrate and give thanks for all of my faithful, loving friends…spread out all over. I love you all so much!!!!!
“Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.”
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
–Hebrews 10: 24-25
Continued birthday wishes, Susanne! We think of you all so often, and follow your blog posts with great delight, to be able to keep up with what’s happening in your life.
Hugs to Elliott.
A. Paula xoxo
Thank you, Aunt Paula!! I am so grateful for you!! I think of you EVERY DAY now as I slip on my new birthday slippers :). Thank you for journeying with us, it means the world to me. Love, kisses and hugs!!
Oh how I miss you…
Oh how I miss YOU!!! xo