Tonight I had one of those great times where you just sit around with friends and solve the world's problems. Of course, there really weren't any major problems...more like scheduling issues and show-and-tell, but you know what I mean. Just some time to sit and chat and not worry a whole lot of anything beyond whether or not you have salad in your teeth.
But as we talked, the layers peeled back. Someone was dealing with health issues...and someone else was just a little down this season. One was wondering how the tuition will get paid but knows it will and another was just pushing to get everything done on a deadline.
How many times, though, do we really need our friends...just a word, a hug, or a companion over a cup of coffee? We are generally happy to see people when we feel our best and aren't in need of anything. We love to give gifts, bits of news (not gossip...there IS a difference...) and tell about the great deal we just got on something. When we are tired...our hair looks as bad as we feel and we don't feel like we have anything to offer...it is difficult to muster up the enthusiasm to fellowship with others. We don't want to be Debbie Downer, you know.
We want to be whatever the opposite of that is. Penny Perfect or something.
Tonight I was talking about myself a little bit because we were talking about things we do well and things we struggle a bit to get through...and how great it is that God puts people who have opposite skill sets together. Among my friends, I have artists, decorators, and women that can put together an outfit that looks like a million dollars but costs less than you'd believe. They can sing so beautifully that I swear you'll cry. They have houses that look like Southern Living was just there on a photo shoot, and others that can take pieces of paper and ink and make things of beauty. And organizational skills?
I think every once in awhile we need to take stock of our friendships and cherish the fact that there are some that we've had for years and others that we've had through one season or life or another. We've grown older together...or we met through our alumnae group a year ago. It matters not. What does make a difference is that every person that is your friend either makes you better, helps you through it, or makes you want to become a more vibrant version of yourself.
I know that's how I feel about my friends.
I think about all of the blessings that I have that I call friends. How often have I been given a key to unlock something that has troubled me for years or been given the encouragement to grow beyond my comfort zone! Even if the latter means that I am taken kicking and screaming...only to discover that someone knew me and my capabilities better than I do.
So, thank you to all of you out there who have made me a part of who I am. There were those who took a shot at tearing me down...but it was my friends who built me up. There were those who told me I couldn't...and there was a group of friends that laughed in the face of adversity and helped me get through whatever it was. They are angels that God brought into my life at just the right time or to walk with me through this path called life.
Blessed? You bet.