Friends

All of us are at different stages in life. I happen to be in transition stage. As I look back, I feel I’ve kind of lived in that transition stage of moving from one place to the next for much of my life. For example, from the fourth grade to the tenth grade I went to a different school each year…and two different schools in my tenth grade year! (No, my dad was not in the military) Today, my husband and I are celebrating our 16 year wedding anniversary. In that amount of time, we have moved 5 different times! As a matter of fact, as I type this, I am living in an apartment while we wait for our house to be built. Yes, I’ve become quite familiar with the ol’ transition.

If you grew up in the church, do you remember those “alter calls” inviting those who want to become missionaries to come forward and be prayed over? I would cringe when I heard those because I hated the idea of always traveling away to a place of which I was unfamiliar. Sometimes I chuckle and think that maybe God wanted me to be a missionary after all, because it’s for darn sure He didn’t want me to be one of those stationary types!

The good thing about moving is you meet so many interesting people. I am, at heart, an introvert. So, as we moved & in order to have any kind of friendships at all, it became necessary to learn that “to have a friend, you gotta be a friend.” I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve had that horrible awkward feeling in my stomach while I, yet again, introduce myself to a new group or individual. It’s tough always being the “new kid on the block.”

Its so refreshing once introductions are over and the friendship begins. Playdates, dinners, picnics, movies, soccer games, baseball games, coffee, tea…friendship is a good thing. Reminds me that God didn’t design us to be islands. But, in my experience of always moving, what amazes me most is what occurs in the weeks up to when I leave. In the frenzied activities of packing, getting utilities shut off, etc…I get to see how my friends have seen Christ in me. There are lots of tears and late night talks of walking down memory lane. I cry because I know how much I will miss them, but I’m always amazed that they are saddened & cry to see me leave. Not that I don’t think I’m not great and wonderful and that my presence isn’t going to be greatly missed…of course…goes without saying. 🙂 But it is these moments for which I’m privileged to see my Lords handiwork because it isn’t me that has caused this reaction…it’s Christ. It’s Christ in me that they’ve seen…not me.

It’s not often that one gets to see how the Lord uses you. We all hope and pray that the Lord can somehow take our messed up lives and use them. I have always been skeptical that the Lord could use this addle-brained girl for anything other than a seat warmer. With that said, I feel like I got the “golden ticket.” The Lord has creatively used me. (Which is kind of a relief to me that I can even be used) But even more special, He has used me to touch other women…women whom I’ve grown to cherish and deeply respect. Young women…not-as-young women. Women of different nationalities. Women of all different religions. Precious people.

In the end, never underestimate what the Lord can do through you. He is at work…especially when you don’t think He is. Always introduce yourself. You never know how the Lord will bless that simple act. Today, go out and make a new friend. You introverts out there…put your big girl pants on. Get a smile on that face (no slouching…stand up straight) and clearly state your first and last name. Then stand back and watch the Lord unfold the blessing.

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