Since mid-March, I’ve connected weekly with a small group of friends. Sometimes we talk 30 minutes and sometimes we talk 2 hours. We’ve only been together in person 2-3 times. We have mainly met via Zoom or a FaceTime group call. It’s been amazing to have a group to talk openly and honestly with on a consistent basis. It is one of the biggest blessing from this 2020 ‘lost’ year. I may have lost some experiences but I have gained so much in opening my heart and headspace to weekly conversations. Pre-Covid-19, I’d tell myself I was too ‘busy’.
Here’s the deal—each one of them are friends that I would not have, if not for Jacob.
Our friendship formed from attending the same church. The church we moved to, in 1983, because of their Special Ministries program. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with the way our Good, Good Father works. Follow me? If we hadn’t left where we were comfortable to find the best place for Jacob, I dare say, I wouldn’t know any of them. Of the group, they didn’t get to know Jacob at church. Different paths and different hours meant they didn’t see him. But, we did get to know each other.
None of them have been around him a lot. And yet, they have gotten to know Jacob, indirectly. From this blog. From our weekly conversations. From me asking them to pray. Because they are willing to hear the hard stuff. That’s a friend I want to hold close.
They understand our family who can sometimes be misunderstood. They offer support when discouragement strikes. They offer a helping hand when ours feel tied. They listen and remember. They agree in prayer. They are real—no pressure to be something we are not around each other. They are loyal and trustworthy.
I’ve heard it said
That people come into our lives
For a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led to those
Who help us most to grow if we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true
But I know I’m who I am today
Because I knew you
–For Good, written by Stephen Schwartz, Wicked the Musical
We all have other friends, some super close. Some we’ve know much longer than any connection here. But, I do believe we were led to each other for a reason.
On an April day that we were to zoom, Jacob had an especially rough morning. He was mad at the world. Me, being his world. By noon I was spent. Exhausted. Just wanted to curl up and have a good cry. I texted my group: “I’ll try to get on. Jacob has been yanking my chain all morning and has gotten the best of me. Hoping Mike can take over shortly.”
To which I got various sweet responses that summed up to, ‘we can another day’.
A little while later, I sent this text: “I’m going to today. Jacob’s time-out gave him a temporary attitude adjustment and allowed me to relax a little. Mike says he is where he can take over and for me to lock myself in our room! I need y’all and would love to connect today.” THAT. I knew I needed friends that would lift me up and cheer me on. And they did.
While we all need a friend or friends probably more than we realize, I’m suggesting to make being a friend, a priority. You never know when someone needs just that. Friendship is a two-way street. Being there for someone goes a long way toward moving in the right direction.
A year ago, we had a few couples over for dinner. One of the men walked in with this picture of Jacob and Pooh. He had recently read the blog post about friends – The Dreaded Question: https://problemfreephilosophy.blog/2019/08/29/hard-question/
The creator is many things including a preacher, an artist, an author, and a teacher to name a few. This sketch by http://joemckeever.com/wp/ is in Jacob’s bedroom and is a sweet reminder that a true friend will be there for you.
In the ’80s, Contemporary Christian artist, Michael W. Smith, co-wrote a song that became popular and crosses all musical genre lines, called, Friends.
And friends are friends forever, if the Lord’s the Lord of them.
In the Father’s hands we know, that a lifetime’s not too long to live as friends.
There may be a move or a death or other event that separates us for a season. But this I know, as friends who share in our faith, we are promised we will be together forever. Maybe longer.
Yes, forever with our Good, Good Father.
Thank you Jacob, for bringing such faithful friends into my life.