I’ve been caught. Red-handed. Friends/loved ones actually read this thing (wow…amazement) and they are holding me accountable. I’m very impressed. Two people told me, “Ahem, it’s March….” and one of my 2013 goals was to blog more, at least once a month. I guess that means I owe this two posts? Sigh…pitiful on my part. Amazing on my friends part. You guys rock.

Speaking of friends…there’s been several “new/interesting” encounters with friends as of late. Most of the time life is going smooth. You hang out with a friend and have dinner. You meet up with several for small group. You watch a movie together. But life isn’t always smooth. And when it gets “crazy,” boy does it ever…

I’ll use code names here….Compassionate Friend has had some rough relationship issues lately. I don’t quite understand how life can be so confusing with a boy. But it is. Women think one way and seem to figure it out, then boy comes along and is totally not on the same track. Explanation? No clue. Except that God made us differently on purpose…and as a man and a woman…we are “meant” to think/process/respond differently. There’s something beautiful to this, however confusing and frustrating it can be at times.

It’s something I’ve learned in my relationship with Blake. There are certain things that used to hurt me or frustrate me until I learned his way of doing things versus mine. For instance, he is a great gift-giver. He loves to give and when he does, he’s really good at it. He takes time, initiative and really gets what a person wants. Sometimes even above and beyond what he/she wants. But Blake is not a planner. He doesn’t think way way in advance and planning events or outings is not his way of showing how much he cares. Me, on the other hand, I love to plan “things” or “fun excursions.” I think it’s safe to say that he shows love by giving gifts and I show love by quality time. It’s a difference that takes getting used to, but oh does it ease the emotions once you realize it. Any couples out there know what I’m talking about and care to comment?

Super Understanding Friend recently had a very dear and close friend of her’s die, suddenly. It was “heart-wrenching,” as she put it. Something I learned with this friend, although we have not known each other long and we are not necessarily “close” friends…one of the best things you can do for someone hurting is just to be. Just be there. Just listen. Just be a shoulder to cry on. Just pray. Just pray for their heart. With Super Understanding Friend…I somehow had a peace that God was going to use the passing of her friend for His good, and also, for the good of Super Understanding Friend. She’d never had a close one die. Isn’t it amazing how God can take something difficult, seemingly impassable, and make it something He uses in the future in our lives?

I think often of my car accident. The details play over and over in my head. It used to terrify me. It used to paralyze me. It took time to heal physically and emotionally. But after…oh God made me stronger…and able to relate to people in painful situations like that. Through the pain and memory, He gave me something to help others with. The same holds true for when I was in a tornado just a few months after my accident. Such beauty in the chaos. After I moved to Alabama, there was the worst outbreak of tornadoes this state has seen in years. More than 200 people were killed. God gave me strength to go and see, to talk to people in need, and to be a shoulder to cry on for those who just needed someone to be with them. Amazingly…God gave me the experience of the tornado to be there for those people. And it was such a blessing for me.

Friends. God gave them to us for a reason. He gave them for us to be with. For us to support. For us to prod on to better things. For us to learn from. For us to encourage.

I’m thankful. I hope I can be a better friend and love whole-heartedly. How about you?

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