Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Giving Thanks--Friends

And then there's our friends.

I almost laugh out loud at the simple addition of "friends" to the bullet point list. Yes, I am thankful for friends, but in a way so deep that my stomach hurts because I'm overwhelmed by all the love I've been shown this year.

When family is far away, "friendship" takes on a whole new meaning. Without family in town to lean on when the going gets tough, our friends have selflessly given their time and their hearts to keep our feet on the ground. Saying "thank you" seems so small because they will never know the extent to which they were the very hands and feet of our Savior.

This has been a doozy of a year for Brad and I--stretched to our limits by moving and the accompanying drama, Dad's brain bleed, Brad's travel schedule, my job(s), and oh yeah, the kids and all they encompass.

But God has abundantly blessed me with friends to brace my arms by bringing meals, watching the kids, and mostly...praying for me and allowing me to process the winding roads of life out loud without judgment and with wise counsel.

The encouragement I received from friends who took the time to listen to my heart made such a difference. Instead of merely surviving week after week of difficult times, they pointed me to God's strength and reminded me of his soverign intent in each situation.

I can say without a shadow of a doubt they have seen my weaknesses and heartaches in full force. We have cried a LOT of tears together this year. I'm talking swimming pools worth. And they love me anyway.

Because of his grace, God has surrounded me with hand-picked messengers of his love...both here in Colorado and across the country. I am humbled by each person God has specifically chosen to be part of my life.

I couldn't ask for more.

p.s. I will not suggest linking arms and singing "Friends are Friends Forever" but you get the idea.

p.p.s. I owe you all a latte.