Thursday, August 14, 2008

Best friends

Have you ever had a really rough time over a very long haul, and then the fog clears long enough to help you realize that the Lord was allowing the hard times to grow you in certain ways?

Growing up, I never considered my immediate family to be the ones I should confide in, or the ones with whom I should rest my weary heart during long trials. I think this is commonplace for so many these days. But is it biblical? I think not.

While driving home from an exhausting day, I was thinking on how lonely and rough things have been for far too long, and suddenly I realized, that in mourning all of my losses, the one place that I felt safe and protected, loved and understood, was in my own home. What blessing, what joy overwhelmed me at that moment!

Until now all I've been able to focus on are all my failures as a parent, spouse, and friend. But at that very moment I focused in on the fact that I am exceedingly rich, for I have the heaven on earth that so many desire: I have the love and loyalty of my husband and children. I can truly be me with them.

For one who finds it hard to relate to many (I'm not a very extroverted person, I just play one on T.V.), I find it hard to make new friends everywhere I go. Really. I want to trust people, but experience, and the Bible, tell me otherwise. I also am the kind of person who takes a long time to feel that I can take others into my confidence, and even when I do, it's not a bunch of folks who will fit my criteria of a trustworthy person. I'm content with just a handful.

I have one very close friend outside of my family whom I miss very dearly because we are 1200 miles apart, but other than that, I don't let too many get to know the real me - the true heartfelt and emotional side of me. Maybe I'm strange, but that's all that I can handle.

All at once, as if the heaviness over my soul was lifted, the Lord opened my eyes to see how blessed I am. My family are the few people in this world that I can really be me around... and who I am is o.k. with them! They love me for who I am, and the feeling is mutual. We have every personality type under the sun in our home, but together we are one in Christ.

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" (psalm 133:1)

Now that's something for which to praise the Lord! I am blessed! I want to shout it from the mountain tops! O.K., maybe that's a bit much for someone as introverted as I am, but inside that is how I feel (and I do live in the mountains, after all!). And that exuberant joy is just fine with my family.

I can't wait to see their shining faces this morning.....


LynAC said...

I'm glad you started blogging again. Hope your children are feeling better!

Mama said...

I can totally relate to your feelings! Good friends are hard to find, and most of the good ones are like us....busy with families to love and serve! We are so blessed though, because even the best of friends can be no replacement for the love of our dear, faithful husbands, and the smiles and grubby hands of our children. But, if you ever need some girlfriend me!

Amy Howard said...

Dear "Mama" (yes, I know who you are ;)) and Lyn,

Thank you so much for your kind words!

Lyn: Yes, the kids are feeling better, but the Daddy.... well, not so much. Ick!

"Mama:" I'm so glad to know that someone relates! I think I will call you for some girlfriend time soon! And maybe some son-friend time as well ;)"T" has been asking about "Z" and "T" a bunch.

I think you are right, "Mama," the good friends we could spend tons of time with are just so busy like us. But that busy-ness is good if it is spent on the eternal.

Do y'all ever have days when you feel as if all you ever do is invest, invest, invest? You know what I mean? Those days where you do absolutely nothing but focus on training, enlightening your children's minds on how their current course is not bidding well for their future, etc.? Those are the days when you feel good, but completely drained at the end of the day because everything you did that day was for the future and you see no immediate reward.

The other evening I said to Jim Bob, "Honey, is there going to be a time when I do something besides invest?" He said, "Yes, there will be, it may be a long time coming, but it will come."

Still, I love what I do and wouldn't trade it for the whole entire world. Nothing could yield as big a reward eternally. Nothing.

Hugs to you both!

Mama said...

investing is a good way to put it! I try to remind myself to thank the Lord for times the kids act up in one way or another. If I look at is as another opportunity to teach them more about the Lord, then it is well worth the effort. It's all about not looking at myself and what I could've been doing that would've been fun for me. We have to take the 'I' and 'me' out of the equation for this season in our lives. It will be over too soon, really. And then we will wonder what to do with ourselves!
T and Z were asking about T just today! Whenever you have a moment, call or email.