Tag Archive | lonliness

My Friend

I was hiking in a prairie with a Friend the other day. We weren’t talking much, but we were holding hands. There were lots of people around, too, so I kept entertained. It was nice. We took a safe, easy road so the walk was not hard at all. In fact, I think I was even a little bored, I like to be challenged (just a little bit).

Then we came to a fork in the road. I had to make a choice. One way, the path continued, appearing to be safe and easy, somewhat familiar. But different somehow. Sure, it looked a little rocky, barren even. The grass wasn’t as lush and colorful as the prairie. I could see some trees though. There was beauty in it, I think. At least I thought so at the time.

The other path looked more difficult, a steep climb. It was magnificent, but there was a steep drop-off on one side. What if I fall?!? And I couldn’t see what was ahead. Were my friends there? I certainly didn’t want to be by myself. Suddenly, I was too afraid. There are too many unknowns. My Friend encouraged me to go with Him. He was going up the mountain and wanted me to come. He even promised to keep me safe. Well, I don’t know about that. Nobody can keep that kind of promise. But I certainly didn’t want to be alone … Then I realized I could see more friends up ahead on the path that ran alongside instead. Besides, the two paths were parallel to each other.

So, I let go of my Friend’s hand. He didn’t want me to, I don’t think. But I wasn’t worried. I could still see Him. I would wave once in a while and we’d shout back and forth while we walked.

He invited me back onto His path a few times, there were plenty of opportunities to. But those paths were treacherous and vulnerable. Plus, I didn’t want to admit I’d made a mistake. I am sure the paths will reconnect soon … Don’t worry. I can handle it. I was enjoying myself too much, making my own decisions. I was on my own, yet my Friend was there just not as bossy as He was before. Besides, it was interesting, the path, so I got distracted. It wasn’t scary at all, at least not at first; it was kinda fun. It started to get more challenging, but I was enjoying it. No matter how fast I moved, I couldn’t catch my friends though. In fact, the faster I hiked, the further they seemed to be ahead. I was frustrated. Didn’t they see me? I was beginning to think nobody was there at all.

I didn’t realize that I started to veer away from the other path. I never noticed that I couldn’t see my Friend anymore. It was okay though, I had a new friend. Not sure where he came from. I guess he was there the whole time. He said something once about helping me choose this path but I didn’t think much about it. It was amazing all the things we had in common. We talked a lot, especially about the challenges we came upon and the state of the thickening forest around us. It looked so sad, like there’d been a fire that burned the trees and a lot of them had fallen over. He put his arms around me. I felt safe.

We worked together to climb a few toppled trees (I look back now and realize those were warnings to turn back around), but my new friend helped me to see that the obstacles just made the path more exciting. There were even a few “Stop” and “Do not enter” signs. But those weren’t for me. I knew I’d made the right choice. I was certain. Right? I should tell … wait, where’s my Friend? I turned around frantically searching, but I couldn’t see Him. It was getting dark. Fast. Figures. I knew He wouldn’t be there for me when I needed Him.

I took a step backward and suddenly felt myself falling. With a thud I landed on the hard, cold ground. I … I fear I broke my leg. So I start to cry. Great, I’m such a wuss. I collect myself and get over it. Still, it’s pitch black. As hard as I squinted and strained my eyes, I couldn’t see anything. With my eyes closed, I reached around groping with my hands but found nothing but cold, wet stone. “Don’t worry,” my new friend whispered. He was there with me. Then why did I feel so alone? Suddenly, his arms were suffocating me, squeezing harder and harder. It didn’t hurt at first, but now … I just want to be free. I started to struggle and that made it worse, his talons starting to shred my skin. It hurts! I can’t breathe! Am I going to die? Now he’s laughing at me.

“God help me.”

I’m afraid to open my eyes but something’s different. Somebody’s there but I think my new friend is gone. I know now he really wasn’t my friend. I hang my head. I feel numb. But the ground doesn’t feel so cold anymore. I am afraid to trust anyone, even my Friend. He’s there. I know it. He’s not saying much. I’m still waiting for “I told you so.” I feel so stupid. Can someone die from stupidity? I began to think so.

All my Friend says is “I love you.” It doesn’t make any sense. My heart is throbbing, I think it might burst from my chest. It aches from the depth of my sorrow. My Friend holds me while I sob. He says stupidity won’t be my legacy. He has other plans for me.

My wounds are mostly healed now. But I have scars. I think I’m supposed to, so I don’t forget. They aren’t pretty and I can’t always hide them. But my Friend doesn’t seem to notice. Sometimes I want to remind Him. He’s talking more now. Or maybe I am just listening more. Yeah, I think that’s it.

I finally opened my eyes. The view is beautiful. Breathtaking, even when I look behind me. I still can’t see very far ahead, but I am not afraid. The path is difficult … But my Friend is carrying me, and I’m not letting go.

“But the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.” Psalm 18:18-19

Good-byes are hard

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Others stay a while, make footprints on our hearts and we are never, ever the same.”


If you imagine your life as a soundtrack to a movie, sometimes there are moments when you hear the needle scratch the record and the upbeat music suddenly comes to a screeching halt. That’s what it felt like when I got the news that my friend Erica was moving.

I was coasting, emotionally, and hopeful but naive. We live in a mobile society. It is rather rare for people today to be born and grow up in the same house in the same neighborhood, as it might have been for previous generations. It’s a fact of life. Jobs change, families grow, life happens. People come and they go. It’s a lesson I’ve been learning, yet still haven’t accepted I guess. I know God is continually teaching me to rely on Him and not people.


I met Erica before kids, when we were both newlyweds. Gosh, about a decade ago now. She is a godly woman with a kindred spirit and I knew right away I wanted to spend more time with this woman. She was like a sister (and often mistaken as one by others … I didn’t usually correct them.). Erica was with me through two years of infertility, reminding me constantly that God has plan. She prayed expectantly for me, that God would give us a child. And she was there for me, in the delivery room, when my daughter was born. Now, our kids of similar ages are friends, too, and they will get a life lesson in this as they watch them move to another state. Erica also was there for me when my marriage was in trouble and I was afraid for our future. She prayed expectantly with me again, this time asking God to raise beauty from the ashes. She always spoke the truth of God’s word and pointed me to God, even when it hurt.

The past few years, life got in the way of our friendship, and now I look back and think about what ifs and should haves. We recently started making up for that time lost, and I am so thankful for the time God gave us together here and that we ended this era on a good note. But that doesn’t make the good-bye any easier. Not that this is the end. I’ve decided to say “see you later” instead.

The good news, as it is with biological sisters, it doesn’t matter how much time passes in between talks, we’ll always be able to connect on a heart-to-heart level as we always have been. And I really look forward to the new phase of our friendship, even if it does look a little different than what I am used to.

Love you, my friend.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11


Thinking about you.

Don’t you just love getting a message or note that lets you know someone was thinking of you? I just got an email this morning from a friend who is on a busy vacation. Nothing special other than it made me feel loved. It’s not like I don’t spend enough time thinking about myself that I really need anyone else doing it, lol. But it sure feels good to know someone is thinking about you once in a while. Can you even imagine how much God wants the same from us? He wants us to think about Him. Admittedly, I don’t enough.

One thing I learned in BSF was how to really worship God, especially when I’m just not in the “mood” or when all my prayer requests seem overwhelming. We started every prayer session worshiping God for who He is by simply naming His attributes, no fancy speech or wording required. I spent about 2.5 miles of my morning run doing exactly that, coming up with as many names or characteristics of God as I could:

You are my Father. My King. Creator. Perfect Provider. Prince of Peace. You are Love. The Word. Faithful and Trustworthy. The glue that holds the world together. My Friend.

And on and on … After spending the winter studying Isaiah, a book in which God is revealing Himself, there were a lot for me to recall. When I thought I had them all, I wracked my brain to come up with more. I meditated on songs (Healer!), scripture (Truth, Life, Way.) and Sunday school stories (Shepherd!) to get me thinking of the ones I missed. It was such a blessing. I had made a commitment to do this every day before prayer, but 2 minutes doesn’t compare to 20.

What a relief to take a break from thinking of myself to focus on God. A glimpse at the incomparable holiness of who God is helps me put life in godly perspective. Life just doesn’t seem nearly as discouraging when you aren’t focused on the problems in life but the solution instead. As I learned over the past year: focus on your troubles and they will seem big and God will seem small; focus on God and He will seem big and your troubles small. With a right view of God and who He is, I can have a right view of myself, others and my circumstances.

” ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8