I have written and rewritten this post...I just can't seem to put down in a blogspot what I am feeling. The feelings are intense and hard to accurately portrait them to you without you becoming confused by the mess of words that I spew out from my keyboard.
I remember singing the Michael W. Smith song "Friends" many a time during my high school, college years. By the time I was married I had made friends and said good-bye to them but usually because one of us was moving. In fact, I can't think of one single person whom I have an estranged relationship with until this past week.
It got me thinking about friendships in general. Throughout our lives we come in contact with many people. Some will stay in the acquaintance stage while others may move to that inner circle of close, dear friend status. Then, there are all the levels between the two that are occupied by the majority of our friendships.
I happen to be one of those gals that have a lot of friendships in the mid levels. I have a few that have been intimate, close friends but for different seasons of my life. We change, we grow and sometimes that means our friendships change as well. I am okay with that. But, when the majority of your friendships are couples that you and your husband are close with...and, when your husband dies...can you see some difficulty here?
Yes, you would think that those people would be the ones that gather around you to support you knowing that you are an individual that still needs that friendship. I found out last week that one of those close friends decided that she no longer wants to be my friend. Our friendship, I have been told, was based on my relationship with Eric. Since Eric is no longer here, we no longer need to be friends. I am just someone she knows now. Wow! This was a close friend...or so I thought. As this has sunk in I have found myself grieving all over again. It's hard enough to lose your husband, the life you had with him, your children's father, and pretty much your identity...but, to have a friend tell you this is just...it's just junk!
But, the shock has worn off and over this past week I have been reminded of a sweet blessing. God opened a few doors for me to have some interaction with some dear friends that I thought were backing off due to my different status in life. Those who really loved us both, loved me all the more when he died. They did not treat me like a project, they did not exclude me from functions, they backed off when they were told to by others, they loved me by helping me with my children and understanding my situation. I can't thank the Lord enough for those who loved me beyond what I could even see...
Thank you Dave and Jean H,
Thank you Carl and Jennifer S,
Thank you Steve and Wendy W.
And, a huge thank you goes out to all those at Central Valley Presbyterian who gave, loved, and prayed for me.
You loved me even when it hurt.
You have accepted my new life with Phil.
And, more importantly, you have been a shining example of how the Church should take care of its own and the widow and orphans.
So, if you didn't understand this post you now understand why I have had such a hard time writing it. Such grief, such sorrow over losing some friends while joy over reuniting with other friends. And, then the mixed feelings of sadness over time lost with those friends.