Tuesday, October 31, 2017

To Have a Friend you must be a Friend

I am not sure how or why Joanne and I were so close. She was just one of those people that you meet and sit down and talk. We were so different in some ways but in other ways so alike. She was extremely creative, which is how I met her, and I was more business minded. We seamlessly blended together with respect and encouragement and our love for God.  

On reflection, I think I had the biggest admiration for the things she could see with her creative eye. She painted, she crafted, she wrote children's books. wrote poems,  and the creativity was apparent in all that she was a part of in life. When I would listen to her and see things through her eyes the things of God just popped out and became clear. As we talked, she probably had no idea that my mind was taking God out of the box I put Him in but expanding my view of who He is and what love He has for us. So simple and yet so complicated sometimes. We all need that friend that draws us closer but also give us a bigger picture of who God really is in our life.

A few years ago, she received the  news that she had cancer. When they found it they didn't give her  more than a few months, I met her about two years later after her diagnoses and she was as vivacious as ever. She was standing on the promise that God had given her more time and more energy to fight. A fight she gave that cancer. She held on for two more years. Even through the pain and her body giving out on her, she kept fighting. There were things she wanted to finish before she left this world. Things that God had put on her heart and she finished each one. When she walked through those gates of heaven she talked all the way there. She was ready and happy, if you can even say something like that at that moment, but peace and happiness seemed to be what the family felt as she walked on to another place where she no longer has to fight.

Through this journey with her, really on the outskirts, somehow our relationship deepened. It became something very special and honoring. Her Pastor spoke at her funeral and talked a lot about relationships. Relationships with each other, with family and friends. That this is the most important thing in life. Jesus constantly talks about it and encourages us to love one another. It's not what you have, not what you want but learning the heart of God and that He truly desires our love for Him.

Time is short, life can change in a moment, standing and being a friend is a life long honor and privilege that we don't always see. I have had my own battles with health and almost dying a couple of times in the recent years. Somehow, this message makes so much sense to me. It's just not what you have, it's what you have to give and the most important part is YOU.
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