There’s a creative element that runs through me that I discovered when I became an adult. Now, I am nowhere near an artist, in fact I joke that I even struggle to draw a stick figure person. So, that kind of artistic talent does not course through my veins. But, I can create other things, and I can copy ideas. For a long time, I joined in on the scrapbook craze, and I spent countless hours while I pulled together treasured memories within the pages of albums in an artistic manner.
And, during that time I was blessed to do so much of this creative work with one of my closest friends by my side. I think back on those times with great fondness, and although I had major outside stresses such as work and personal issues, I look back on those days with my friend as a golden time – as time spent with her almost seems magical. She’s one of those souls that the world needs more of – she’s kind, she’s fun, she’s super creative, she laughs, she deeply loves her family, she’s supportive, she’s not judgmental, she’s caring, she’s a Godly woman, all in all she’s just plain amazing. She’s helped me through so many situations in my life – she’s cried with me, she’s held my hand, and she’s celebrated with me. And, although we no longer live close to one another, she continues to be a bright spot in my life. Next to my husband, she’s the closest person to me. And, I am deeply blessed that she’s my friend.
She doesn’t know this, but she was an answer to a long-time cry of my heart to God. For pretty much most of my life I have had many acquaintances with whom I’ve had friendships and closeness for a period of time. But for one reason or another, we always seemed to end up going separate ways – life happens. I am a person who, like many others, is riddled with insecurities, and deeply flawed. I grew up believing that I was second-rate, I wasn’t the smartest in my family, and I believed that my mother did not love me. I figured that there must be something terribly wrong with me, so I would never let people see or know the real me. I felt that if they knew who I really was, they wouldn’t like me, after all (in my mind) my own mother didn’t like me. I know that I pushed people away because of this fear. But deep down all I wanted was a real friend, someone who would stick with me through thick and thin. And, I cried out to God, through a good portion of my life for that one true friend. Almost 25 years ago, God answered that call.
She is also a deliberate shopper, and I know when she picks out something for someone, as when she makes something for someone, she’s thought long and hard about what she selects. It is done with great care. When she’s handpicked something to give to you, you can be sure that it’s not done in haste and it truly reflects the genuine care, concern, and affection she has for you. That handpicked gift is perfect.
When I think about the care that my dear friend uses when she handpicks out that one special thing that perfectly expresses her regard for me, I see something greater than a physical gift. I see God’s love, as reflected back to me through my dear friend, and to me that’s the greatest gift of all to treasure.
Proverbs 17:17a A friend loves at all times
Proverbs 18:24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 27:9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.
Philippians 1:3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,