Wednesday, February 1, 2012

One-of-a-Kind Friend

I have a one-of-a-kind friend.

Truth be told, she can be kind of a wierdo, just like me.
We were both a little scared of each other when we first started our friendship.  I actually remember sitting on her living room floor telling her I was going to take it slow, getting to know her.  I was a little undone by how much I loved her quirky, lovely self already.  I'm several years into this friendship and no closer to understanding or describing how much I love this woman and her family.  The only thing I know is that God gave us to each other.

(This is my it looks when she's sitting beside me.  Unless we're eating.  Then it usually looks like this, just behind a napkin.  I try to be polite.)
I really only have a few friends.  Don't get me wrong ~ I care about a lot of people.  But as for friendships, I only have a few. 

Friend:  Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.  Proverbs 18:24
Friend:  Do a favor and win a friend forever.  Nothing can untie that bond.  Proverbs 18:19
Friend:  You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another.  Proverbs 27:17
Friend:  Agree with each other.  Love each other.  Be deep-spirited friends.  Philippians 2:2

I only have a few friends.  They are my sisters, many whom I have had the privilege of "doing life" with for a few years, many I've only known a few months before I have to move on.  I have those closer than sisters scattered across the States, in Wyoming, Utah, Texas, and beyond.  

Some who shared little girl days of sleeping back to back on sleep-overs and the trials of growing up.

Some who shared days of taking husbands off the throne and putting God, radically, on it where He belongs.  Those days of standing between the gap of wanting so much more of God and still wanting to hold the hand of the man who wasn't quite there yet.  Growing to understand that straddling that gap was only possible because of Christ, the Rock, we stood on.

Some who walked dark roads of three-day incapacitating migraines, five or six a month, and all the doctors, medication, sliding down walls after the magic "little red pills" ~ all the prayers, the love, the words of encouragement that caught me when I called myself "stupid" and told me no more!  That Topamax may block the brain bridges to my words, but name-calling was not going to be how I treated myself while they walked in my life.

All of these, I love fiercely.  With abandon to myself.  With hope for them and their loved ones.

Oh, yes, I have a few friends.  And in many ways we are all shaped the very same ~ with a bond of Jesus Christ that claimed us as family, often times before we knew it.  And I thank God for his mercy and grace to have loved me this much.

But each friend is a one-of-a-kind, as well.

I ran a marathon once.  With the girl who scares me sometimes.  She and I?  We're so much alike in many ways that it freaks us out!  We've introduced each other with "this is my twin..."  And laugh out-loud ~ too many times people believed it!  Well, despite our 6 inch difference in height (is it more than that, Friend?) we could definitely be flesh and blood sisters.  And I'd claim her any day, though we might be even more of a mess if we'd actually grown up together.

I ran a marathon once ~ all five months of miles of icy Utah training ~ just so I could talk with her.  We talked through all of those miles.  We prayed God in our conversations.  We fleshed Him out.  We laughed.  We cried (we were training for a marathon, people).  We ate.  We often planned our running based on what we got to eat afterwards.  We're foodies that way.
(Believe can only have this kind of synchronicity after MILES of running together.  Look at those matched strides.  Goodness, even the shadows look uniform!)
Truthfully, I've been ruined for running ever since this marathon was over.  She's in Utah, I'm in Germany, and no one since has been this one-of-a-kind friend.  The first question I ask of a runner who's offered an invitation is, "do you talk?"  And of course, even if they do ~ which funnily enough I've discovered "serious" runners DON'T talk.  How much fun is that? ~ even if they do, the bigger question is "do you talk for hours of running about God, and the deeper things of life?"  Now that's a great run for me!
(Aw, I still love you so much...even after the colossal water fight on the river in which you were determined to get my short, curly hair wet.  You won.  Which is why Ken's hat is in the photo.)
(This is what I was trying to avoid on the river.  It's what going to bed with wet, short, curly hair looks like in the morning.  Yes ... I know ... all you straight-haired girls keep telling me how jealous you are!)
Tell me I'm not brave.  Have you stopped laughing yet?  It's longer now, so on the rare occasion I go to bed with it wet I look like the Infusium Hair commercial.  Forgive me if no ones knows what I'm talking about.  We haven't had t.v. since 2005, so I'm really clueless about commercial programming. Our children love that they live in the dark ages of books and movies. ~ Just scroll back up and picture an extra ten inches of WILD, baby!
(Proof of just how good it is?  We were co-training leaders at a Leadership Orientation.  Looks more like horsing around, doesn't it?  It was followed by chocolate.  Those leaders were well-trained!)
Finally, I'm getting to the reason I thought of writing this last night.  This one-of-a-kind forever friend, (really, no one but the few people in Utah that read this blog have any idea who I'm talking about, Friend, and here you're still pretty incognito!) she is a couple years older than me.  She started the 40-something curses on me.  She'd say something about experiencing something ~ I'd stare blankly and murmur some kind of compassionate "that sounds stinky!" (sure glad it's not me) and darned if I didn't experience it the next month.  I got her a few times too ~ hey, you need this kind of friend when you head into the 40's.

I asked her one day how her skin was so beautifully smooth.  She referred me to her skin-guy (I don't remember the fancy name) and I discovered that a facial removes all of your facial hair.  I'm not a hairy woman, but about twice a year I can't stand that there is a shadow forming on my upper lip, so ~ 
I shave it off.
I shave my face twice a year.
Worse, I use my husband's razor.  
(I'm suspicious that ladies razors were not designed for your face.)
Please don't judge me.
I have great skin and just don't want to pay someone to do what I can do at home.  With my husband's razor.  Did I mention that he has recently moved to an electric razor?  The point of this post?

I have a one-of-a-kind friend who's cackle I can hear, and in the right moment, if I were sharing it in person, would cry, roll on the floor, and possibly pee her pants ~ all because ...

Dear One-of-a-Kind Friend,

Tonight I accidentally shaved my tongue.


What can I say?  Those electric razors have some real get-up-and-go!

Favored One, do you have ONE friend?  One true friend, who treasures you and yours, who sticks closer than family, who sharpens you and is deep-spirited with you?  Then you are Favored, indeed.

Love you!

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