A Loving Friend
For Your love is ever before me and I walk continually in Your truth."
Well, it is here again, the time of year that causes my heart to ache and stirs memories within me that are so painful I can barely recount them in full. I can only remember the memories in part, in certain pieces, at certain times. And I am only a removed part of the story. I am not a central figure, not a main character, not a family member, not even the closest friend. I am one of many friends who loved, and still love, a family who lost a wife and daughter . . . this day . . . seven years ago.
I am blessed to be part of a wonderful group of girls who get together once a month. Sometimes one of us might miss due to a husband having a meeting, a sick kid, ballgames, you get the idea. But, we have had the group going for close to 9 years. We add to our group, girls move, but the corp remains. Seven years ago we had our Christmas get together at my girlfriend's house. We had maybe the best night ever. One of our friends was about to have her second child. We were all excited about having Christmas with our young kids. We laughed about how silly the show the "Bachelor" was (it was a relatively new show back then!) and how blessed we were to have our husbands. Life was pretty great. In fact, it felt like it could not get any better this side of heaven, at least for me it did.
That following Saturday, my girlfriend who hosted the Christmas party, called me rather late. In this phone call she told me that one of our members, our sweet precious friend, had been killed along with her daughter. Her husband was also in the car and was in serious condition and in the hospital. Their son was not in the accident. Scott and I could not believe it. She told us it was true, we said we loved each other and hung up. Scott ran out the door to get a paper. The husband/dad is his good friend. He had to find some proof of the accident, he just could not believe it. He found none. But, we did call the hospital. The next morning we were there at 8:00 am to meet and pray with a man who had just lost almost everything. Yet this amazing man had his faith, and his boy.
We were all shaken, horrified, broken-hearted. They had been killed by a drunk driver. This is a sweet, loving, Christian family. They help others, serve the community, love each other. Drunk driving. Drunk driving. Drunk driving. Only by GOD's grace did a family and community move on.
I miss my friend. She was so funny! She loved so much. She left notes. She was very talented. She left notes about her faith. She loved her husband. She was thankful. She loved her kids. She made an impact on my life. I am thankful for her.
My friend taught me much. She didn't seem to ever hold back. What a lesson for us to learn as we head into the holidays. I want to love like this. Christ loves like this- with abandon. I love my girlfriends. I love you, girls! I love my kids! You are my wonderful gifts! I love my husband! My best friend and so much more- you make my life so great!!!
I want to celebrate this year and every year knowing my kids have the knowledge that their mom lives her life to the fullest- not just that she wants them to live their life to the fullest. Do they see me laugh, joke, run, sing? Do they hear me talk to GOD? Do they see me read my Bible? Am I leading them closer to their Savior each day? Do they see me loving their Daddy? Am I soaking it up?
"Guide me in Your truth and teach me,
for You are GOD my Savior,
and my hope is in You all day long."
I wish you all peace and safety this holiday. For those of you grieving the loss of a loved one, a marriage, a relationship, or a job, I wish you the peace and comfort that only the Holy Spirit can bring. In honor of my sweet friend and her precious daughter, I wish you the fearlessness to love with abandon in the power of the Almighty!
Love and Merry Christmas, friends!
"Father GOD, let me love in Your way. Let me lead those you have given me. Let me follow those you have set over me. Teach me to love without fear. I love You."