(In case you missed Part 1...)
Now we look back and see so many victories the Lord has given us, but sometimes I think the greatest victory is our friendship itself.
We’ve had some intensely rough spots. At least they seemed like it at the time. Looking back, I realize it was God pushing us beyond our comfort zones for trust, making us commit to fighting for friendship instead of walking away. And the truth is, I don’t think walking away was ever an option for either of us but we had to learn that.
Early on in our friendship, we had a misunderstanding, and Debra was afraid I would give up, but that never occurred to me. I was far more concerned about her heart and the wounds that made her think I wouldn’t want her as a friend. It broke my heart for her, and my prayer was to be the kind of friend God could use to heal that wound.
At the end of last summer, I was reaching my breaking point with circumstances, and honestly, I wasn’t being wholly truthful with myself, so there was no way to be honest with anyone else. I tried to talk to Debra, and based on what she knew, she tried to help. However, her suggestions were like suggesting simple addition could prove the Theory of Calculus. I didn’t know how to explain things to her, though, so I simply became frustrated and hung up.
And then refused to answer her calls when she called every five minutes for an hour.
We’re both pretty comfortable with bluntness, and I expected some bluntness when I finally answered the phone. However, what I got was a concerned friend who said simply, “I don’t know what is hurting you, and I understand that you can’t put it into words, but I’m not going anywhere. I will pray with you, and I will walk through this with you.” I burst into tears.
Since then, there have been many tears. Sometimes I know what to say. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I just cry, and she listens. Always, she’s there because she understands. She knows what it is like to be in bondage. She knows the desert is a harsh and painful place. She also knows when God makes a promise, He keeps it.
Circumstances, my mood, fatigue, others’ doubts—none of that fazes her because she sees through the stuff and sees the promise. Even on my incredibly lousy days, she’s looks at me…and sees promise…
That is the kind of friend she is. In fact, she’s more than a friend. She’s my Kay-leb.
Copyright Jerri Phillips 2009