May 17, 2016

my friend's gratitude dinner

This weekend was a lot of eating and spending time with good friends. Adam and I went to a nice dinner on Friday with a long time friend of mine and her boyfriend, for one final "ho-rah" before we leave. Saturday we went to a joint birthday party for 2 of our long time friends who turned 40, that was really fun and we ate lots of good food and got lots of hugs from their parents who've treated us like family over the years, good stuff. We couldn't get a sitter 3 nights in a row so Sunday I went solo to a gratitude dinner that my friend threw for herself and it was so great. When we moved here almost 2 years ago we rented a house that just happened to be across the street from friends of ours and we didn't even know it! I don't think it was a coincidence that we were neighbors for that month as it ended up to be a really hard year for my friend and through that rental we got back in touch with one another. My friend and her husband are in the midst of a divorce and anyone who has gone through a divorce themselves or has walked with someone going through a divorce knows, its a lot, and its hard. I've watched my friend have good days and bad days, I've gone with her into her new apartment after having to sell her beautiful home, I've sat in her backyard as we've talked about how hard life can be, I've sorted through her belongings to help with those hard decisions of what to keep/get rid of when it feels like you're loosing so much already. Through it all she's had an unwavering faith that has been really amazing and encouraging to witness. On Sunday night she gathered those nearest and dearest to her and treated everyone to an amazing dinner at a local restaurant and talked about how thankful she is for the role that each of us has played in her life. Her dad got up to say a speech and to remind his daughter of the truth of God's word, it was really life-giving. He was saying how when we wait on the Lord, He will renew our strength, we will run and not grow weary, walk and not faint. His depiction of the famous Isaiah 40 passage was really poignant for me and it filled me with hope and truth and reminded me of what I know but never tire of hearing. Waiting has been a theme for me a lot in my life, most particularly these past 2 years and my eyes filled with tears as I was reminded that those who hope and wait on the Lord will be renewed. What a timely reminder for me, and more importantly for my friend.  Sunday night was one of those experiences that make up the good stuff of life, and I was so thankful to be there. I wish I could take away my friend's pain, but I love that in the midst of it she is celebrating God's faithfulness and acknowledging his goodness in the pain. It was an honor to be invited, it has been an honor to be on this journey with her, and I don't think the Lord providing a rental house across the street from her was just an accident because that's how God works, He's in the details of our lives even when we don't know it....yet. xo

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