Believing, Loving, Thoughts

The Wet and Smelly Side of Friendship

Friendship doesn’t always mean thoughtfulness or gifts or making plans to spend time together.  Sometimes being a friend involves nothing more than water and deodorant.

I was driving home yesterday with the prospect of having unexpected free time on my hands, and I was thinking of all the things I would do with my time.  I COVET free time, probably because I don’t have much of it.  I daydreamed things like: I have photos from two trips I took this summer that are still sitting on my camera’s memory card that I could finally get off and edit and blog about, I have a book project that I need to work on, I have a dirty house that I could clean, and OH MY GOSH A NAP SOUNDS AWESOME.

I wasn’t able to do any of those things yesterday because as I was thinking about all the wonderful things *I* could do with *MY* time, I felt a tugging on my heart that brought to mind a friend that I hadn’t talked to in a couple of weeks.  So I called her just to say hi, which turned into asking her to lunch because I could tell by her voice that she was having a bad day.

Long story short, she was having an EPICALLY bad day.  She was at work, but she needed to cry and talk, so I picked her up and drove her to the bank so she could make a deposit for work.  Then we parked in the shade (big YAY! since it was in the 90’s) and just sat in the car and…cried and talked.

One of the things she was lamenting was that her back was hurting her too bad to carry bottled water up three flights of stairs to her apartment.  STOP RIGHT THERE.  Some of you may scoff at bottled water being something to cry over, but living in the DFW metroplex, I assure you that bottled (or filtered) water is a necessity of life.  If you want to drink water, that is.  DFW water tastes bad in the winter months, but in the summery, HOT DROUGHT-Y months it tastes like wet soil. Literal dirt.  It’s awful. ANYWAY – another thing she was upset about was being too depressed to take good care of herself and she was out of deodorant, and sorry if she was stinky.  (She wasn’t. Nor was her house as dirty as she felt like it was.)

My friend has a touch of OCD, coupled with not-so-ideal life circumstances, financial stresses, and PMS – she was a hurricane of emotions.  I didn’t know what to do for her or how to help her, so I didn’t do anything.  Turns out, she just needed someone to talk to, who would listen without judgment or without telling her to “stop having a pity party” (like another “friend” had done to her earlier).  ((eye-roll))  She just needed to BE with me.

So that is what I did.  I listened, I hugged her, I cried with her, and I prayed for her.  And even though she didn’t ask me to, I bought deodorant and water (and took it up to her third floor apartment) for her.  Sometimes the things we think are no big deal can mean the world to someone else.

I was glad I was able to respond to what I believe was God’s nudging on my heart.  Turns out, that ‘nudge” happened at the exact time she was taking the trash out for work, in the back of her building, where she had taken the opportunity to cry and pray and ask God for something, anything to let her know she was cared for.

I was honored that God chose to use me in that way.  I hope that you can be as blessed by friendship as I was yesterday.  Don’t ever disregard opportunities that come your way to be a friend to someone in need.  Don’t ignore the quiet urgings or gentle nudgings in your heart that are trying to move you this way or that – just do it.  You never know what effect your seemingly insignificant action can have on the world around you.

Go be someone’s blessing today!

Loving, Thoughts

Friendship is Unnecessary

friendshipquote
Carmel Mission, July 2013

I have been through a tough year.  If I’m honest, it was more like 18 months.  Deaths, surgeries, injuries, more surgeries, other various health problems plagued not just my own life, but also those of my loved ones.  During that time, I knew I wasn’t “myself” but I kept blaming life circumstances.  About a year into feeling just flat-out “empty”, I told my doctor, who’s known me for years, about how I was feeling.  She recognized that I wasn’t depressed, but rather, dysthymic.  I guess the biggest clue was that my daily life was not being disrupted by my mood – I’m sure to an outsider, it looked like nothing was wrong.

But I knew.

And if my friends knew, they were gracious enough to love me through that difficult time.  God bless them!!

This is why I am dedicating this post to them:

Thank you for loving me by engaging me in conversation even though I didn’t have much to say.

Thank you for loving me by calling me even though I wasn’t calling you.

Thank you for loving me by seeking out my company when I wasn’t much fun to be around.

Thank you for loving me when I wasn’t as witty as you’ve known me to be.

Thank you for loving me for ME simply for who I am, even if I wasn’t acting like ME.

I’m on the other side of it now (since sometime in mid-June if I had to think about it).  It was the kind of funk that you don’t fully realize the depth of until it’s over.  I will never know if it was medicine that helped me out of it or it simply ran its course, but I am so glad I told my doctor and was able to find relief.

For a time, I felt like I was just going through the motions of life, living reclusively inside myself.  During that time, it wasn’t that I thought I “didn’t need” my friends or anything, I just didn’t have the mental energy to reach out to them.  Now that I am able to get back into the groove and actually LIVE, I wanted to take the time to thank them for being there for me.  I am forever grateful that my friends were waiting for me when I got back to being Me.