I was sitting in the waiting room of the allergy clinic, filling out forms before my appointment; beside me was my good friend Amanda who had taken time out of her day to drive me nearly an hour away from home to see the doctor. Of course, in that moment, I couldn’t help but feel guilty; the cycle was playing itself out again. It seemed I could hardly go a day without soliciting some kind of help from my friends. So often, I have felt as if I don’t really have true friendships because so much time is spent asking for favors.
Now I know that I’m probably making a bigger deal out of this than I need to because some of my friends have often commented on how they are happy to help. I thank them for being willing to come to my aid, but again, I come back to the thought of wanting to have “normal” friendships— not this frequent partaking of their time and resources.
That day in the clinic waiting room, I forced myself to examine the issue with a different angle. Instead of only thinking about the sacrifice of time and resources, I should also consider the blessing I have been given over and over again when it comes to my friends. I hope and pray these dear people know how much they mean to me as they offer me more than friendship; they are simply irreplaceable and an incredible blessing at every turn.
Below, I offer a list-of-sorts, cataloguing what a friend means to me. Friends, this is for you!
A friend is…
- Going over important paperwork for hours so I can finally grasp some form of understanding
- Singing silly songs so what’s seriously at stake doesn’t seem so threatening
- Chatting on Facebook about everything and nothing all at the same time
- Talking over coffee, because in that moment in time, nothing else seems to matter but each other
- Trying out recipes in the kitchen without knowing if the finished product will even be edible
- Worshipping together in prayer and song
- Learning lessons together about ministry and service
- Growing in faith and understanding of the Word
- Random and spontaneous outings or connections— often onBaldwin’sMain Street
- Tearful phone calls well after midnight
- Dreaming up songs and stories until 3:00 in the morning
- Friday night pizza outings
- Road trips and sometimes getting lost
- Concerts and music fests— for at these events were born “Tomlin Time” and Jon Micah, the musician I will never live up to
- Flowers on my desk— “just because”
- Believing in me even when I didn’t think I could move forward
- Opening your home to me and others when we were on the road and needed a place to stay
- Offering me rides when it was pouring rain, snowing so hard I couldn’t see, below zero, or over 90 degrees outside
- Supporting me in my music and giving me opportunities to share the gifts God has given me
- Driving to see me when I couldn’t go be with you
- Standing together in disability and persevering despite challenges
- Helping me go shopping and telling me honestly what looks good and what doesn’t
- Just “getting” me and not requiring words so things would make sense
- Being my family in so many ways
And the list could go on and on…
So here’s to you, my friends; thank you for who you are and what you do! You have been a blessing to me in so many ways, and I can’t imagine doing life without you.