I can't believe six months has passed by since my last blog.
I just finished reading a blog from a former christian discussing why he doesn't pray anymore. He decided that this many years later, he just doesn't believe in "the big guy." So sad, for him anyway.
I think I have probably prayed more this year than any other year in my life, active prayer that is. I've prayed for the election. I've prayed for a close friend whose marriage has come to an end. I've prayed for my children: for the oldest to mature and be more responsible with his family, for my middle one who plans on seeking out her birth mother in less than a year, and then there is the prayer for my youngest. He is the one I pray for the most.
I imagine being 13 is a lot more complicated these days than it was in 1973. Our lives were so much easier. We went to school, came home and did chores, ate as a family at the dinner table, watched a TV show and went to bed. We didn't have 100's of TV channels to captivate us until the wee hours of the morning. We didn't have computers or IPODS and we damn sure didn't have cell phones. We went to school with the same kids from kindergarten until we graduated. Every once in awhile we would get a new student and everyone wanted to be the first one to make friends.
My 13 year old wrote a paper for his English class this week in which the theme was "Memoir". He wrote about the "worst years of his life". He talked about how many times he has changed schools, how many times he has had to start over making friends, trying out for teams, trying to fit in-somewhere. As I sat there reading it, was it any wonder he has progressively gotten into trouble at school and having problems fitting in? I never had to worry about being the new kid in school. I grew up with Ellen and Freddie and then added several other friends along the way. My best friend now is the same best friend I had in junior high school. We may not live near each other, but I know that, if I need her, she'll come.
As a former army wife, I moved just about every other year, and have left a "best friend" in just about every community I have ever lived in. Gabby in Thatcher, Arizona; Erma and Ann in Killeen; Denise, Gabby, Teri, Tina, Cindy, Pat and a bunch of others in Dallas; Kathy up in Maryland; Bill P who is now in NC. Since I've been here in Orlando, I've been able to make several close friends who I love dearly: Doreen, Pat, Lenny, Pam, Lisa, Kesha, Nesha, Isabel, and Beth. Then I have my internet friends: Linda in CA, Carol, Mia, Dani, Sandra, Diana, and Dale :)
And then there is Johnny :) He actually used to be my ex-husbands best friend. Man, for the first couple years, he used to drive me nuts. I would get so mad at him, I couldn't stand him. We are like night and day, polar opposites. At several points, we lived in the same house and actually got along. Before I knew it, Johnny grew on me, so much so, that I don't know how I would have made it over the years. He can always make me laugh. He knows how to comfort me when I need it. He knows how to calm me when I am in a rage. I think out of all of the friends I have had over the years, he is the one who truly "gets me". Who'd a thought :)
When I read about the man who stopped praying and didn't believe in God anymore, it just made me think about all of the friends God has givenme over the years. I don't believe that the people I have as friends were just coincidentally living in the same place as me. They are all angels in my eyes, heaven sent. Each one of them just seemed to be there when I needed someone. They showed up right on time in my life. I think they are all answered prayer. On so many nights when I didn't know what to pray for, I would pray to God for comfort, for love. Just to know that someone out there cared about me. And so he sent a friend.
At home, as a young teenager thrown away by my closest friends, God sent Debbie to pick me up off the ground. I don't even remember how it happened that we became such good friends, she just showed up when I needed a friend. When I got to Arizona, away from home for the first time, and feeling lonely, and definitely not fitting in with anyone, Gabby showed up out of nowhere. When I went to Germany, God sent Erma my way. We ended up buying houses together down the street from each other, and having kids at the same time.
When I think back now, when I lived in Dallas, I had so many wonderful friends, I was so lucky. I don't think it was mere coincidence that I had so many "best" friends all at one time, because little did I know, but I ended losing my marriage there. I fell so completely apart and lost my will to live, that it took a village of friends to bring me back to life.
God has continued his pattern of sending me the friends I need as I go along in life. How can I doubt the existence of God? How can I not pray? I think so many times we ask God for things and then we don't see them when He sends them. I didn't realize at the time, but every time I asked for comfort or asked for a sign that someone loved me, He sent his troops in in the guise of these wonderful angels. All I had to do was open my eyes to see answered prayer.
Its taken me these 48 years to realize the power of prayer. To all of my friends out there in the world, thanks for coming into my life and lifting me up. Thank you God, for sending them.