The Comfort of a Friend

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God."
I John 4:7 (NIV)

I first met Sharon in 1981 when her family joined ours on our mission station in Congo. We hit it off right away. When her family returned to the United States in 1984, our paths seemed to go in opposite directions. She came to my high school graduation open house, but soon moved to California. I stayed in the Midwest for college. She met her husband and became a mother. I remained single for a couple more years and childless for several more. Our communication was sparse over the years. We were in very different life stages and lived half-way across the country from each other.

The last time I saw her was almost five years ago. We spent several hours together after a family reunion that Sharon was attending in the Midwest. It was enough time to know that we had much in common. I thoroughly enjoyed our visit that day.

Several weeks ago, I got an email from her telling me that she had a free airline ticket that needed to be used by the end of February. She wanted to know if we could coordinate our schedules for a visit to my house. Last week we spent three days rediscovering each other as adults. I don't have many friends from childhood. It did something for my soul to be able to talk about old memories that no one else would think funny because you had to be there to "get" it. The same reasons that we liked each other so well as 12 and 13-year-old girls were still there. Sometimes that doesn't happen. I am very grateful that we like each other as adult women, too.

What would we do without our girlfriends? Today I thank God for bringing my friend, Sharon, into my life so long ago and allowing us to rediscover the gift of friendship. Sharon, I treasure you!