We have some really cute and funny kids in our neighborhood. For the most part, they all play really well together. And since many of them come over to my house to play, I have a prime opportunity to observe their social interactions.
In general, Lydia appears to be an extrovert and thrives on being around others. She loves knocking on doors (with permission) to ask if friends can come out to play. Lydia talks about and misses her friends when they are unavailable. Even so, when several of these kids get together, it’s possible someone could feel left out.
Although most parents try to teach their kids to share, use their manners, and be kind, most of us understand how it feels on the other side. We’ve all had those moments.
I like to look out for underdogs and wallflowers and want Lydia to do the same. To help her understand what I mean, she’s had to apologize on occasion for hurting someone’s feelings. I make her ‘take a break’ from playing with friends when tensions arise…because I don’t want her to take them for granted.
I wish it was always that simple!
We also role play different scenarios, where Lydia is ‘left out’ or where she stands up for someone who is. I regularly challenge Lydia to be on the lookout for someone who needs a friend. It doesn’t always work out as I hope. But when someone is left out, everyone else also misses out… on what that person has to offer.
As I talk with the other parents, we compare notes. It’s good to be on the same page!
I suppose the concept of ‘being a friend’ hits home for me because I have relied so much on my friends these last few years. Lydia does not realize this just yet…but we would’ve never made it without God’s grace and all the loving support we received, from people near and far.
When Dave was sick, friends and family around the world—in England, Greece, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, not to mention all over the United States—prayed for us and helped us. Almost every week, we received something encouraging in the mail: Cards, gifts, handmade items, food deliveries, books, and more.
Many of the Fargo friends who played such an important role in our cancer journey have moved away for various reasons. But from my limited perspective, I like to think that perhaps God had them in Fargo because they had a special part to play in our story.
It is fascinating to think of how God orchestrated all these peoples’ lives to intersect them with ours when we needed it most. Only He could set up such perfect timing!
They stood with us during our roughest moments. And when our faith faltered, these friends pointed us to Jesus. When we had no strength of our own, they carried us to Him.
Friends mowed our lawn each week, watched Lydia at a moment’s notice (and kept her overnight), or took our dog, Britain, for weeks at a time. Yes, these friends were the hands and feet of Jesus in ways we had never seen before!
Thank you. I am still in awe.
Of course, this does not diminish the significant role our own families played… but indeed, many of those friends and neighbors became like family! Without a doubt, Lydia and I are doing well because of ALL the loving sacrifices made on our behalf!
I hope Lydia understands: When you’re at your worst, a true friend is still loyal.
Like a golden retriever! 🙂
It has come full circle for me lately. In many cases, I am now praying for and encouraging dear friends all over the world in their own trials. It is such an honor to return the favor!
Sooo…This week Lydia and I are reviewing Proverbs 17:17 (above) and parts of 1 Corinthians 13. These verses have been good reminders for me too! And though some friends have moved away, God has also given me many new friendships. He is so, so good to me!
Gracious God, thanks for dear friends and family. Thanks for the encouragement You provide through them. Help us love one another! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Questions: What does friendship mean to you? When was the last time you told your friends and family that you love and appreciate them?