I so look forward to going with my friends and doing our girls lunch together time. You know the ones I’m talking about; those quiet epicurean type restaurants with cloth napkins, table cloths, pretty, dainty little light fixtures, those places that serve more than pizza and chicken strips. Let’s face it, most days I’m in my mom uniform that consists of two different pairs of athletic pants, my husband’s v-neck t-shirts, black flip flops or my black Ugg slippers, while my hair is in a big ball on top of my head being ever so delicately held up by nothing more than a hotel pen my kids probably stole from that Hilton Garden Inn last weekend.
But, ooh la la, not for girls lunch time, nope! I pull out the big guns, I curl my hair, carefully plan my outfit based on what restaurant and vibe we’ve decided for the day. Because, let’s face it, we don’t wanna be the one girl that shows up too dressy, or worse yet, too casual, right?! Lol! Actually, I’m just kidding on that part. I’m thankful to have friends whose friendship isn’t based on my fashion hits or misses. But we are still girls and like to be at our best every now and then.
This particular afternoon lunch was going to be no different than past ones; lots of laughter, talks about how the kids are doing in school, their new teachers for the year and so on.
Two of the four of us had to cancel, but that was okay because this would make for less time trying to figuring out everyone’s order, who wanted to share a plate, who needed to read every ingredient to comply with their latest nutrition effort, how we were going to split the check… and that would mean I’d even get home in time to make it look like I’d gotten loads of stuff done before all my guys came home! Score!!!
Noon arrived, and I saw my beautiful sweet friend walking towards the table, not looking like herself. She looked tired and had this heaviness hiding behind her big blue eyes, eyes looking so close to turning grey at any moment. We hugged, she sat and I tried to think of fun stuff to chat about, even with feeling that heaviness in her heart. I really wanted to have fun. I mean, I curled my hair and everything! I guess you might think it was selfish of me, trying to keep the mood light and you know what? I did too, but come on! We had cloth napkins! A day without kids! Bras that actually do something for you. You get the point.
After some light chitchat, I knew I needed to let go of my expectation of a lighthearted luncheon. I finally stopped holding to my stubborn ideal about a girls day out and asked the question, the question I was skirting around, the question that can open flood gates even in the Sahara desert. The question, “Is everything okay?”
Her reply? Well, you can probably guess, it wasn’t sunshine and rainbows. That afternoon she unloaded her fears, worries, shame, and I listened. This wasn’t exactly the lunch I’d envisioned but it didn’t matter. This was what God had designed for this afternoon. I knew that, the fact that the other girls couldn’t come, that my guys weren’t home waiting for me, nothing pulling at me or my time — it all meant this was His plan. I’ve spent a lot of my life surrounded by people, but have had very few people I would call friends. This was my friend and I would bear her burden with her, her worries for her husband, her children. My mind kept going back to the Scriptures. There’s one from Proverbs. I like the way The Passion Translation puts it:
Sweet friendships refresh the soul and awaken our hearts with joy, for good friends are like the anointing oil that yields the fragrant incense of God’s presence. So never give up on a friend or abandon a friend of your father — for in the day of your brokenness you won’t have to run to a relative for help. A friend nearby is better than a relative far away. — Proverbs 27:9-10 TPT
You see, after the other girls canceled, my friend and I could have decided to reschedule so we could all meet up together on another day. But this God moment wouldn’t have happened had we done that. This was how God wanted this lunch to play out. And as we sat there, the lunch entrees growing cold, her heart spilling its worries and hurts, I remember thinking that I wanted to be a good friend. But I also could not relate to all she was sharing. As a good friend, should I say anything? Should I try to jump in?
I was reminded that the Holy Spirit is our helper, comforter and advocate. If we want wisdom, we can ask the Holy Spirit for that and more. When Christ is seated at the throne of your heart, the Holy Spirit will speak through you. God gave me some encouraging words to say. But more than what I said, it was that I sat. That I sat there with her. That I listened. That we rested together in time and that the willingness on both our parts to take a departure from our usual laughter-infused girls lunch was important and timely.
Our time was beautiful, it was heavy, it wasn’t planned there were tears, it was special, it wasn’t manipulated, it was not easy but it was ordained. God’s plan and will. When I got home, I went to my husband’s workshop, turned on some sweet jams and danced alone and let my hair down while no one was watching and let my mind rest.
I was truly amazed at what God does through us when we are willing to walk in obedience.
Sometimes, even when we’re having a good hair day and are dressed up and have on a real bra, instead of dabbing cloth napkins to our carefully lipsticked lips, He asks us to get down into the trench with a friend and listen to the battle in their soul.
Let’s flip the script…
How have you been a good friend lately? Do you consider yourself a good friend?
Who do you know who could really use a friend right now?
Where is walking in obedience taking you? Does that make you nervous? Why?
Are you walking in obedience and loving the way Proverbs tells us?
What does being there for someone look like for you?
Do you need someone to be there for you right now?
If so, what is God showing showing you in your current state?
Written for Faith.Full by Jaci Velasquez, author of When God Rescripts Your Life.
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Read those excellent questions again! Come share some of your answers and your story with us on our blog. We want to hear from you about being a good friend and being there for someone we love! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full