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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Ten MostWanted Friends (part one)

I'm in a summer bible study called "The Friends God Sends." We meet together once a week in the fellowship hall of my parent's church: La Casa De Cristo Lutheran (ELCA), learn about the friends God sends into our lives, and discuss those individuals in our lives that are those friends.

I thought that for a few days I would blog about the different things we are learning, and pay tribute to some of the heart-friends that God has given me through the years. I am an ENFP - so for those of you who know Myers-Briggs, you know that that means that I am an extrovert who loves to be with people all the time, interacting and sharing experiences. This also means that I have a lot of "friends" - people I love to hang and have fun with. However, deeper friendships are more rare for me - I am more likely to be someone elses good friend than to have that person be my close friend.

So generally (because I move a lot) I have one or two good friends in every place I live. Most of those women (and sometimes men) remain friends for a few reasons:
1) they are low maintenance friendships - we talk when we can, we don't worry when we don't talk regularly
2) when we get back together its like we haven't been apart

Anyhow,the first week of bible study was on the "Ten Most Wanted Friends." I thought I'd take a few days and share what these friends are, and who some of them are in my life.

** Notice: if you do not get mentioned in one of these descriptions, please don't take it personally, I'm just going with the people who came to mind first during the study**

#1) Miss Aromatherapy: Friends that Refresh our Souls
This woman gives off a 'fragrance' that is sweet, refreshing, wholesome, and which draws us nearer to Christ.

I thought of my friend, Sue (who fits a lot of these categories). Some of you know her. She is a delight to talk to, interested in others, and willing to be vulnerable. She is a woman of prayer who has taught me much of what I know about supplication and being obedient to follow God into inconvenient prayer (i.e. getting up at 6am to prayer walk round the church). She strives to represent Christ through her words and deeds.
I also thought of my friend, Bethany. Bethany and I met at Greenville, but now she lives in Tacoma. She is so delightful and so filled with joy upon reconnecting, that you cannot help but be filled with joy, too. She is honest and open, has a tremendous heart for God, and is unwilling to sit back and let people be less than they can be. Bethany sees beauty all over the world and lately has been constantly capturing it on her camera (check her out at : http://www.flickr.com/photos/bleev/).

#2) Miss Lip Balm: Friends that Pray
These friends are some of the most valuable friends to have. They not only can teach you how to pray, but they spur you onto prayer, and will constantly lift you up.
Sue is again, one of these friends for me, but since I already mentioned her (and will do so again), I'll note another friend instead.
Verla is a mentor of mine. She is also a friend, and a woman who prays with her whole heart. She is (one of) the teaching leader(s) of the Young Adults Bible Study Fellowship class in Seattle, and was the woman who recruited me to be a discussion group leader. When she interviewed me, she mentioned that she loves to hear her women pray during group prayer time. I didn't really even know how to pray out loud! But through her example of listening to prayer requests and praying for them, I learned how to pray. And she has often prayed for me and for my needs. She is a woman who "gets" the importance of prayer and utilizes it constantly.

#3)Miss Perfect Bra: Friends that Lift You Up
These are the friends who help you during hard times, who are part of your support system, who cheer you up when you are down, and who celebrate with you when you are up. These are friends who truly understand that "a kind word does the heart good."
I am really blessed to have a number of friends like this. First of all, I have a prayer support group - made up mostly of women - that have prayed for me since I moved away from Seattle. I add a person to it occasionally from my newer locales. I have often received special replies from these friends - encouraging words, breath prayer responses, wisdom from their experiences. I am grateful for these 20-ish people who love me by praying for me.
Laura is a friend who is like this specifically. Laura is a friend from Greenville, who I met when they were first looking for a house in Gville. We were instant friends. Through the last four years, she has been a women who has used her words well to love and cherish me, and I'm proud to count her my dear friend (and her husband, too). She empathizes with me in my struggles, cheers me in my successes, and even thinks about me when I'm not there (she is always looking for my future husband, for which I thank her).

#4) Miss Chocolate Candy: Friends that Comfort
These are friends who come to you when you are down to bring you comfort. When these people leave you, you feel refreshed, even though circumstances may not have changed.

Sarah, my recent roommate, is a woman like this. Her empathy is so high that she enters into feelings deeply with you. She can instantly put your feelings onto herself and understand what you are going through. This empathy is a great gift the Lord has given her.
At my work at University Ministries, there were three women who were Chocolate Candy to me, depending on the day. I have cried in each of their offices, and never been turned away, but always left feeling like life will be better. Amanda, Becky and Lisa are women who are not afraid of emotions and not afraid to talk about their feelings. Each of these women care sincerely about me, and I them, and it was a joy to be with them for even the short time we were together.

#5) Miss Double-Shot Espresso: Friends who Celebrate
These are friends who share your joy, who rejoice when you rejoice, and who put aside jealousy or their own lives to be fully present in your excitement.

I am grateful to have a number of these women in my life. I'll only highlight a couple, but there are many!
Kathryn is one of these women in my life. When I was trying to decide about UCLA, Kathryn helped me get over the hump and commit and once I did she said, "And now I just want to shout 'you're going to UCLA!!!' and celebrate with you!" Then she went with me to the Elite and shared appetizers and margaritas with me to celebrate. She is one of the first people I want to call with good news, because she is so genuinely happy to share in the experience. If you know Kathryn, you know what I mean!
Golly, I can't even begin to talk about all the women who are this to me - even excluding those who have already been mentioned. My mom, Karen, Jenny, Maura, Jenn, Brittany, Katie, among so many others. Thank you for being with me in the celbration times!

That is it for now. Just the first five. I'll be back with the other five most-wanted friends soon. In the meantime, as they say in the Golden Girls... "Thank you for being a friend!"

"For I have derived joy and comfort and encouragement from your love..." Philemon 7

1 comments:

BrightHairMel said...

okay--
THis is the widely anticipated post!
KB and I were at common grounds applying for jobs and we took a break to go through each of the descriptions and Identify who in our lives are these people. I may have to write a post about it.

So fun! Can't wait til the next one!