It was the friendships outside of the church that beared our burden with us. What is significant about this is although these were long-time friends, we had become somewhat distant over the years. Mainly, because of the church we were with. Our lives were so different now from our friends lives before this church. I slowly but surely distanced myself from previous friends while being a member of this church. Not intentionally, but I did. In this time of great heartache, there was a friend in particular that put my failure as a friend behind her and really stepped up and helped me personally in ways I am still humbled by. This is someone God used to carry me personally through every step of the way. I am very grateful for my dear, sweet friend Deb. We cried together, we swore together, we laughed together, we plotted together and we handed out flyers together. She lifted our family in prayer. She was real, she was steady and she was clearly on our side.
There is another dear women who I doubt realizes how much her kindness meant to both me and one of my children. This women didn't know me, but had heard some of our story and wanted to help in some way. She happened to own horses. She offered (through a mutual friend) to give riding instruction to one of my children as a way to minister to them. I was supposed to call her, I never did. She called me and left a message, I didn't return the call. She was persistent and called again. This time we connected. We set up a time to meet and the relationship began. This person was someone that when she prayed for me in person I felt something. I know she prayed for me regularly. In this time where I couldn't bareley trust my own instincts, God allowed me to trust this women. I was able to have some very real and vulnerable conversations with her. Kathy L., thank you for your sensitivty to the Holy Spirit. Thank your girls for their friendship as well.
My sista from anotha mother, Shana, came into my life as all of this hit. She has been consistent and very sensitive. Shana is someone I feel safe with. Another God thing! I shut down with almost everyone around me and I questioned everyone's motives, but somehow I was able to trust Shana. Shana knew a lot of the players, but wasn't really connected to them. It helped a lot to have her at my side and on my side! Thank you for watching my back! She is something good in all of this.
The Hannula's were also a family that always seemed to know just the right time to contact us. That would be another God thing! They provided much needed fellowship, prayer, encouragement, compassion, and generous gifts at specific times when we really needed to be cared for. It seems to be the type of friendship that comes and goes, but we always know they are there for us and standing in the gap for us. We love you guys! Thank you for caring for us!