Life lessons and Life Affirming Friendships

Wow, don’t you find that there are moments in your life when people lift you up? My goodness have I ever been lifted up by love, prayers and support. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t feeling alone, friendless or ignored. I have been extraordinarily blessed by God and given the gift of friendship.

Ongoing medical issues and appointments seem daunting to me at times. Overwhelmingly demanding appointments. It feels like the Tour de France when I look down the road to see the sheer number of ongoing tests and appointments. A wise priest once said that when you are riding a bicycle for a long distance, it feels like you are always going uphill and into the wind as well. I surely wouldn’t know about that, but metaphorically speaking I do agree. But God rides beside me and when I need Him to, He carries my backpack of supplies for me. After the week I have had, I can see that my friends and family are there along the route, praying for me, restoring me, and metaphorically speaking keeping me supplied with food, water, and Gatorade.

Don’t you find that loving relationships make you feel more alive? They sure do that for me. It makes the suffering bearable and gives true texture to the tapestry of my life. I, like you, have years of fond memories of how each friendship has been woven. These friends are each precious to me, and have made my life more noble and holier than it could have been without them. During the trying times of the last few months, so many of them have reached out….a phone call, a letter, a Facebook message, a card, stopping by with a cup of coffee, bringing something for my son….wow.

I am so extraordinarily BLESSED! I get so used to doing the tasks of each day I forget to look at the beauty around me and remember the loving friends that I have. I get too busy with the details of life to love life. After this past week I know that it’s ok. The love has been there sustaining me all along. I have not been alone in this struggle. By God’s good graces, these people have loved me and continue to love me. They believe in me and you’d better believe that I believe in them.  My family and my friends each connect me back to God. Indeed they are life affirming. Sometimes when I feel weak and unable to face another struggle, remembering the people who believe in me helps me live to face another day, another battle, another struggle, another challenge. When I cross another finish line, there folks are to catch me as I collapse in either triumph or exhaustion (sometimes both). After all the talking I have done, it really is a miracle that people are still willing to listen, advise, and just hang in there with me……

I have to believe that somehow I have given them love that sustains them too. I know that i give my heart and loyalty to family and friends. When they weep I taste salt. When they need me I try to be there for them to lend a shoulder and an ear. We sustain each other. I am grateful that i have the chance to love the people I know. God continues to see me through another day.

This blog post is a little scattered. I keep hoping that I will have something extraordinary to say that may help see you through today–whatever its struggles. Perhaps it is this: even if those who love you are not physically present at this moment, their love surrounds you, and they are there to sustain you. I have often said that if we could see ourselves the way that those who deeply love us see us, we would be so uplifted.  Maybe today each of us could think of one dear friend or family member and try to visualize or even say how that person sees us. Let that lovely image replace our own self-images for a while today.

Believe this with all your strength today: you are loved. It makes me think of a scene from the movie Dangerous Minds. Michelle Pfeiffer had been considering quitting teaching after a series of traumatic events. Her students convince her otherwise. In the closing scene, Michelle is leaving the school building with another teacher and he says to her “how did they convince you to stay?”. She says, “they gave me chocolate and called me the light”. He smiles wisely and says, “ah, that!”….if you haven’t seen the movie it might not make sense….but know this—“You are the light”….even Jesus tells us that “You are the light of the world”…

So do not fear and don’t you dare put that light that is you under a bushel basket. You are making a difference. Even if it seems that it has gone unnoticed, your gift has made the world around you brighter. You have touched more lives than you can ever know. You have touched lives of those you have come in direct contact with. Beyond that, those lives have in turn carried your light and your story to others. And those others also carry your light to still others. Pretty soon we can look around us and the whole world is all lit up. Yes, I know, the economy is horrible, people are being vicious to each other, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. BUT–there are wonderful things happening too. Let’s cling to those for a while. I pray that today you are lifted up and that you know someone is rejoicing with you in your triumph and weeping with you in your sorrow. When someone sustains you today, know that they have given you chocolates. If you hear a bird chirp today–know that your Guardian Angel is standing nearby… the light and enjoy the chocolates.

About Kate Kresse

I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist. (OK not every single minute but you get the point! :-)
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