Made To Be In Relationship

A little girl, teased on the playground, tears streaming down her face. But then the gift of a new friend who also was holding her own story. This sweet little girl, my friend Mandy, with her chubby cheeks a side effect to the medication she was taking due to the kidney transplant she had had the year prior. These two little girls quickly became friends.

These girls who lived through elementary, junior high, and high school together; through first boyfriends, crushes, parents divorcing and remarrying and so much more. But after graduation, these two sweet souls parted ways. One to find her first job and home away from her parents. The other off to college and a dorm room and new experiences. A friendship that quickly drifted apart as these two college aged woman found new friends.
But the reality is our friendship never drifted a part completely. This friend Mandy called her best friend Tara the day she became engaged. This friend who left seminary for the weekend and flew home to be one of her best friend’s bridesmaids on her special day. I remember standing next to my friend Mandy, a smile on her face that radiated throughout that day. After the wedding, I went back to seminary and my friend moved in with her husband. Little did we realize how things would change in the coming years.
I finished seminary, graduated and moved back home to North Dakota. My friend, now married, seem so happy with her married life. But before we knew it, the unexpected began to happen. My friend started experiencing seizures and other symptoms. One October morning, I picked up my phone to see that I had missed a phone call. I opened up my phone and began listening to it. Tears began streaming down my face. My friend’s mom was calling to tell me that my friend had passed away; a life taken way too soon. I packed up my car that next Saturday and headed for her funeral; to say a goodbye I didn’t want to have to say. But I needed to say!
There are days I wonder what my friend Mandy’s life would be like today. Would David and her have children? Would she be happy? I watch photos of her nieces and nephews cross my Facebook feed and I know that she would have made an awesome aunt. I miss her each and every day. But luckily God has brought more amazing friends into my life.
There are my friends who I met at camp and saw me grow and mature into the woman of faith that I am today. There are my seminary friends who I ate cake with that first night at the seminary. There are my diaconal ministry friends and all of my colleagues in the church. There are the friends that I have made across the world wide web through social media. It is incredible the ways God blesses us with incredible relationships in our lives. Some of those relationships are for a season and others are for our whole lives.
The reality is that God created us to be in relationship with one another. Through the relationships in our lives, the Word becomes flesh through the people who God stands to walk with us. Through the relationships that remind us that we are never on this journey called life alone. Through the relationships, that embody the Word made flesh through those who love us for who we are created to be.

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Also linking up with Holly and Testimony Tuesday, Kelly and the RaRa linkup, Jennifer and Tell His Story, Holley and Coffee for your Heart, and Kristin and Three Word Wednesday.


12 thoughts on “Made To Be In Relationship

  1. Beautifully written and touching. God truly does create us for relationship, with others and especially with Him. I am sorry for your precious loss. Loss is a lesson from which God teaches as I lost my Daddy when I was 12, he was 46. Questions always roam through my mind and heart about how would life have been had he lived. But God knew. I have walked with Him since I was 45. I still miss Daddy but have the Lord and have my husband and a few precious others. Thanks for sharing these words.

  2. Sometimes relationships can be a sacrifice because we have to put it all on the line knowing we might be hurt. Sometimes it's by choice, sometimes it is separation like with you and your friend. I know it's hard and painful, but thank you for sharing how God has revealed himself even more to you through the trials.

  3. It is beautiful when we have those relationships that last for several years, but I'm sorry for the loss of your friend Mandy. I love your description of how the Word becomes flesh through our relationships with others.

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