A Letter From My Friend

1 Samuel 18:1-3: King James Version (KJV)

1And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2 And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house. 3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.

I pulled up to my mailbox on the way home one day last week. Expecting the usual advertisements and bills, I saw an envelope that had a very familiar writing. I said..mmmm…my friend sent me a letter!! I was so excited! It had been a long time since I saw this handwriting and it brought back so many memories just looking at it!

You see, this friend has been just that since we were in grade school together. Years of running down the same halls and eating the same bad lunches and seeing each other almost daily for 12 years. Experiencing the same teachers and trips and jokes. When we graduated from high school, my friend Lisa committed to writing me weekly letters to share what she was going through since she went away to college and I stayed home. We began a pattern that sustained me on many lonely days. Most of my classmates went away and I decided to stay in New York. I admit that I was sad a lot and missed the people and things we used to do. Transitioning into the real world after high school was and is not as easy for some as it is for others. But I had my letters.

Lisa would write about everything! The professors in her class, what she ate, who she met and hung out with. Her letters made me feel like I was there with her and I was so excited when I saw her handwriting on my weekly letters. So you can imagine the memories and feelings I experienced sitting in my driveway with her letter in my hand.

I have to admit that I got a little misty. Life has taken us both in directions we never thought we would see. I live in North Carolina and she is still in New York. Yet, over the years we have tried to stay in touch and support each other. Our children know each other and they call each of us the high honor of “Aunt”. All five of our girls know that their Aunt will remember birthdays and sometimes no occasion at all and will expect their mail from their beloved aunt in due season. I still have a lot of those letters and cards, in fact.

That day, I held in my hand a visible expression of the love my friend has for me. In today’s world, who even writes anymore when it is easier to send a text, and email, even connect for a quick video chat. Yet, my friend relied on the good old United States Postal Service to honor our tradition of staying in touch. I appreciate that more than she will ever know. That envelope contained a recent picture of her girls. A reminder of her faithfulness to send me their pictures even when I have not done the same.

Recently, I have also reunited with other friends who knew me back then. It is something else to see how we all have changed, grown, and experienced life since those high school days. I am in touch via Facebook with many old friends and family too. It has connected me with some that I would not otherwise have found and I am grateful. I am genuinely happy today to be surrounded with the love of those who simply remember me as Vickie. Not for what I can do, what I can give, but simply that I am me.

I challenge you today to not let life get you so caught up that you don’t take time to connect with people who love you. Yes, we all have challenges and circumstances but stop for moment to consider that someone that you have not talked to in a long time. We truly need each other to survive. Think of the laughter and good times you may be missing out on by not taking time to simply enjoy talking and sharing with your old friends.

We must never forget to witness about the love of God in our lives. There is someone who needs to hear what has happened to you and how you got over. They can only receive it from you because of the bond you share. Make that call, send that email, stop by that Facebook page and say hi, I was thinking about you. You will never know how that one gesture will make a person feel or change their lives because someone cared enough to reach out.

I have not always done what I intended to do for my friends but I plan to do better. Lisa’s letter sparked something in me and I had to pass it on. Don’t let it take getting a call that something happened to that old friend before you take time to see them again. A funeral is not the best place for reunions!

Some day we will all be reunited around the throne of God. Until that day, we can have a slice of heaven on earth by loving and supporting each other along the way.  Do it now, and don’t put it off any longer. Someone needs to hear from YOU!

Sssshhh, it’s a surprise – don’t tell Lisa she has a letter on the way!!

LOVING MY FRIENDS ALONG THE PATH TO VICTORY!!!