April 6, 2015

One Friend

Sometimes, all it takes is one friend to make a difference.  One friend to shape your life in a significant way.  One friend who stands beside you when you venture with uncertainty into unfamiliar waters.  One friend who reminds you every day that “with God all things are possible.”

The Lord knows that sometimes you need one friend who is altogether different from you.  One friend who, because she is a little bit eccentric and unconventional, and even a little wild and kind of scary, when you meet her in a room full of strangers, you never would have predicted would be the one friend with whom your heart would bond so closely.  

You find, as you get to know her, that she is one friend who is more courageous and bold than you are in every way.  Who stands in front of the local abortion clinic with her baby, showing a real-life example to the girls walking in how precious life is.  Who takes her special-needs child in for some scans, and ends up introducing the technician to Jesus.  Who uses her influence and tenacity to apprehend child-traffickers disguising themselves as an international adoption agency.  Never in your life have you considered doing any of those things!

Because your one friend has even more children than you do (13 between the two of you!), and because some of your children and hers have medical issues that require constant monitoring, some with attachment issues that require constant attention, and some with post-trauma issues that require constant sensitivity and wisdom, it just goes without saying that rarely (actually never) do you get together just to chat.  No girls night out, no going to get your nails done, no enjoying a cup of coffee together. 

But you are both females, so by nature you are good at multi-tasking.  The two of you have washed thousands of dishes, folded hundreds of loads of laundry, mopped your kitchen floors and made countless dinners for your families, all while talking on the phone with each other.  Sharing child-rearing tips, discussing the correct way to respond to other people’s comments and questions, trading medical recommendations (you know a great speech therapist, and she helps you get a much-needed appointment with a genetics specialist), dreaming about the direction of your church’s orphan care ministry, imagining all of the possibilities for your family’s futures, reminding each other of the importance and high calling of being a mother to these children that God has given you.

And you have learned so much from each other!  Although you are both deeply concerned about the plight of the orphans around the world, the path that her family has chosen is slightly different than yours.  She has adopted from two different countries on the other side of the world, while you have been a foster parent through the years to dozens and dozens of children from your own community who have come into your home for only a season.  So you learn from her about the frustrations and pitfalls, as well as the rewards and great joys of international adoption.  She challenges everything you thought you knew about the practices and processes and the Biblical principles involved. 

And because of her friendship with you, she gets a real-life look at what the children in the foster system are like, and has learned to appreciate and understand why you respect and work together with biological parents, and why you are so passionate to see broken families restored.

Sometimes all it takes is one friend, when others whisper warnings and quote statistics and list logical reasons to say no, to say Go for it!  To inspire you to be braver than you thought you could be.

One friend, when you just cannot do one more thing, and when you need to hide away from everyone and just be silent for a season, to unwaveringly support your decision to say no.

One friend, when you feel alone at home with the colicky baby or in a hospital room with your medically-fragile child or in a doctor’s office hearing an awful diagnosis and grim prognosis about your child’s future, to remind you that you have not been forgotten. 

One friend, when you feel weighed down by the weariness and discouragement of it all, and when you are just one gasp away from drowning in the enormity of it all, to remind you of God’s unchanging promises and cheer you on and tell you to just keep swimming.

One friend, when you feel that other people don’t fully understand or agree with the sacrifices you have made, to remind you of your goals and purposes and vision, and to give you the strength and resolve to press on.

One friend, when the judge makes a decision that you absolutely do not agree with, and you feel steaming mad at the unfairness of it all, to help you remember that God has a plan that will never be thwarted.

One friend, when mountains move and you are brimming with awe at the incredible honor and joy of it all, to rejoice and share the celebration with you.

Sometimes, all it takes is one friend to make a difference.  One devoted friend to shape your life in a significant way.  One courageous friend who stands beside you when you venture with uncertainty into unfamiliar waters.  One faithful friend who reminds you every day that even when you feel weak and insignificant, that miracles might actually be possible.

Sometimes all it takes is one friend.


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