"I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands." - Psalm 143:5

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Friendship Fuel

fireheart I just couldn’t hold them back any longer. For the third time that day I closed the door to my office, placed my head in my hands and sobbed uncontrollably. The grief was overwhelming, the pain of lost so deep that it made breathing seem difficult. I was lost in my sorrow and unsure of what to do next.

That was the scene several years ago when my wife and I went through probably the darkest time our marriage ever has faced. In April and again in September of 1995 my wife miscarried; losing those babies felt like someone was taking a sledgehammer to our hearts—everyday—for months on end. The first miscarriage came as a complete shock, my bride had always conceived, carried and delivered beautifully, we already had four healthy children and expected her next pregnancy to be more of the same. It was not to be, after the hospital stay, we went home to explain to our kids and the other people in our lives. We weren’t very good at it, explaining that is, we stumbled over words, cried a lot but managed to talk about it pretty openly. We named the baby Hope, held a memorial service and tried to return to the “normal” activities of life. When we found out that my wife was again pregnant again, we were thrilled and more that a little afraid. The recent loss had blown our normal security right out of the water and every doctor’s visit was
of great trepidation.

Sadly, my wife suffered another miscarriage and we were devastated. The emotional storm that followed ripped away perspective and challenged our faith in God. We named this child Samuel, believing all the while that naming our lost children would be of some comfort to us. While it did provide some closure, we were deeply hurting all the same. There were many dark days, ones when communication with God, each other and others seemed fruitless and cold.

We continued to press in though, to the Father, to each other and the strengths of our marriage began to help us to heal. One of the strengths that helped us through it all was our friendship with each other, and this scripture took on new meaning.

“If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” Ecclesiastes 4:10

The dictionary defines friend as like this: Friend (friend) noun.

1. A person whom one knows, likes and trusts.
2. A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; comrade.
3. One who supports, sympathizes with, or patronizes a group.
4. An acquaintance.

Hopefully Webster won’t mind but I would like to add one more to the list,
ready for this?

5. A fuel source.

You see, to me friendship is the fuel for the fire of one’s love, the combustible agent that gives spark to ignite one’s passion for covenant relationship. The best friend status I enjoy with my wife has been with us through some difficult times with many victorious results. It is has kept us close, enabled us to continue on, and extended grace to help one understand the other. Our friendship was needed more than ever during this time of grief.

When my bride encountered a cold snap of disappointment, I would throw a log of encouragement on the fire and stoke up her faith. When I was racked with feelings of loss my wife would place on a log of comfort and embers of relief would flame up. Our friendship, strengthen by the Father’s hand, helped us to grieve and to heal. That is why I am committed to guard that friendship, to make sure that my wife understands and knows that she is my best friend. Friendship fuel keeps us going.

Along with the great love I feel towards my wife, I also like her, I like the person she is. When I convey this to her, along with my commitment of love, I am making a bonfire of trust piled high. This “bestfriendness”, this fuel source, will help us finish our race together and ignite the seeds of friendship in our children’s lives. This is one fire you can stand close to for a long time to come.

“Friendship that flows from the heart cannot be frozen by adversity, as the water that flows from the spring cannot congeal in winter.”
- James Fenimore Cooper

My post is part of the One Word at a Time blog carnival: Strength. For more great stories about Strength, please visit Bridget Chumbley at One Word At A Time.
It’s actually a sequel to an earlier post of mine entitled,
Life is a Memorial.
Speaking of sequels, my friend Jason has this great post submission to the same carnival, read it here:

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