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:

LiveJournal Tags: ,


Dusty Rayburn said…
Strength = Friendship... This is definitely an aspect of strength that God intended us to benefit from. We were not created to be alone.

With God and God fearing friends, there is an abundance of strength available to us in times of need.

Thank you for sharing your testimony!
Jay Cookingham said…'re fast! Thanks for your insight bro'
Dusty Rayburn said…
You just caught me in a lull. :)
jasonS said…
My wife and I grow closer and closer. We've been through a lot already in our 11 years, but it's only served to strengthen our bond and friendship. This is in no small part to God's love and grace, of course! It amazes me that some marriages go through storms and get torn apart while others like yours (and mine) grow deeper and more meaningful. We all have that choice, I suppose. I don't want anything else. I want the blessing that God gave me in my wife. They just continue to grow and grow... I feel like I'm rambling now! :)

Thanks Jay.
Jay Cookingham said…
But it's a great ramble bro...having our wives as best friends is truly a blessing!
Thank's for sharing.
S. Etole said…
You are blessed indeed ... as you say, it isn't always the case.
Jay Cookingham said…
So very true...recognizing blessings is also a strength!
Glynn Young said…
It's a loving and tender post, Jay. The love and tenderness come right through the pain.
HisFireFly said…
"the combustible agent that gives spark to ignite one’s passion for covenant relationship"

What a fantastic wy to describe the friendship between husband and wife. Well said, Jay, truly well said.
Loren said…
I would have to say that many don't truly grasp the importance if being "Best Friends" or for some even "Friends" with your spouse. It is such a Gift to know and experience in a marriage! I have heard it said as well that you can only be as close to your spouse as you are to the LORD. Is HE your friend? If not, start there and HE will pour out the blessings of friendship in your marriage!!

Great post Jay
Jay Cookingham said…
Thanks Glynn, that's because He held me through the pain!
Llusito said…
This was so touching. Thanks for sharing! What a beautiful t=gift you and Chris share. Would love to talk to you more about your testimony some time, Jay. Please let me know when you are available. Thanks.
Jay Cookingham said…
Thanks, I do appreciate you dropping by and commenting! The friendship between us indeed an I cherish.
Jay Cookingham said…
Thanks Glynn, that's because He held me through the pain!
Jay Cookingham said…
Leigh, thank you! Anytime you want to hear more, just call....usually Fridays are best for me.
Jay Cookingham said…
Loren...grateful for your insight...friendship starts and ends with Him!
Louise said…
Thank you. Your honesty and beauty shine.

And thansk for the Cooper quote -- really really nice.
Jay Cookingham said…
Louise, thank you for your kind words!
Monica Sharman said…
I love that "log of comfort and embers of relief." I really rejoice whenever I see husband and wife who are best friends. It's not always a given! I'm glad to be in that boat, too.
What a great fire you are fueling!
Jay Cookingham said…
I appreciate your gracious words Monica, thank you!
Joanne Norton said…
Friendships -- people who hold hands and hearts with us -- is the way we can get through those awful, most difficult times. Continuing to go through a serious hard time in our family now... has been going on for about 3 years ... and if it wasn't for my sweetheart and other friends ... I don't know how I'd make it. Still cry, still hurt, still wonder "what if...", but rely on Dave and my Heavenly Father and my friends [especially Susie -- S.Etole -- and Marge (Compassion post). Thank you for your open sharing....
Cookingham said…
Thanks for sharing your heart, my prayers are with you as you walk through this difficult time.
Nithin R S said…
Sad to know that you lost a few kids due to miscarriage.May god bless them. Truly your friendship gave each other the strength to survive during those tough days.
Jay Cookingham said…
Thank you, your kind words mean so much. Father God has healed much since then!
Bridget Chumbley said…
What a devastating time you were experiencing. It's a good thing you have your best friend and she has hers, to get each other through... and to find strength when it seems impossible.

I'm also blessed with my best friend as my husband... without that we would never have made it this far.

Thanks, Jay.
Jay Cookingham said…
It was a most difficult time but God was a "present help in a time of trouble" and much. much healing has taken place. Thanks for your kind words!

Popular Posts