Best of 2010: literally.
I was sitting in the back of my SUV, parked in the garage, hatch door up, waiting for Brian to come home one Sunday afternoon a few months ago. The weather was perfect. From where I sat, the tree closest to our driveway shed a shadow the whole width of the drive, and nearly the whole length as I watched it sway.
You know when it’s quiet, and you’re lost in thought, stringing one idea to another, though the two or ten or fifty that occur in those mere moments are not a bit linked? I was in the midst of that and it was as though each mere thought bounced and arched into another, and in the arch and rebound, all I could do was catch my breath and think Thank You. (another thought) Thank You for that! (another thought)…and on and on it went between me and my Heavenly Father. Some of those ‘bounces’ were me noticing the breeze –and it being good– or just the underlying act of taking a breath, but noticing it.
As I was in this moment of my heart being so full of thanksgiving and just enjoying the quiet and the sun and the breeze, a conversation evolved in my head and heart … “remember a while back you were hurting and mad that you didn’t have a best friend? You said that ‘everyone had one but you.’ Remember?”
It was such a lovely afternoon to bring up such a lonely time of my life. I sat inwardly silent and completely still on the outside, staring at the waving branches.
I decided to engage and went back to those moments when that exact exchange was made between me and God. A specific drive alone in the car this past year, when loneliness hit me hardest. The convo replayed again in my mind but continued on this time with more….
“You have Brian.” I did this internal cussing and laughing crossover thing, and not because I thought it was funny. At that point, Brian and I were armed with survival gear most days. He’s my HUSband. He can’t be my BEST FRIEND – and he isn’t. It would make life nice, but I’m needing a ‘come over in your pj’s and have coffee kind of friend’. I had those in my other towns, reMEMber Lord? I recalled thinking how I should never, ever laugh at God, and here I’d done it in anger. My heart sunk as I knew I’d done wrong. Such a mix of emotion, and now I found myself sinning in the midst of it.
Staring at those waving shadows of branches, I started to cry. This request of mine with the Lord has been a long standing one. All these years I’ve been patient and ready and waiting, but early this year those requests became something else in the form of demanding questions and anger. All I wanted was a friend. A best friend.
This year, as the Lord did surgery on my heart and my marriage and our family, he brought Brian and me closer together. He healed hurting places and restored and built up what was crumbling beneath & between us. And in the process, beyond what I could ever foresee, we’d become each others best friend.
It hadn’t occurred to me, until just then, as I sat in silence and sunshine with the Lord, waiting for him to arrive home.
In seven years of traveling for work, I’m not sure I’d ever actually waited for B to come home.
He pulled around the corner and in the drive, parking under the shadows of the waving tree branches just a while later. Avery ran out of the house and into his arms. I just sat and marveled at how God had revealed His workings to me in such a simple quiet way. No big show. No one to point anything out or try to connect dots for me on a histogram. But also, quite notably – no “told you so.” No rebuke.
I have a best friend.
I have a best friend who has been trying to be, just exactly that to me for many years and I couldn’t see it.
We have children together. Not only do they look like us, but they are frighteningly just like us and regardless of the trait, it makes me crack a smile.
It has been the best and in many more ways the most difficult year of marriage for B & me…probably because it’s been the most honest. You can be honest every day of your life by not telling lies, but the stakes of honesty are higher when you don’t hold back on the truth of your own reality, feelings and emotions.
I’ve realized that there’s no failure in falling. Failure lies in not getting back up.
Here’s to getting up in 2010 and learning to run and jump in 2011.