How did that even happen! One day I was just itching for it to be May so that I could get on a plane and fly to Tulsa to surprise a dear friend...and today I am begrudgingly throwing on my scarf and boots and surviving this thing Seattle calls June!
But May wasn't just May for me this year. See, sometime back in December, I woke up thinking "May." I thought it must have just been a strange dream or something and I tried to go back to sleep. But all through the night and ever since the word "May" has been resonating in my heart and mind...and of course I had no idea why.
I resolved that God must be trying to tell me something since he usually doesn't let me forget when he is. I decided to just continue to pray about it and ask that he would reveal whatever he needed to in his timing.
About a week ago, I was extremely anxious and a little frustrated because May was just about over and to my knowledge I still had no idea what I was supposed to have heard or learned and figured I had just missed it or something.
Honestly...I am still not really sure what that whole thing was about. I am still praying that God would speak to me and in the meantime trying to pull from it what I can. SO...all of that being said, this is what I've got so far.
May for me was all about FRIENDSHIP and how very beautiful and refreshing it can be.
I had been looking forward to May 2 for quite some time because I had planned to fly into Tulsa and surprise my dear friend Dalayna Dillon. It had been SO long since I had seen her (at least it felt like FOREVER) and phone calls just weren't doing it anymore. I also had the opportunity to attend the graduation of several of our close friends from our Alma Matter with her. I was practically bursting at the seems for months waiting to make the surprise happen.
Honestly...we talk on the phone A LOT. I go to work sleepy more often than I should because we just cannot have a quick phone call with each other. But, there is NOTHING like being in the presence of a dear friend. NOTHING. Having friends that you can be 100% yourself with and still trust that they love you the same is such a rare and beautiful thing.
It was so refreshing to just spend time with her. To enjoy simple things like shopping trips and Cheddars and Starbucks Frappy Hour together in the same time zone! And my heart was so excited to see the looks on my friends faces when I showed up at their graduation ceremony. To know in my heart that I had friends whom I would drop everything for was just so overwhelming.
Of course the trip went too fast and I found myself crying on a plane back to Seattle in what seemed like no time at all. But that plane ride "home" was so eye opening for me...and resulted in quite a long letter to this dear friend of mine including all of my revelations.
I have known for a while that Dalayna and I were wonderful friends...but it's like that weekend really solidified it for me. It was the first time that I actually stopped and thought about my life without her and I couldn't hold back tears. My heart would be broken if for some reason I lost her friendship or her or even just to see her heart broken...and the most beautiful thing is that I knew she would same the same of me. I realized that I had chosen wisely which friendships to invest in and my heart was overflowing with thanks for the people that God has so carefully orchestrated into my life.
And that was just the first 5 days in May!
Needless to say, I came home in a little bit of a slump. I had missed my friends all along, but being with them again only intensified that. So I moped around for a few days and texted Dalayna more than she could probably take...and just when I was starting to feel like I could live normally again...the doorbell rang.
Now. This is not a rare occurrence as of late since the people I work for are in a continuing remodeling process and I am constantly sharing the house with some fixer upper person. The kiddos were down for a nap and I was just doing my normal cleaning routine. I looked out the window to see the painter's truck in the driveway. I opened the door expecting two tall, Hispanic men and instead there was an Indian and a girl from Oklahoma.
Of course I was speechless. I looked at them for a little while. That's right. Dalayna was on my front porch. She had planned to surprise me in Seattle just a week after I had surprised her in Tulsa! I could have died happy right then.
SO, we got to spend the week together in Seattle. We took the kiddos I nanny on some adventures and did our best to tour the city. I LOVED having her here and dreaded seeing her go from the moment that she arrived. ALL of my other friends had been in on it as well!
And just a week after she left, a dear friend came to visit all the way from Mexico! (She's still here actually)
May could NOT have been any more wonderful.
So, what did I take away from all of that...?
First of all. I am blessed beyond words with the people and friendships that God has placed in my life. When I step back and look at how carefully he has orchestrated each encounter and how each one has grown into lifelong friendships I am amazed at his creativity and humbled that he would surround me with such incredible people.
Secondly, God reminded me of HIS friendship. He taught me to start seeing everything that he is and does in my life through a "Friendship Filter."
To take friendship out of our relationship with God is to reduce him to a cold, distant higher power-and to worship him without first viewing him as our friend would be to worship someone that we don't truly know and would therefore be empty and unsatisfying to both parties.
It would be difficult for me to speak highly of someone I didn't really know and unfounded because I would have no personal experience with them to do so. But...when I get to know a person and who they are and we develop a mutual friendship, I can't help but have wonderful things to say about them and they are things that I genuinely know and believe because I have experienced those parts of that person in my own life. If my friend tells me that they like something about me it means more because I know that they know me well, and if they see into my life and correct something it hurts less and is taken to heart more because I know they are doing so because they love me and want the best for me.
This is what Jesus wants from us. To see that first and foremost he desires friendship with us. He did not hang on a cross to simply right all of the wrong in the world, he sacrificed everything so that we would be able to someday have a FRIENDSHIP with him! Jesus died to be your friend and to spend forever with you!
It was interesting for me to look at this theme in the Bible. I really enjoyed looking at the lives of Mary and Mary in the New Testament.
First we see Mary Magdaline...Jesus saved her life in more than one way before he even knew her. She then gave her life to travel with him and his disciples and to be a supporter of his ministry. This means that she knew him. They ate together, walked together and probably often laughed and cried together. So, when we see her at the foot of the cross at the end of the Gospel stories...she was more than just a by stander. The man hanging on the cross was a dear friend and she gave everything to him because of that. And it's no wonder than that Jesus chose to appear to her, a dear friend, when he first walked out from the grave. When you think of Jesus on the cross is he just a man or is it your very close friend hanging there?
Then we look at the life of Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus. This is the Mary that sat at Jesus' feet and listened to him preach while her sister slaved away in the kitchen and then same Mary who watched her brother come to life and walk out of the tomb at Jesus' command. And later, we see this interesting story of a young woman under a table pouring expensive perfume on Jesus and crying at his feet. That story always seemed a little dramatic to me until I understood it in this context. Because Mary knew Jesus as her friend and he had touched her life so personally, she couldn't help but give him EVERYTHING. She saw who he was to her and so she put her pride and cares aside to make sure he knew what he meant to her! WOW
When we experience Jesus as our friend and we let him into our lives in a personal way I think we won't be able to help but tell him how wonderful he is and to worship him as such.
Try looking at everything that Jesus does in your life through this filter. Every blessing, hardship, and lesson with this idea that he does it all as your dear friend.
I don't know if that's what May was supposed to mean for me...but that's what I've got so far :) I'll keep you posted!