Monday, June 13, 2011

Just One

There are a few passages in the Bible regarding asking for and receiving things.  One in particular that I have been thinking about lately is found in Mark, I believe.  Basically, it says that whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  Of course, I believe that the intention of your heart has to be right; like, I don't think that praying specifically for two million dollars so that I can buy pretty things and vacation frequently is something I should ask for and expect to receive, but that's just my opinion.

I've been thinking about the verse in Mark (11:24) ever since I read the following quote:

Give me one friend, just one, who meets the needs of all my varying moods.               --Esther M. Clark
I basically prayed the first half of this quote as a kid pretty frequently.  My family moved a lot and I would find myself in my bedroom or outside on my swingset the night before starting another new school pleading with God, "Please let me find a friend, just one, at school tomorrow."  I was horrifically shy as a kid and knew, even at that age, that it wouldn't be charm or my sparkling personality that would gain new found friends, it would more than likely be pitying classmates and an act of God leading a kid over to say, "You can hang out with me."  The point is that  I believed God would give me someone and I was never let down.

When we left Kansas City (where all of my friends and family were) and arrived in a very very small farm community of Pierce City, MO my first friend was Rachel Green.  I only lived in Pierce City for four months but managed to develop some pretty good friendships with most of my classmates, especially the kids in my reading group, but nothing deep.  In Aurora, MO my first friend in school was Cindy Benz.  She was cool and came from a nice family.  We had sleepovers and playdates and liked to sit outside and listen to the radio or climb trees.  She introduced me to a lot of the other kids who I later formed good friendships with (or as good as a friendship can get in six months).  I had a close neighborhood friend as well, Kimberly, and she was nuts but fun.  In Cassville, MO my first friend was Lindsey.  Lindsey used words like "galore" and  "propensity", and she held her own in a classroom (3rd grade) presidential debate regarding Bush, Clinton, and Perot. She sat next to me after the teacher made me introduce myself to the class and said, "I can tell you like grammar and sentence structure.  Would you like to be friends?"  Absolutely!

Many times having that one friend or acquaintance was more for survival and less because we were bff's.  Outside of school my best friends were my brothers, my dog Emmy, and all the neighborhood boys (some of whom were sort of adopted into our family).  At school I did what was necessary to have a group of girls to sit with at lunch and I talked about dolls and whether or not I was going to be allowed to grow my bangs out, but at home I played night tag, raced the neighborhood boys on bikes, played soccer, and climbed trees.  I loved my friends at school and think back on those relationships fondly but I didn't really click with anyone because I still expected that we would pick up and move again.

The second half of Esther M Clark's quote, "who meets the needs of all my varying moods" started becoming a  priority to me.   I had a lot of friends but we were either just friends during the school year or we were "best friends" yet had very explosive relationships, meaning we were always annoyed or mad at each other.   I used to read books (ahem...The Baby-sitters Club) and watch movies (Now and Then) about groups of best girl friends--soul mates, really-- who were there for each other no matter what, who forgave easily, who were real with each other, and who stayed friends for 20+ years.  I didn't believe it was real.  I had one or two best girl friends but not a great big circle of friends who all hung out.  For the most part my best friends were guys and when they all started getting married a million years later, I was feeling pretty lonely.

Ever since I read the quote a few days ago, I haven't been able to get it out of my mind.  I can trace my relationships as far back as infancy and pinpoint the friends I gained over the years, who more than any others, "meet the needs of all my varying moods".  I can go months, even years, with limited contact with these women and our first interaction, whether over the phone or in person or even via Facebook, is like we were never separated by time and miles.  They get me when I'm mad or flaky, sad, damaged, excited, sarcastic--and we don't judge each other.  We don't fight.  We don't hold each other accountable to ridiculous rules about how often we need to see one another to still be considered friends.   They keep me "alive" in stories to their children, my honorary nieces and nephews, to the point that even the ones I see only once a year have a relationship with me.  Some have been in my life for 27 years and some for as little as 3 years, but it's like we are the same people in different bodies.

I always prayed for just one person at a time to get me through, and I received that each time I asked.  I received much more than just a person to suffice in my journey through life and consider it a blessing.  I received soul mates; the perfect mix of people who are more like family than just friends.  You know who you are.  And if you don't, I'll be emailing you this link so that you know for sure! :)

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