I listened to every word, every undercurrent that gently passed through them, and watched her as she opened her heart and handed a few pieces over. I took it all in as she uncovered the layered circumstance that had culminated in a heavy weight of concern. I was ready to respond in the silence that followed.
I knew what she needed to hear.
I knew because deeper than those damp beautiful eyes is a lifetime of love, of deep wounds and tragic turns, of loss, of pain so entrenched in her soul that I could feel it reverberating through the years. She’s felt mine too. We have shared it all on our timelines, our histories full of long years and short days, accounting for one another through every change and challenge we have faced.
Together, we have hurled in fits of laughter, trembled in grueling sobs and lived a lifetime together in between.
I’ve seen her through the physical trauma of disease, lying weak in her hospital bed with little hope and even less strength. I’ve watched her children grow to become the light in her eyes, evidence of her love and devotion through the years. I’ve held her hand and prayed just moments before she stepped into the narrow hallway toward the door beyond which she would sign her divorce papers, a time that waged war on her faith and her stamina. I’ve celebrated graduations, weddings, and the births of beautiful grandbabies, where I’ve seen her spirit soar to the highest heights. I’ve also held her trembling body, full of desperate sobs when life became unbearable. I’ve walked into a funeral home to see her standing tall for the sake of love and everything it inspired.
We’ve spent a good many years holding hard to the truth that with each other, we have the strength to endure it all.
I’ve lived her history alongside her and she alongside me. We know each other’s rough, brittle breaks that our coarse scar tissue holds together. We hold memories of trials and triumphs that go back for years, and we have walked through those profound moments—together.
From our rock bottoms to our mountain tops, each step was a stitch sewn in the tapestry with the help from the other.
So, as I look into her eyes now, I proclaim her truth, as it seems to escape my breath so effortlessly, naturally, intrinsically. The years have taught us how to care for our wounds, our scars and our open places where love runs dry. My own eyes start to well up, as I am overcome with emotion. The sweet release of what this friendship carries is more powerful in this pivotal moment. Years have unwrapped this glorious gift, rich with abundant grace and relentless strength.
Years upon years have tightened the knot that ties us together. Season after season, life has created a landscape of hills and valleys that have been traveled and new paths that have been paved. We know one another’s terrain quite well and we know what the other needs to navigate it. We are well aware of how equipped we are to manage the climb or handle the fall.
As she finds herself amidst the climb, forced to take a slippery step, facing a new daunting dip, so she shares her angst and her trepidation.
And I told her exactly what she needed to hear.
*The original version of this piece was first published on ScaryMommy.com.
Michelle | A Dish of Daily Life says
Good friends are worth their weight in gold. She’s lucky to have you — and you are lucky to have her as well.
Oh yes they are, Michelle. Thank GOD for those true friends we have in our lives! Thanks so much for reading and responding, my friend! <3
I hope to have such a friendship as this to look back on, one day <3
Oh you will, love. You have them now- and time will only grow them deeper with devotion. I know this to be TRUE. <3
Janine Huldie says
Aw, beautiful Chris and wouldn’t expect anything less though from you as a friend 😉
AW!! Thank you SO much, dear friend! That means SO MUCH TO ME! XOXO
Fillia Barden says
What a beautiful friendship you described here. I hope I will find it one day. So far I’m tired of putting effort on maintaining friendship, yet they seems just keep busy with their life and gradually leaving me behind. Offering friendship can be a pain in the butt.
Oh Fillia, I’m sorry you have had a challenging time with your friends. Yes, there are those who don’t understand the deep devotion of friendship- but I hope you can find those rare friends who truly treasure the other’s worth and commit to ongoing support and care for one another. You DESERVE friends such as this. We all do. <3
Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom says
Beautiful words and a beautiful testimony to your friendship, Chris.
Thank you so much, Katy! <3
This is SO beautiful Chris. Empowering.
The friendship you are sharing is special. You are special and your friend is too.
I believe that the love we share between friends is important and can save us, help us on the road…Friends are angels send by God.
Sending you love and thanks for such a lovely testimony Chris.
May you and your friend stay blessed.
Thank you SO much for your precious response, Marie. I hope you too, have beautiful bonds like this, sweet friend. You are such a love…
Gorgeous! And perhaps I’m a bit too curious (nosy), but I want to know what you said????. And next time I need advice, to know where to turn.
Aw thanks Allie!! And what I said was a long testimony to her strength, her convictions, and her needs. I offered detailed encouragement and affirmation for her to take initiative in a relationship and feel confident she is doing the right thing. <3
My Inner Chick says
**I’ve spent a good many years holding hard to the truth that with each other, there is strength to endure it all.**
Crying. Emotional. Inspired. Chills. Lifted.
In Minnesota. xxxxx
Ah… yes, this kind of friendship brings me the same reaction, my precious friend. I’m SO glad you have this gift with many beloved friends in your life and ONLINE! (ME!)
Kelly L McKenzie says
Right there with you, my friend. I’ve got a few people in my life that I treasure as well. We’re blessed.
It’s such a GIFT to have these friends. I’m so so glad you have them too, Kelly! <3
Man, when you love, you love HARD. The best, sweetest and most importantly – STRONGEST kind.
AW!! I just LOVE your response, Tamara!! I really do love HARD. And you know what? I often hang with others who do too- like YOU. <3
Julie Jo Severson says
You are loyal and loving through and through, Christine, I can feel it in my bones. The real deal. You and your friend are so blessed to have one another. My sisters and I are like that for one another. A rare, wonderful gift.
OH Julie Jo, how much I both adore and appreciate you my friend! Thank you for your beautiful encouragement, and I am SO incredibly happy you have this gift with your sisters! That is a true blessing- both rare and wonderful indeed. <3
Lisa Sadikman says
Oh Christine, the depth of your emotional ties and commitment to friendship are inspiring. I often feel constrained in my relationships, blocked at a certain point by obligation or what I think I “should” do. Your words here show me there is no “should,” only love and care. xo
Lisa, I get the ‘shoulds‘- they constantly dominate my thinking with ALL my friends! I tend to look behind the shoulds to see what is igniting them. If it’s out of love and care and devotion, they are reminders to me to commit my time/effort/heart/whatever to that beloved friend. BUT if the should is driven by obligation, fear, responsibility? Then it’s the unhealthy should I attempt to let go. And girl, I have TONS of those shoulds!
You did it again, made the hairs on my arms stand up and my heart get tangled in knots! Omy gosh, what a beautiful, utterly sacred testimony of what true friendship looks like, a bond that will live through eternity!
Thank you for this blessing today Christine, you are the epitome of a Godly friend, living what Jesus says to do..lay our lives down for our friends. What an example you are for all of us!! I feel soooo blessed to have you as a new friend, and to share your life, and witness the beauty of your life, all of it! I’m so glad I took a few moments away from my work today, and gave myself the gift of reading a blog which I’m not doing much these days. And look what gift I just received!! Summer blessings to you!
Do you know how much your comment blessed me? And as I re-read it now, I’m in tears with gratitude for you once again. Kathy, you are a gift. YOU.
I’m always ALWAYS so touched by your words and your heart- and utterly grateful that you ALWAYS have such a deep understanding and profound appreciation of my words, my heart, my soul. THANK YOU for being such an incredible gift to me, precious friend.
Beautiful. Just absolute HEART and SOUL in every word. What a treasure you both have found. 🙂
It was one of those sitting outside after she left, crying and pouring it on the paper… with one breath. I think you are right- heart and soul indeed. <3
Oh what a beautiful friendship..a deep, rich relationship that’s a true gift. Your writing is exquisite that speaks of the raw vulnerability a true friendship can endure and hold in a container of soul friend love. Just so absolutely touching Christine. Thank you for sharing.
I realize I read this before and commented.. but it speaks to me in a whole new way as I reflect too on two of my deep soul friendships..appreciating them so much more!
I love you SO much, Kathy. You are such a blessing to me in so many ways… And I’m thrilled you came back to read it again and share how it touched you in new ways. <3