"If I don't have friends, I ain't got nothing." Billi Holiday
I'm overwhelmed. Tonight my friend, Debbie called. Her voice in a panic. Begged me to come over and to hurry. I went. I wasn't prepared for the surprise party she had thrown for me. Even my sister and her husband drove the eight hours to come. They all chipped in and bought me the mountain bike I wanted. It had all the bells and whistles.
I wanted to run. I wanted to hide. I didn't want the attention. I didn't want the focus on me. I, who have spent a lifetime hiding, not wanting to be seen. Here were about thirty of my friends focusing on me. My first thought - I don't deserve this.
Later that night, after everyone left, Debbie told me, 'I would do anything for you. God brought me into your life because He wants to heal you completely.'
I met Debbie online. In a writers critique group. She read an excerpt of my book. I didn't tell her my real name. She emailed me and said she lives twenty minutes away. She wanted to talk. I panicked. I gave her my number. She called. I told her my real name. She wanted to meet. I couldn't. She knew too much. We emailed. We talked on the phone. She asked if I would ever meet her. Three months later, we finally met - In the park. Over the next few months she read more of my story. She wanted to know details. I couldn't talk. I hesitated. My words faltered. I started a sentence, then stopped. She encouraged me. Then begged me to come over to her place. We sat opposite each other, I unable to have her look at me. The shame was too great. She respected my need and talked with her face turned away from me. Over the next few months, we got close. Really close. We talked everyday. I told her things I had never told anyone. Things that happened. Horrible things. She said it made her care about me even more. She said our friendship to her is like David and Jonathon in the Bible.
My daughter told me on the drive home from the party, "Mom, you have some great friends." I do. I really do. I have been afraid of letting them get too close, afraid they would see the shame, afraid they would know my past and hate me. So I kept them at a distance.
My friends are awesome people. Each one of them. I still don't know how God did it. Took me out of a lifestyle of hopelessness and misery and brought me into one of love, friendship and family. The Bible says God came to set the captives free. It's true. He really did.
An Overseas Tale...
5 days ago