Monday, April 16, 2007

Monday Moment: What A Friend

Do your friends despise, forsake you?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you;
you will find a solace there.
- Joseph Scriven, 1855

This is me at age 5. First day of kindergarten. Unlike my friends in the neighborhood who boarded the bus and rode to the local school, I attended a private, Christian school some 25 miles away. We usually wore dresses. Never shorts. I remember this day... being swallowed by masses of unknown children and wishing I had a friend. I recall the opening assembly, and when everyone bowed their heads to pray I told God I wanted to go home and go to school with my friend Megan. I needed a friend to spend those school days with.

Of course, since I lived so far away from the school I never really became good friends with any of the children I saw everyday. I spent my days looking forward to getting home and playing. With Megan, of course. (That's her above on the right.) We built countless mud pies and raced Strawberry Shortcake bikes and shared chips and performed our own renditions of Annie. But when I was seven, we moved. Moved to Texas. And once again I was without a friend to spend the day with. I recall climbing onto our split-rail fence one evening and crying. And praying. "God, please give me a friend," I prayed over and over.

Fast forward to 17. I climbed off that fence and went to college 7 hours away where I knew no one. I smiled through gritted teeth as I walked into my dorm. As soon as my Mom and Dad left, I sat on the bed and once again prayed. "God, please help me make friends here," I pleaded. And He did.

College flew by and soon I found myself in Dallas - first month in my own apartment. It feels like yesterday in a way... closing the door, resting my back against it, and slowly, slowly sliding down to the floor. "God, I'm so lonely here," I said. "Please send me someone to talk to."

Point is, throughout my life - like all of us - I've been in that situation where I just couldn't hack it on my own. Where I needed a friend. Someone to be there. To tackle a problem with. To bare my soul to. It happened again just this fall, when I found myself walking into a dark, empty Freeman House. I stood in the darkness and began to yell, "Why am I alone again? Why do I always end up back here... praying for a friend? Hoping for someone to talk to? Why?"

The house was still. Silent.

Yesterday in my small church we all stood to our feet and sang, What A Friend We Have In Jesus. I stood holding my hymnal, singing along, when suddenly the words jumped off the page:

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer. Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Suddenly, all those memories flooded back. The first years of school. The day I sat on the fence after moving to Texas. The moments I sat on my dorm room bed, alone. The evening sitting against the door in that apartment, crying and praying. The night I returned home to Freeman House after my marriage ended....

Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?

All those days and all those nights - through 23 years - I spent praying for a friend. For someone to be there. To listen...

... and He was there all along. He's been there all along.

What a Friend I've had in Jesus. What a Friend!

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer. Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer! In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.

I, the Lord... will hold your hand. -Isaiah 42:6

Monday Moment is a little devotional read to help kick-start your week. Hope to see you again next Monday!

15 comments:

Cathleen said...

Sweet Brin! Thank you for this lovely post...I really needed to read this today.

Kelly Fisher said...

Wow, Brin.
I now need to go re-apply my makeup! Ha! That was powerful - and brought back memories of friends I am no longer in touch with - as well as some new friends that I have made and feel like I have known for years! Thanks!

Amber said...

Brin,

Aren't you glad that you always know that we are never alone. It really is a comforting thought to know God is always watching and has a purpose for us.

Amber

Sue said...

Never fails, you always start my week off just right!! I cherish my talks and walks with God. Such sweet photos too!

Anonymous said...

Very nice, Brin. Very nice.

Brian

Rhoda said...

Oh, that was so sweet, Brin! I just moved to a new city a little over a year ago, so I can relate. I, too, have prayed for the Lord to send me friends many times. And, it is happening, slowly but surely. I left my best friend back in Atl., but he is giving me others to get to know. That was such a great devotional, so thanks for sharing. I've always loved that song too.

Rhoda
Southern Hospitality

Rhoda said...

Oh, Brin, I know I left a long note this weekend after finding your blog & now I don't see it. I really an enjoying your blog so much & have added it to my favorite links on my blog. You are quite a gifted writer & I can't wait to read more about Freeman House. Do you have pics posted of it?? Would love to see more.

Rhoda
Southern Hospitality

FrenchGardenHouse said...

Brin,

THANK YOU! What a perfectly wonderful way to start the week. You have wisdom girl, and I am just praying my youngest will have the relationship with Jesus that you have.

He is always our friend, and I am sure that there are plenty of other friends in your life as well. :)Lidy

Beach Girl said...

He will never leave us, no matter where we go or what we do. What a promise!

Thanks for the great post.

Vanessa

Betty said...

Brin, Just came over from Rhoda's blog. How gifted you are at expressing your thoughts and I enjoyed reading your posting. He indeed is a friend at all times. How blessed we are.....

Looking forward to visiting you again and would love to have you drop by for a visit with me....
Betty at Country Charm

Carolyn Monroe said...

Brin, I do so enjoy your little devotionals and your pictures. Todays was very very special and oh so true. You are such a creative person, keep up the good work and always trust in the Lord.

Betty said...

Brin, it's me again. I was scanning back over some of your earlier postings and I was mesmerised. Your home, recipes, memories, etc are so heart warming. Then I checked back by my blog and read your comment. Thanks for coming by and please come again.

Yes, I've sung and played the old hymns many, many times and they just get sweeter as the years go by..What an awesome God we serve....

God Bless

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Brin

I love to focus on lyrics and meaning. Great article Keep shining the light!

Bro. Randy

Beemoosie said...

That is an incredible post Brin, a truth too few people grasp; and the ones who do grasp often need reminders!

Candy said...

Hi Brin,
I found your blog from Romantic Home blog I believe..
I love this post. I grew up as a pastors daughter, in small Churches and moved ALOT. This post really brought back memories for me.
I LOVE the song: What a friend we have in Jesus. Amen!!
Love,
Candy