Irreplaceable Treasures

The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not healing, nor curing… that is a friend who cares.
~Henri Nouwen

These past three months have been very difficult for me on many different levels – emotionally, spiritually, and physically.  Through it all, I have come to realize that I could not have done this alone.  I could not have faced those moments of despair and tremendous anxiety without a friend to just hold me. This kind of friendship understands and accepts without having to say a word.  A friend’s presence is all that is needed. The physical contact, the warm embrace, the loving glance conveys more than what any words possibly could.

My friends have been a constant, steadying influence as I have ran the gamut of emotions – from anger to sadness to despair.  They have not tried to say things in order to make me feel better; rather, they knew that there were no words which could possibly make me feel better.  Their presence steadied my mood swings, and gave me the strength and courage to get through each and every day.

I truly felt God’s presence within each encounter I had with a friend.  I felt His spirit work His magic of calming my fears, drying my tears, holding on to hope, and healing my breaking heart.  My friends taught me a valuable lesson on what being unselfish is all about. – they set aside their own time, dropped everything, whenever I would call.

My closest friend is my husband.  I can honestly say that this crisis has deepened and strengthened our relationship in ways I never dreamed possible.  His uncanny ability to put things into perspective when I was literally losing it is a gift from God.  This reminds me of a quote by Robert South, “A true friend is a gift of God, and He only who made hearts can unite them.”  Our hearts, which have always been united in marriage, were united on a deeper level of friendship through all of this.  And I fell in love with him all over again.

I have always recognized the value of friendship, but now I have learned how to truly treasure my friends. They are irreplaceable.  They are worth their weight in gold. I can see the face of God in every encounter in which I have with them. And so, I say, thank you from the bottom of my heart and soul, my dear friends. You have saved my life time and time again over the past three months.  Just know that I’ll be there for you should the need arise. God bless each and every one of you.

Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
– Proverbs 27:17

©2008, Valerie Wolff

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