Friday, August 9, 2013

24 Hours

My house is a disaster and I have company coming in less than 12 hours. I should say that one more time because it really is just that bad, DISASTER. The kind when your toilet has a ring and the trash cans in every single room are overflowing. 

I should definitely be cleaning right now but my head has stories swirling around making my thoughts jump from one thing to the next and I have to put it on paper to settle down and get focused. It's like an exit from the brain situation. Strange I know. 

I told you company was coming in town and that is most definitely the wrong description of who is driving on I-20. I could be really original here and call her my "sister" or my "BFF" but that wouldn’t touch the surface. This one, she's set apart. 

Here's truly the only way I have found to describe it...

One of my favorite stories in the Bible is when an angel of THE LORD (can you even imagine) came to tell Mary she was going to have a baby. This is a scene that would flip me out on the spot. For a thousand reasons, and Mary handled herself incredibly well, only asking ONE question.

And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be since I am a virgin?" Luke 1:34

In which the angel replied, 

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will over shadow you: therefore the child will born will be Holy-The Son of God." Luke 1:35

OK. This next part is not in the Bible but I feel as a woman who was once a young teenage girl I can pitch an idea to you here that Mary’s reply coming up in a few seconds was perfection, but I'm guessing her heart was racing ONE THOUSAND miles a minute. 

She said, "I am a servant of The Lord; let it be to me according to your word." Luke 1:38 

 Can we all just stop here and applaud that respectful, faithful girl. I would have been SOBBING. And asking a few follow up questions like...

"Can you come to my parent’s house and let them in on this little secret? My dad is going to lose his mind." 

"Will you please explain this to the man I was supposed to be marrying, he's not going to be thrilled, and I'm really not even sure he will believe me. You know, with this whole virgin birth story that has NEVER happened before." 

"Do you think it would be possible to let all the other girls my age know I didn't have sex before marriage? Because that’s sort of a big deal around here and now my name will be mud, and the social pressure is going to be a nightmare."

Mary said nothing at all except "I am a servant of The Lord; let it be to me according to your will."

She knew exactly Whose she was, Whom she served and the power He possessed. What a witness to the rest of us...but I'm off track. What I absolutely ADORE about this story is what Mary did the SECOND the angel left. 

It says "The angel departed from her." in Luke 1:38 and look what happens in Luke 1:39...the very next verse.

"Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth."

You betcha she "went with haste" to see her best friend. That’s what we do! In *that* moment, I'm going with haste to "her."

And then in verse 56 is says "Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about 3 months."

Best. Friends. 

I love imagining the conversations those two had in that 3 month time frame. After the initial shock had worn off. I'm glad the Bible doesn’t tell us everything they said....God knew what privacy and intimacy between soul sisters was all about.  He didn't dare let it on the page. 

So yeah...that's the type of friendship I'm describing. 

She's the one I don’t clean the house for, impress with fancy food, or feel the need to entertain. I don't feel judged by her, ever. We just don’t do that to each other...it would be like attacking..well, myself. We laugh until my side is in a stitch and I literally cannot breathe. It’s frightening sometimes. I tell her if I die laughing...I mean actually die, it will be her fault and then she has to take my children.    

Our husbands are best friends and fraternity brothers... (I don’t think I need to elaborate on that. Enough said.)

She's the one who made the verse "There is no greater love than to lay one's life down for your friends." John 15:13 make since to me. 

Before her I read that and secretly thought..."Well I'm good! Nobody around here I would ever feel like laying my life down for!" And now I know the kind of friendship bond that makes that verse hit home. I'd give her my last drop of blood. Whatever she needed to live, she could have.

And it's the sweetest gift from the Lord really. One I don’t deserve. I've never had a whole bunch of luck when it came to friends. I know the cut of rejection and the pain of betrayal. I've received the mean girl treatment and I've given it. I know how to play the game...what to say and how to get by without being devoured by the same sex.  I don't blame any one thing or any one person...in fact it was mostly my fault when a friendship fell apart. And they did...fall apart. Quite often.  

I'm not looking for sympathy, I have friends! A handful of women who I "do life with" and I genially love them and adore their families. They have my heart and can read my thoughts by the look on my face. We share secrets and pray for each other. It's one on my favorite things on this planet to hug a friend and start up obsessive chatter. And Oh Lord my hand full of local girlfriends deserve a medal for listening to me...I'm long winded.  Blessed beyond measure to have those women. 

But there is something about the one. The history...years of it. The growing up together. The one who has known you in your darkest moments and personally pulled you out of the pit. The first phone call you made to tell you were engaged, pregnant with your first child, moving to a new city, struggling with depression, received a promotion, joined a new church, made a new friend, lost another friend, fought with your husband, Googled the word "divorce", made up with your husband, got a good diagnosis, got a bad one, struggling with your Faith, soaring with it....

It's as if after I tell her...it's real.

That one. 

She's on her way from Alabama to see me. And I want 3 months... but will have to settle for 24 hours. And I find myself completely wrapped up in thanksgiving for this thing I never really understood, called friendship.

And I’m asking God to provide it for each of my children...it's essential to all things good and girly. 


~Allison