Tonight, I had an experience that hurt me, causing me to again rethink the events of the last twelve months. The questions that usually nag me bothered me for quite a while tonight. When I mentioned to a close friend the angst and pain I was feeling, I was so gently reminded how very much I am loved. After the pain, I was allowed to expand my wings just a little more. I am really thankful for the experience, as well as the blessing that followed.
I was at a community event tonight, where several hundred members of the community came to support a great cause. I am always a little anxious about doing things that might have an unexpected situation that forces me to be a stronger person than I feel I can be. This was the first time I have done this particular event truly 100% solo, and it was slightly intimidating. I ran into a group of friends I used to see somewhat often and really enjoyed their company. I have recently realized that divorce not only separates man and wife, but also man's family and wife's family, man's friends and wife's friends, and man's family's friends and wife's family's friends. This has been a difficult process. Needless to say, I saw a group of friends that I thought were somewhat neutral. After a somewhat short, uncomfortable conversation, I realized they weren't on "my" side (and I hate that so many situations have to have a side. I try to use that term as little as possibly, as it reminds me of conflict - I hate conflict), even though not a single person in this group has ever asked me what my side was. It hurt, more so than I thought it would. I knew I would run into a few people that I knew, and in those situations, I typically get a little nervous before realizing I can face so many things I once didn't have the strength to.
Anyway, after the uncomfortable discussion, I was talking with another friend, who I think picked up that I was antsy and a little restless. I guess I was mad, or hurt, or something and it had affected me visibly. When I explained briefly what had happened, she reminded me how incredible my friends really are. She let me know that sometimes God puts people in your life for a quick little jog, and others are there for the full marathon. While she might not have said it exactly like that, that is what was placed on my heart. So tonight, I am really grieving the loss of so many once dear friends, but praising God for the ones He placed in my life for the marathon. I don't just have one or two, but many who stand behind me and fight for me, remind me how strong I am, as well as the place the reminder that Christ will give me the strength/wisdom/courage I need to continue putting one foot in front of the other. I am truly sad that in the last twelve months, I have lost so many I loved dearly, and for many years. The grief is overwhelming to me at times. Tonight, though, I am going to focus on those who surround me continually with love, support, and prayers. You know who you are, and for you, I am thankful.