I know from your comments and your emails to Miss Crystal and to me that you have been praying, even though you didn't really know what you were praying about, and those prayers, I know for a fact, helped me get through a really, really tough time. You are my friends.
Before I left for Colorado, I was trying to get well (stuff keeps happening to me!) and prepare for a big writers' workshop. The day before I left, I got the news that a very, very good friend-like-a-brother isn't going to live much longer. My heart was -- and still is -- broken. It just so happened (a God-thing, really) that I was going to visit him and his family before the conference anyway, so I had a chance to say all the things I always wanted to say to him before I said good-bye for the last time. He will always be my friend.
Another God-thing was that Miss Crystal went to the same writers' workshop, and even though she was also sad because he was special to her too, for the whole four days we were there she made sure I was okay and had a private place to go and cry if I needed to. She came home with me (she's at my house even as we speak!) and has been sharing the grief and the good memories so that every day the pain turns more into gratitude. She is my dear, dear friend.
Here we are, my mini-women, spending our summer looking at our friendships and how they get flubbed up and how we can fix them. We've had trouble getting that going because of all of the above, but now that summer has officially started ( I know it because we're past June 21st and the lightning bugs are out and the Queen Ann's lace is in bloom and I am craving peaches) I think we can really begin. Let's think about those three kinds of friends I feel so thankful for right now.
FRIENDS WHO WILL PRAY FOR YOU, EVEN IF THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY'RE PRAYING FOR
FRIENDS WHO WILL LET YOU INTO THE MOST PERSONAL PART OF THEIR LIVES BECAUSE THEY TRUST YOU
FRIENDS WHO WILL SHARE THE HARD STUFF, LIKE GRIEF AND PAIN AND LONGING
What do you say we kick off our summer of friendship by doing this:
(1) Think of a friend who would (and does!) pray for you even if you can't tell her the whole story
(2) Think of a friend who totally trusts you
(3) Think of a friend who holds your hand (and maybe hugs your neck) when you're feeling just pretty awful
Whether that's three different people or one who will do all three (how blessed are YOU?!), will you do three things?
(1) Tell her! Tell her (or maybe it's a him . . .) in as lavish a way as you can (kind of like the woman who washed Jesus' feet with her tears and dried them with her hair -- although you don't have to go quite THAT far, but you get the idea). Make sure she knows how much that kind of friendship means.
(2) Make a page for her in your summer journal or scrapbook. If you have a pic of her, fabulous. If not, describe her in full and/or draw her. This is like a tribute -- and you'll want to look at it if you two ever fall victim to a friendship flub. It will remind you how little the irritating stuff means next to her being there for you for the big stuff.
(3) Tell us about her in a comment. The best way is to tell us a story/example of a time when she did one or all of those godly friendship things.
What do you do if you don't have a friend or family member like that? You definitely have at least one here on the blog -- in fact when you think about it, you probably have many. So feel free to choose someone on Tween You and Me who has shown through her comments that she prays for you, trusts you with her stories, and is always saying, "I'm there for you." You won't know what she looks like, but you know what she IS like. Just like the tween in the picture above who is reading one of my Sophie books, she has something in common with you -- she wants to know how to live a life that has God right smack in the middle -- and that's a perfect place to start.
Miss Crystal is one of my friends who fits all of that and more. And you know what, you are too. If I put you all in my scrapbook it would never close. But at least I can keep you in my heart, and I do, my mini-women. I do.