I could hear the rise and fall of their little voices in the background. The whirl of a household buzzed around me, and I was bone weary. It had been a Monday. Schooling, feeding, diaper changing, more feeding, refereeing, playing, laughing, crying, and intermingled whining were closing in on bedtime.
The shrill ring of the phone broke into my daydream. Something about the Hawaiian Islands, but I don’t recall exactly what it was. My mind envisioned white sand, blue skies, and peace. A daydream.
I grabbed the phone, “Hello?”
Her voice, warm and familiar oozed through the line, “Hey friend, how are you?”
And suddenly this new home felt like the one we left months ago. This desert place we now call home washed with the familiar cadence of a forever friend. We don’t have to go very far to go back home – sometimes just across the kitchen to the buzzing line.
“How are you holding up?” she continued. The rest became an endless washing of waves. We dug our toes into the sandy beach of our minds and fed each other with words. We shared thoughts and hugged with familiar laughter. We went on like this for over an hour. Time loses all urgency when we find ourselves on familiar sand with a kindred soul. The ruckus around me became a blur of energized life as I fed off this God-given interruption.
It took us years to meet in this place of familiarity. I held and comforted her baby girl long before I ever met my friend. It was a gathering of women one evening. A deployed husband left her with no one to turn to except for her neighbor when her mother became ill one night. She brought her baby next door. I happened to be there that night. I held that precious baby in my arms and soothed her as her mom rushed off into the night with her own mother. I didn’t meet her, just her baby. Little did I know at the time, the baby I held would be my daughter’s forever friend.
It was years later when I met my friend. God’s circumstances brought us face to face. Seeing her jarred the memory of holding her baby. We laugh about the way we met. It was our little girls who brought us together.
It wasn’t always like this for us. We didn’t begin in this place of ease and bare-naked emotions. We started off like most of us do when we reach adulthood. Guarded, careful, and polite. We build up these barriers. We’ve been disappointed too many times by this age. We became cautious friends while our girls fell madly in love with each other. We watched as our babies embraced each other as best friends forever, and our hearts began to melt. We could all learn from these little ones of ours.
I tend to be more candid than cautious, and in time my beautiful and poised friend dropped her caution sign. We watched our girls develop an untainted and whole-hearted friendship; and we followed.
Life in the military has separated us. This life calls us to start over again and again.
“I haven’t met any really close friends,” she sighed.
I nodded understanding through the line separated by 3000 miles, “I know, it’s hard. Just remember to keep putting yourself out there. And ask Him…ask Him for a friend. He will answer.”
She replied, “You’re right. I haven’t asked Him. One thing keeps running through my mind. ‘You do not have because you do not ask God.’” (James 4:2)
I held the phone tightly to my cheek and answered, “Ask Him. He made us to build each other, to comfort each other. Ask Him, and He’ll answer you.”
This whole friendship thing is a journey. We watch the unabashed love between little girls, and we wonder where it goes when we grow up. We retrieve memories of hurts and hang-ups, and we become guarded. We wait and wonder where we’ll meet a true friend.
When we drop our masks, and show our bare faces. When we become the friends we want to have. When we watch little girls connect their hearts, and their best friend necklaces. This is when we see – He made us for each other. Sometimes we forget. He reminds us through our timid smiles and our guarded hearts to ask when we want to receive.
All we have to do is ask. He answers every time.
If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. (Matthew 21:22, NIV)