Friday, July 24, 2009
It must have been a few days after my own high school graduation, that I attended my friend Hopey's. I miss Hope. I haven't talked to her in over eight years. I believe she still lives in New York. I first met Hope Elaine Lee in fourth grade, we shared the same class all the way to High School, where she attended Walton, a co ed public school in the Bronx. We danced together, auditioning for the Apollo and local talent shows. We called ourselves "bug-out partners." She's part of the Undercliff Crew too; her building was across the street and we walked to school together.
When I married my former husband, he really made it difficult for me to retain past friendships. Looking back of course, I allowed him to control this part of my life. I was isolated for a while. I'll never forget her birthday - March 15 "the Ides of March." I remembered a few years ago and sent a card, but didn't hear anything.
I'm lying on the bed, listening to the second Cd Miriam gave me. Pastor Todd Skeirik is now sharing about relationships. He shared the need to find people you can share a similarity or interest in common with and get together. Get to know each other. He spoke about how Jesus reclined in the home sinners. He ate with them. My own personal digging began...
I complain at times about the full time hours of work. Oh if I could stay home; how awesome. I'm working. I'm doing what I need, to care for my kids. How can I make the best out of this? The job is pretty cool, great people and home-like atmosphere. Its been almost three years that I worked for the Health Department and I have not made one friend that I connect with outside of work. I realized that I didn't miss it either. Pretty content jogging five days a week, alone with my ipod and the park. I am inspired by this message. This challenge to get to know others and go deeper than the superficial "hi, how ya doin', now-get-out-of-my-face-I-got-other-things-to-do" routine, has got me all excited.
I have been isolated too long and its time I start venturing out and getting to know more people. It will be two years since my divorce, already five years since we separated. I know I have been through a tremendous season of finding contentment in being alone, dealing with the loss of the hope of an intimate relationship. I didn't know how much I had shut out of my life until now. I am ready to be exposed, (not too deep) to others; just enough to listen and laugh with them. I will travel at lunch time at least once per week to the clinic and have lunch with the folks there. I will seek out a coworker who loves to knit and schedule a time for me to gain a few pointers; my crocheting is much better.
The recent tragic death of a coworkers husband, began this process in me. I didn't take the time to get to know her well, so when the death occurred I was a bit cautious in my approach. The interesting thing is that I recognized my connection to her story and her hurt. I felt it. I went to the funeral and pondered heavily over her situation. At times my emotions were churned up till it reached my forehead and would just stop there-no tears, yet I could feel them backed up inside. The Lord in His mercy allowed us to talk. I was so thankful for what she shared. To hear how she was coping and moving on, strengthened me. Listening awakened my own need to do relationships. I miss that. I almost want to cry when I think of all the time I missed not knowing that I was afraid of rejection and being hurt.
"Don't give up on your friends. When you find out something bad about them, don't give up on them. Also, be empowering; not controlling. Be like God; get to know people. Love them. Don't criticize them. Don't separate yourself from them. " Boy have I done that. Praise God that as long as I am still breathing, I can make changes. Hmmm.....
Listening to that Cd not only earned Gateway a permanent spot in my "Sites to See" section of this blog, but it has allowed me to sigh in awe. This is a huge scene in that work of art He has created in me. As I allow Him to, He is making me whole.