Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How He Loves Us

How He Loves has been on repeat for the past few weeks because a dear friend sent me a surprise care package that contained a mixed CD with 13 life-giving songs (as well as Scripture and chocolate, also life-giving. :)). She knows what I need and she knows what I like. Fifteen years of friendship will do that.

As I was driving to visit my family in Pennsylvania last weekend, belting out the lyrics and buzzing from my Starbuck's grande bold, I had a moment of incredible clarity and overwhelming thankfulness about how I have tangibly experienced God's love in my life during the past few weeks—through relationship.

You see, I have the best family and friends. Truly, the best. They are full of sincere generosity, intentional thoughtfulness, undying compassion, and abundant wisdom. I do not deserve them. I thank God for showing me His love in small, huge, sweet, extravagant, and powerful ways through them.

She calls me every day just to talk. To check in. To hear my voice and so I can hear hers. To tell me what she ate for lunch, share stories about her crazy co-workers, and update me on her thriving social life. She is my soul sister. :)

One friend recently lent her "jack-of-all-trades" hubby not once, but three times, to offer his expertise with some house issues. She texts me regularly to share the moments that comprise daily living.

Another stopped by on a random weeknight with supplies for rossinis. We camped out on my couch and talked all night long—about good sweat sessions, about the tough stuff life relentlessly throws at us, about love.

She offers her home—mere miles from our office—as a place to crash after a night out, when my A/C was busted, or "just because." We've shared many a pepperoni/banana pepper/crispy shallot pizza and bottle of Chianti and never run short of conversation or laughter.

Last weekend I spent an evening with these two, whom I've known since I was 13. They are some of the wisest women in my life, know me better than most people, and never fail to make me laugh until my stomach hurts.

My sister, one of the busiest women I know, used her weekend off (she only gets one or two a month) to drive through the armpit of the DMV and visit me. We enjoyed two beautiful days of sweet, quality sister time. She is my rock, she is my inspiration, she is part of me.

Although I am nearly 30, my parents continue to be steadfast, nurturing, provisional forces in my life. It's like I know everything will be OK after hearing their voices say "Annie" or "Punk." They are my safe haven, my home. I can be utterly real and honest with them knowing they will listen and love me no matter what, but also tell me the hard truth and ask me the tough questions.

To me these friendships are gifts from a God who allows me to experience his goodness through relationship. I am at a loss for words when I catch a glimpse of understanding about how much he loves me and how rich my life is because of these people.

Thank you.

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