Yesterday I had the opportunity--and blessing--to help a fellow widow. I sat with her pretty little daughter while she had an MRI on her knee (poor thing).
When the nurse brought her back out, she asked Friday if she needed help getting back out to the car.
Friday said, "No, my friend is here with my daughter."
It warmed my heart.
First of all, I was that widow with young ones who needed this sort of help not that long ago. I needed people to stay with the boys for the doctors' appointments, the social events, and the Christmas shopping. I had so many people bless me, and it was a privilege to serve another as I had been served.
I also couldn't help but be blessed that we are friends in the first place.
We probably would not have met this side of Heaven, had we not both been on this journey in life.
We call our widows/widowers ministry Travelers on a Different Journey. It is not a journey we would have volunteered for, by any means.
But God, in His infinite wisdom and supreme grace, has allowed us to journey this path together.
It means more than I can tell you to have so many friends who "get it."
Don't get me wrong...all of my friends have been wonderfully supportive over the past nearly-five years. And they have walked this strange, long, twisting journey with me, involving themselves in my pain.
But I am not always sure they get my joy.
Sometimes I see in their eyes an accounting of the cost of my new joys...things that would not have happened but for the loss of Keith...and they don't really see how that adds up to joy.
But my Travelers friends do. Life takes on a new intensity after tragedy, and maybe especially after this tragedy. Half of me has been ripped away, but yet I continue...not just to survive, but to...thrive.
When I watched Oscar Pistorius run in the Olympics a few weeks ago, I saw joy. I saw a man taking what life had given him and using that very thing to catapult him forward...quite literally.
I cried, not only because he did well, and that was amazing, but also because of the look on his face. I could identify with the intensity I saw there...intensity for his running, not as a man with no legs...but as a man with a dream. He found joy in his journey.
And in this life, I am finding mine. Moment by moment. Through trials. Because of trials.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. - James 1:2-4