Together Again

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The ping of a text notification sounds. Glancing at the phone, I see it’s my best friend asking which day might work for us to coordinate schedules for a warmly anticipated Meijer Garden trip with an out-of-town high school friend. Smiling, I respond to the text with possible dates.

About a week later, I pull up in front of Anna’s House to greet my two friends sitting outside holding our place in the long reservation queue. Because this is such a popular place to gather for a meal, I had to park quite a distance away in the bank parking lot nearby. Deeply inhaling the scent of spring blossoms around me, I walk toward the restaurant excited to join my friends.

As the three of us enjoy brunch together, we catch up on each others lives; kids, jobs, interests and “girl” things. One of these friends and I are reconnecting after many years apart. In high school we knew everything about each other. As adults, life took us each in different directions. As I look into her beautiful eyes, watch her familiar mannerisms and listen to her heart, it is as if I am transported back in time. Though we need to learn about who we have become as adults, I sense a connection unaffected by time.

Leaving the restaurant, we head to Meijer Gardens. It is a beautiful spring day and the gardens are a perfect place to enjoy flowers, nature and one another. We have the chance to discover if or where we fit in this familiar, yet, new collective friendship. As our time together continues, I sense joy rising in me. This rhythm of the three of us together is life-giving for me. Because we are very different as people, there is much we can learn about and with one another.

Glancing at a clock, we realize our precious time together is ending and we must transition back to our individual lives. After saying our goodbyes, I walk back to my car and notice a place inside of me is soothed. It is the place formed over 40 years ago when these two women first entered my heart. All those years ago, we supported each other as we were trying to discover who we were. We shared many victories and defeats together. We talked about boys, fears, insecurities, family, friends, hopes and dreams. Though the details are different now, we talked about and shared the same type of things happening in our lives as adults.

Through this past year, I have come to understand the richness and depth available in rekindled relationships.  I have discovered parts of me were tenderly held in shared history with friends. Aspects of my true identity have come back alive because of what dear friends remember about me from decades ago.

In order to experience resurrection, there must be death. Last year at this time, I felt like so much of me was dead. Through the steadfast intervention of the Trinity in and around me, I have been resurrected. I am still me, only better because of what I learned through great loss, debilitating grief and choosing to love unconditionally even through betrayal. The gentle embrace of Divine love continues to bring healing to my shattered heart allowing me to trust again in a new relationship and enjoy the familiar comfort of faithful, loyal friends.

Relationships are risky yet essential. It is the conduit most often chosen by God to bring growth and change. Reconnecting with my high school friend offers possibilities for both of us to learn and grow together once again.

May you find connections, old and new, where you will give and receive gentle comfort, gracious challenges and mutual joy.

 

 

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Moving Forward

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Turning the key to lock my office suite door, my thoughts switch to the next few hours. Taking a deep breath, I sense a shift inside me. I feel like the fully functioning “adult me” who met with clients all day went missing and was replaced by a nervous, insecure adolescent. Walking out to my car, I begin to prepare for a first date with a man I am meeting for the first time.

Driving home, I start thinking about all that has happened over the last year: the grieving, renewal, healing and uncertainly. Remembering all the countless hours of prayer, tender encounters with Divine Love and experiences of long forgotten parts of me coming alive these last few months, a sacred calm flows out of me. I sense the embrace of my Creator.

Pulling into my driveway, I feel excited about taking this step forward though it is filled with uncertainty. I remind myself of the contact I have enjoyed with this man up to this point.  I have every reason to believe he shares many of my values. I won’t know for certain until I know. I am ready to find out. Did I just say that? Ok, now I know I am ready.

After the exuberant greeting from my pups, I must rush to complete necessary tasks before heading out for my date: feeding the dogs, changing clothes, necessary primping and the ever present conversations with God. I am as ready as I can get. I smile nervously, yet hopefully as I step into the next chapter of Resurrecting Larko.

Closing up the house, checking on the dogs and one last look in the mirror, I feel steady and centered in who I am. I am determined to be me and not feel I need to be someone else. Remembering God is with me, I am not going on this adventure alone.

Driving to our meeting location, I pray for God to show me what I need to see about this man and for him to see what He wants to show him about me. Now it is time to leave any expectations and agendas behind and simply enjoy the rest of the evening,

The Resurrected Larko is on the move!