Friends Forever

A friend loveth at all times… Proverbs 17:17 (KJV)
Today is my best friend's birthday. Her name is Elaine. She is celebrating her 59 BD surrounded by love and happiness and joyful music… and maybe even a few balloons. Today I am hopeful that the angels will sing Happy Birthday to her and my "gift" will be this devotional in her memory.

Elaine and I  met when we were 10 and became "blood sisters" by age 13. I can remember pricking our fingers and screaming "ouch"… all the while feeling something magical about the sacred ceremony of friendship. Elaine had long flowing hair and a full figure as most Greek girls do. She was kind, smart, and very inquisitive. Her questions about God were frequent and we often had heated and challenging debates about the ways of God.

At the innocent age of 12, Elaine accepted Christ with me on her knees in her bedroom. This was in the same bedroom where we played the game of "Life" and dreamed our future dreams while playing Barbie dolls for hours on end. After that eventful day, our Barbies and Ken dolls became missionaries. It was hard to find appropriate Barbie doll clothes for their "change of life" adventures, so we had to become even more imaginative… imagine that! 

Elaine grew up and moved away and became a beautiful, intelligent, Godly woman. She became a well-known business woman and CEO for Kodak Inc. She never forgot her God and our friendship. She would call or send me a card on my BD every year.
When I received the call that she had suddenly gone to be with the Lord, I wept "bitter tears of joy". You might ask, "How can you weep bitter tears of joy?" Only those who lose a loved one unexpectedly will understand that phrase. It hurt so deeply that I cried out loud to my God and wept for hours on my bed. Even though I was joyful that she was in heaven with the Lord, I would forever miss my best friend. There would be a "black hole" in my earthly heart forever. No one would ever take her place. Remember, we were "blood sisters forever."
Today, on her BD, I want to honor her by saying that her life was a gift and treasure to me… and even though no one reading this devotion will know of whom I am speaking… I hope it will remind you to appreciate the friends who are presently in your life.

Maybe… just maybe… this story of friendship will inspire you take the time to say the good words of love that will bless others and rekindle your affections as sisters and brothers in Christ.
Lord, help us to use our lives today for your Glory and Grace, and to remember to tell those around us how precious they are to us and to you. Amen.