Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Value of the True Friend

It's hard to believe that one week ago today, the world fell away beneath my feet as I discovered I would lose most of my part-time employment come January 1.  Since then, life has been a slow-motion sprint to line up a replacement job for the spring. 

Husband and I have done this sort of free fall before, back when we didn't have three extra mouths to feed, when surviving on my retirement-benefits-and-insurance-blessed salary alone was relatively easy.  I would go out to work each day while husband stayed home faxing resumes, making cold calls, and cooking dinner.

Three months' worth of new recipes later, he finally found a job.  I look back on that time period as both miserable and blessed--blessed because we had time together and miserable because of the circumstances we were going through made it impossible to enjoy that time since we had no inkling of where this rabbit hole might take us or when we might reach the other side.

What I remember most about this season, though, was the sudden silence.  Friends and colleagues whom we regularly interacted with socially vanished without a trace, virtually overnight.  Even the "friends" my husband had faithfully mowed the lawn for after they moved away months before their house sold suddenly stopped calling, stopped sending Christmas cards, stopped responding to emails.

Overnight, the doors shut, the backs turned.  We were modern-day lepers.

Today, the circumstances aren't the same, but still, when I learned of my job loss, all those memories and feelings of abandonment came flooding back to the forefront.  I re-lived when friends proved false and close friends proved more so, when our expanding network shrank back to just our two families supporting us with prayer and love.

Back then, I had sworn I would never be that invested in someone outside my family again so if it came back down to just husband and me in the end, it wouldn't matter.  And here I was, not even a decade later, realizing how invested I had allowed myself to become since then.  I was both fearful and grieving at the thought of our inner circle being reduced to just us for a second time.

Then, the emails, texts, and phone calls started.

Instead of silence and an empty inbox, I would awaken each day to find someone praying for me, a boss going above and beyond to help explore other options, an old friend offering to have her contact hand deliver my resume, and still another two writing a recommendation for me within hours of the asking.

I wasn't being abandoned.  I was being loved.  I was learning the value of true friendship in spades.

No, my circumstances have still not changed, although I'm still seeking and praying, ever-believing that He will provide.  Even so, it feels like they have changed, simply because I've been blessed with so many who have chosen to reach out to me versus to turn and walk away.

It's a not so subtle reminder of just how important it is for me to continue doing the same, reaching out to others so they, too, can know they're not alone, no matter what they're going through.

No comments:

Post a Comment