Isn’t it interesting the way God puts people in our lives?
We are gifted with the right people just when we need them–and they often defy our expectations.
Last weekend I was in New York for the wedding of a dear friend. He and I worked together in 1997 in Fort Wayne, Ind., when both of us were newly out of college. Though we were colleagues only for a few months, we actually became closer in the years after we both moved away from Fort Wayne.
At that time, I was feeling very low. I was trying to find my place in the world and in my career, and a meaningful college relationship had ended painfully, leaving me exceptionally hurt, lonely and slow to trust. Yet through night after night of phone conversations, my friend helped me through that difficult period. We never discussed how I was feeling, nor the ex-boyfriend in question. Instead, we’d talk for hours about nothing at all–sports, TV, movies, nonsense–and all I know is that when I hung up the phone, I was smiling and felt better.
I often have thought that the sole reason God put me in Fort Wayne–just for four months–was to meet my friend. And 14 years later, I am so grateful! And I never saw it coming.
I’m a workout fanatic, and in recent years, I have developed a number of close relationships through the gym (oddly enough).
For four years, I’ve worked out once a week with a personal trainer who is covered in tattoos and, frankly, happens to be a convicted felon. He made some really bad choices when he was 19 years old, but I have found in him one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever met.
He’s wise beyond his years, and his actions and experiences teach patience, tolerance, open-mindedness and the importance of having a sense of humor. He is an incredible listener who has helped me through family illnesses and loss, a career transition and my constant battle with weight and body image issues.
Without him, my life would have a huge hole in it.
Friends are just another way God serves us. He created us all out of love and, although He gives us obstacles, He gives us the tools to overcome them. He gives us the wonderful surprises of beautiful, loving friends.
And in doing so, He gives us the chance to spread His love from our gratitude.