Paula is the one who, outside of John, knows me best and still loves me. In an earlier post I related the account of a Terrible Tuesday meeting at work. Following that meeting I had to attend a daily exit from our pre-occupancy audit for the expansion at work and act like all was well. Then I got into my car and started driving home.
Of course I called John first and, although John is supportive and wonderful, he's still a man. We're wired different. Then I called Paula. Paula let me cry and cry and cry on the phone without feeling guilty for crying or like my feelings were wrong. Paula let me be heard. Paula was there with me in the pain.
What a blessing her friendship is!
A couple of my favorite Bible verses are found in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV):
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
There's a sister in my church who I've loved from the moment I met her. This woman and I have some things in common, yet we're separated in age by around 25 years. Because I'm fortunately not part of any rumor mills I don't know any details about anything going on in this sister's life but I've kind of known that she must be going through some tough circumstances in her life. So I've prayed for her, but never had the opportunity to reach out in any way.
I'd invited her to join another friend and I to go to a play yesterday and out for an early dinner following. Over the meal she began to open up and share about some of the pains and struggles she's been experiencing lately. I just listened and validated her feelings. The other friend and I let her cry and talk. I was grateful to get to be there for her. I know how much it means, when all the tough things happen in life, to have people there who love you and choose to be with you in your pain.