Monday, August 3, 2009

Old Friends and New Beginnings

This past weekend I had the incredible opportunity to spend some time with an old friend, actually 2 old friends, one was planned and the other was a very fortunate happenstance.

I had been planning to spend the day with Jolene, my beloved friend of 17 years. A little about our story. Jolene and I have been friends since the first day of grade 7, truly it was the first day we met. Our friendship has ebbed and flowed, I think like most friendships have a tendency of doing, and we have just finished a dry spell of our friendship and it has awoken into a whole new type of friendship.

When I was younger, I can be honest, I had some self esteem issues. I was constantly worried what people thought of me, wondering if I was pretty enough, smart enough, dumb enough, sexy enough, in fashion enough, whatever the thing was at the time that I was concerned about.

Poor Jolene never even knew that most of what she did I used as a gauge as to how my life could be, or should be. I was constantly seeking her approval and comparing myself to what she was doing with herself. During junior high my family moved away from Edmonton and into small town Alberta, and I was completely uprooted from my friends. I can only say in passing now that it was very hard for me, harder than I realized at the time to be separated from everyone I had grown accustomed to and whom I had obviously let myself become governed by. My time away from Jolene eventually branched to a couple of years where she and I didn't speak, and my life was on a totally different plane than than hers, we drifted.

A few years later we were reunited and our differences really showed, she was an honours student, and on the fast track to university, and I was a high school drop out on the way towards a sad and twisted marriage that ended badly (another blog post for another time).

Our worlds were far from each other, and again I compared myself to her, little realizing that she was having the same struggles as me and having just as hard of a time figuring out how to deal with all the lemons that were handed to us.

After Jolene was done university, and my short lived marriage was over, Jolene snagged a job in Mexico, I was sad she was leaving, but again I had no idea that my life was to take some time healing and growing. She lived there for 5 years, learned an incredible amount about herself, and blossomed into a beautiful woman, The same thing was going on here in Canada for me. I was making all new friends, discovering who I was, making a place for myself, and especially, I was learning about God and making room for Him in my life.

While I sometimes still get caught up in the latest things and the newest fashions, I am slowly learning to wait on God and see what He wants. This has definitely been a challenge for me, but its coming along slowly.

Time moves on, people change and grow and our relationship is a completely different one than it was before. I am very intent on who I talk to, who I associate with and I like holding my own opinions about things, which I feel is a normal human trait. Its great to spend time with her now, I feel like myself and I feel like i can be myself, I don't need to be constantly pleasing to her, or to be seeking her approval, I feel now that if she differs in opinion with me about something, well she can either listen or move on. I love it! I can see how much God has changed me over all these years, before i started listening to Him even. AMAZING GRACE!

Jolene and I had a great day together on Saturday we hung out, spoke about things, didn't talk, ate tons of great food (Jolene is an awesome cook!) and eventually we ended up going out for dinner at probably my new favorite restaurant Pad Thai ( And then we went walking down Whyte ave, which is an adventure all on its own! I remembered as I was walking past bar after pub after night club, that I had found a friend with whom I had gotten back in touch with on facebook quite some time ago, and who works at a bar down there. I was so happy that when I told Jolene I wanted to look around to see if he was working, she was totally up for it! We went to the bar he works at, they said he would be hanging out at a little bar down the street and if I asked the door men they would be able to tell me if he was there. We walked down the street, chatting and
looking around, and TA DA! There was Darren right in front of us! He was so happy to see me, and to meet Jolene! I got the chance to sit and talk with Darren, to catch up and see where our lives had taken us in the last few years (Darren and I were real pals back in high school and you know how life goes life changes, people move on) It was amazing to talk and relax and hang out with 2 old friends who didn’t know each other. It was like old meeting new, meeting old.

I was again reminded of Gods ability to take old things, and make them new again, He has taken bits of me and made them sparkling new and fresh, and I have seen Him at work within the people around me as well.

So I lift up my glass (filled with water right now) and raise it in salute of works that are done, works that are ongoing, and works that have yet to start!

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