1.18.2006

Joleen

Joleen called this morning. I wouldn't answer the phone. I did call her back but only after listening to her message and hearing her apology and praying about it for a minute. Actually I've been praying about this often lately. Which is why I was so frustrated when the prayer was answered. lol It was kind of a pray for your enemies type of thing. I was praying that the Lord would speak to her heart and let his will be done with this friendship. And asked him to please not let it be uncomfortable to ever see each other in public. To let us be able to smile and hug, catch up and then walk away. To bring healing. Honestly that prayer was more out of obedience than pure desire.

For those who aren't in the know, Joleen was my best friend for the past 10+ years. We couldn't be more different but there is a love and a bond that was placed by God. We have seen each other through every good and bad thing you can imagine. Births of our babies, our weddings, first days of school, new houses. Deaths, fights with our spouses, fights with each other. The night that the evil one confessed and after the police were done with us & I had to take Courtney to the emergency room Joleen was the only one there with me. I'll never forget sitting in the e.r. waiting room with my arms around courtney both of us sobbing the most heartwrenching sobs that could come from a mothers broken heart and looking up to see my friend, my Joleen running through the doors with a look of panic and heartbreak on her face and tears in her eyes. The minute she saw us she threw her arms around us and we all three cried together for what seemed like hours. She stayed all night. She held my hand. She was my heart... as she normally is.

We have cried together, prayed together, had "church" over the phone when neither one of us could get to the real building for various reasons. I feel sorry for anyone that's never experienced a "BEST FRIEND" like that. I am a better person because she has been in my life.

The problem is this. She can also be very wishy-washy and fickle. She moves whichever way the wind blows it seems. She's always been this way a little bit. But the last few years have been bad. One minute she's in my life. We talk at least once a day if not several times a day. We visit. We share. yada yada yada. Then POOF. She'll be gone. THIS TIME it was probably in October I think. I drove her to get her tooth pulled, got her RX filled, took care of the baby while she was there, we talked, said talk to you tomorrow. Then nothing. No calls. No returning of calls. Ignored messages. And typical sorrow on my end. Where did she go? What happened? I got angrier and angrier as the days then months went by. I drove by her house.... IT WAS EMPTY. I'm left standing there saying WHAT THE F***???? What now??? How selfish! How rude and inconsiderate! Obviously my friendship means nothing to her anymore!

I'm so tired of one-sided friendships. Make that relationships period. As usual, Veronica is the sucker doing all of the work. Calling to see how things are. Sending a card here and there, etc. So I decided to let her go. I didn't know what she was pouting about this time.... is she mad at me for something? Is she depressed? Is she just "pulling a Joleen"? (See, she has been known to do this from time to time.... she gets so caught up in her life that she dissapears for a while then comes back saying'was I really gone that long??? I'm SO SORRY! Let me catch you up.... you know I love you, how could you think I'd be gone forever? I just had stuff to take care of.")

So a few weeks ago as I was getting more & more mad at her I started feeling convicted. The Holy Spirit started speaking to my heart and reminding me that I too have gone through some crap in the last year and have dropped off the radar screen for a while. Perhaps I should be more sympathetic to my friend. And if that wasn't the case and she had found some non-existent reason to be mad then it's better off because I'm tired of toxic people in my life. So I started to pray for her. Like I said earlier it was more out of obedience. I really have been ready to walk away from this. Fresh start. But I've been praying. Lord please meet Joleens needs whatever they might be right now. Please keep her family safe. Please soften her heart towards me so that there would be peace. Have your will and way done, etc.

So this morning imagine my surprise when my phone rings and it was her. I silenced the ringer and kept walking Amelia to the bus stop. I felt numb. Angry. Resentful. I listened to the message and of course it was her saying "Hi V. I'm really sorry I haven't called you. Please call me back. I have alot I have to tell you. Call ***-****, my MOTHERS phone #. I'll explain later. I miss you and I love you. "

After I came back home I called her. I wasn't rude in any way to her, but I was distant and stand-offish I could tell. I'm so pissed at her! She can be so selfish! So she went on her little tyrade about all the garbage that's been going on. She's been fired from 2 jobs, lost her nurses aid license because of lack of hours, been evicted and is living with her mother whom she and her husband are now fighting with, etc, etc, etc. Typical Joleen stuff. See, that's exactly what I need to stop!!! Who do I think I am that I think I get to be so judgemental???? Where is the compassion and love of Christ? Actually, it's in there somewhere and I have no doubt that it will be coming out. It's a beautiful thing but it frustrates the human part of me so bad!!! IT MAKES ME INCABABLE OF WALKING AWAY FROM SOMEONE WHO LOVES ME AND IS REPENTANT. UGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!

I asked her what she was doing and she said nothing for the whole day. The way she said it I could tell she was wanting to come over. So I invited her over. I said to her "come on over. That way I can put a foot in your ass for the way you've been acting and then so I can kiss your face ." I could tell she started to tear up and she just said "okay, sounds good."

I guess it boils down to this. Like it or not I'm a loyal, loving, forgiving, faithful friend. Even when I don't want to be! lol It's just my God-given nature. And the way she acted speaks to her character, not mine. God saw how she went M.I.A. in my life and he will deal with anything that needs dealt with. My job is to love her. I always have been, will today and will tomorrow be the friend to her that she sometimes isn't to me. I love her not because of anything she's done for me, but because she simply is. God created her, Jesus lives in her, and she is enough. Period. She doesn't deserve my love. But what do any of us really deserve?

Lord please let me be a reflection of you and your love. Let me put myself aside and please give me the words that my friend needs to hear to speak to her heart and draw her closer to you. I am yours. Please work through me. Amen

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