In preparing for this Friday’s Remembrance Service I was going to use the post “The Value of Friendship” to speak to the attendees who are there in support of someone who is attending the service to remember a loved one who has died. Mostly in part because I believe this topic has become so taboo to most and it doesn’t seem to be discussed much in other grief books.
As I attended church today the topic was on authentic relationships. I thought to myself after the sermon, that maybe I needed to add to my original post. But after reflecting on it I have decided to write an after thought. Mostly because I don’t want to take away from the original content of the post, but I do want to have some connection to it with what I’m about to say.
When I talk about friendship and the value of it, I’m speaking from the perspective of grief. How grief can affect friendships, families and other relationships. The one message I don’t feel I was able to convey was that when a person does go through a life event, whether it be a loss of a job, or a loved one or divorce, you find out who your real friends are. The ones that stand by you.
In today’s message at church DaveRod talked about what it means to have authentic relationships. So I got to thinking about how that would look from a grievers perspective. How that when we have a relationship with someone – how does it look? How do you see it? And is this relationship a two-way street? By that I mean does the other person involved feel the same way about the relationship.
I’ve said this before that “real friends” stand by you no matter how difficult life gets. In fact, some friends come into your life after you have suffered a loss and some friends leave after you suffer a loss. Real friends are an extension of God. As DaveRod states it “they serve as a surrogate” or “stand in for God”. As I sat there today hearing that, I so profoundly thought of the three most incredible people who did exactly that for me.
These three women provided love, time, company and the most precious to me was that they brought me joy when I thought it was all gone. They brought me hope because they made me feel loved. That is what God wants us to do when we are in authentic relationships with people – to be an extension of Him. To love. To give. To sacrifice. Are you doing that? Can you say that you have authentic relationships in your life?
Towards the end of the sermon DaveRod mentions something that just blows my mind. “You have to spend love to get love” – holy moly. We get what we spend. We get what we give. As a grieving mother, daughter, granddaughter – I can say that I probably have been receiving a lot more than I’ve been giving. Perhaps that’s why I have chosen to continue this blog. To write the book. To mentor college kids. To mentor parents who have recently lost a child. It’s payback time.
Today I am grateful for some incredible authentic relationships in my life. From the darkest moments of the early days after Brittany died when all I could do was crawl to my bible and look up scripture just to get some sort of hope that the pain in my chest would be healed. To now, where I stand in my journey I have been blessed by some of God’s greatest gifts.
In 1st Corinthians 13:7 – “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
Verse 13 captures it all: “three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love.
Until next time