Share – Have you ever been in a trial and felt so alone that you cried out to the Lord and asked him to deliver you a friend who understood what you were going through? While I have been blessed with wonderful ladies in my life, there have been times that the most compassionate person could not truly identify with the problem that I was in because it was one that they had not endured. It was not that they did not care, but they had not trudged through this circumstance and it created an invisible barrier for our friendship to prosper in this area. As much as they tried to absorb what I was going through it was a disservice to our friendship for me to have the expectations that they could help me in the way my heart needed to transform as they had not walked the same path.
In the days after Grant died, I began to cry out to the Lord in deep anguish. I weeped for him to bring me someone on earth that understood my pain. With tears of sorrow pouring down my face, I cried out and said, “Bring me a friend that is walking in my shoes.” I knew that this was possible because the Lord had been faithful in delivering friendships that were born out of the adversities that my husband and I shared from raising a teen that was struggling. It was in this remembrance of His faithfulness that I received much needed hope that he would deliver me new relationships that would develop out of the mutual pain that we have over the loss of a child. Within days of Grant’s passing, an acquaintance who had recently lost her son arrived on my door step with bread, a card, a book and flowers. As I opened the door and before words could be spoken, I recognized the daunting look of grief when Susan’s eyes began to well and she cried with me over the loss of my child. I knew she knew the anguish that I was experiencing and there standing in my entry was the answer to my prayer that God would deliver me a friend walking in my shoes.
Insights – A few years back as I was going through foot issues, God showed me that friends are like shoes. Not one design fits all of our needs in a shoe nor should it. I acquired plantar fasciitis when sharp pain would shoot through the arch of my foot creating such intensity that it made walking nearly impossible. A dear friend who had also suffered with the same problem suggested that I might change my shoes and try a specialty design. I was hesitant, as I liked the shoes that I wore regularly and they were a great fit. The shoes that adorned my feet were carefully chosen just like my friendships and I was not in the mood to change shoes, but I did. The new shoe was better suited for my foot issues and If I had been close minded to not trying “different” shoes, then my foot would not heal. It is the same with relationships. The Lord whispered to me to as I was feeling isolated a few years back in the depths of a difficulty that I was to, “Share without shame and do so with those walking in your shoes.” God connects us with friendships not only for happiness, but so that we will flourish and heal. He does not want our difficulties to serve as barriers to what is needed for us to walk in peace. He has purposeful plans for each of us in our life and sometimes the gift of companionship is needed in order for those to be brought into action.
Grounding Scripture – It is in Proverbs 17:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” that God’s words speak to us about the purpose of friendship and it clear that we understand that He has us in relationships to be refined and polished so that we will be able to help one another.
Prayer – Lord, Thank you for being our best confidant and for demonstrating Your love to us by arranging friendships with others traveling through life in my shoes. As I reflect on every painful situation that I have endured, allow me to remember your steadfastness through the threads of friends woven into the tapestry of my life. May I be reminded that you have not forgotten me and unite me with others taking coinciding steps in their lives so that we might bloom in Your will. May these new relationships not replace the ones that I have but aid us in healing our broken hearts. AMEN
Grounded Words by Deana McGarr, Copyright 2017