Have we told you how much we appreciate all of you? Words cannot express how thankful we are to have such loving people in our lives. You have laughed with us and cried with us. You have provided meals and rides and babysitting services. You have sent cards, letters and emails. More important than all of those tangible things, you have offered prayers on our behalf and we appreciate it SO much. We have been blessed beyond measure. And I have to believe that when you have given of yourselves, that you have been blessed as well.
Recently Mike mentioned the following verse in a post and it applies very well:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NASB)
In addition to the comfort provided by God, we have certainly been comforted by so many of you. Even if you could not specifically relate to what was going on in our lives - every one of us has hit hard times in our lives. We have all had situations that did not turn out the way that we expected. In those trying times it means a great deal to have loving people around you - people who will lift you up and encourage you. Luckily, we have all had joyful times too, times when we want to celebrate with gusto. It is not an accident that happy times are made happier when you can share them with people you care about. God has designed us to desire companionship.
Over the past 9 months, Mike and I fear that we have missed out on countless opportunities to be there for other people. Many people have said to us: "I would have told you about this but you have so much going on." This has been said in reference to both good things and bad things that were happening in their lives. I am sure that many more have had similar thoughts even if they didn’t express it to us directly. And this makes us very sad. Mike and I want to have the opportunity to laugh with you and cry with you and to lift you up in prayer (whether for a need you have or to praise God for a blessing you have received). The trick is, we cannot do that if you do not tell us what is going in your life.
I know that our life sounds pretty crazy to many of you, but to us; it is just normal life. We don’t know anything different. So please don’t feel like you have to wait for things to quiet down before you can really share with us. Instead, feel free to share the good, the bad and the ugly with us. Allow us to extend the love and friendship to you that we have received. Allow us to comfort you as we have been comforted. We care about you and want to be able to show that in tangible and intangible ways.
Friendship is a Blessing (written by Unknown)
Friendship is a blessing
it's the best you have to share,
The talents and the wisdom,
the capacity to care...
It's being there to lend support,
whatever needs arise,
It's making sure that others know
they're special in your eyes...
Friendship is a blessing,
and, to all who have a friend,
It's one of the most precious gifts
that life could ever send.