Saturday, May 12, 2012

before

Isn't it wonderful when the oldest and dearest of friends are able to reunite?
Isn't it heartwarming when childhood loyalties from simpler moments pick up exactly where they left off... as if no time has passed by? As if no difficult circumstance or trial has ever occurred within the layers of years lived apart?

Last night, I was honored to dine, and giggle, and hug, and love with two beloved girlfriends from my youth.
Two people who knew me "back when".
Two who remember my naiveté.
Two who shared some of my most happiest moments of play.
Before the pain.
Before the abuse.
Before.

Childhood is so fragile, isn't it?
Those moments when you obliviously live as your truest, free-est self.
Special times without boundaries - void of emotional barrier.
This is when we are most clueless to what would soon jade and change everything.
These were times when being defenseless was easy... normal.
When every friend was considered family.
When acceptance, and love, and things, and places all meshed together - and everyone shared and enjoyed in their bounty.

Then, sadly... life takes us away, doesn't it?
We become casualties of distance.
Or perhaps we are recruited by those already jaded and more experienced.
We become victims of this world - losing touch with ourselves and each other.
For somewhere along the way, we accept the skepticism, the isolation, the complications.
Somehow, love becomes shadowed with cynicism and selfishness.
Joy and peace are replaced with busyness and fear.
Awkward, messy moments of "growing up" turn our days into decades.
And our "before" becomes a longing - a reminder of youthfulness lost.

Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them”. (Ecclesiastes 12:1)

Last night, I drove home thinking about how neither of my beautiful friends had attended my wedding - nor I theirs. I thought about how quickly, easily, and inadvertently we lost touch simply because of life distractions; and how much time had passed since we had last dined, and giggled, and hugged, and loved one another. I thought about all the "in-betweens" that we missed together as great friends. All the good and bad moments that now define us in our adulthood. As I sat in my car, I remembered the us of "before" and was grateful for an evening to finally catch up. Then, I immediately thought of my Creator - my truest, dearest friend, Jesus.

Remembering the One who made me "before"...
The God who knew me "before"...
Before trouble came.
Before separation occurred.
Before the curse of sin dominated all my "in-betweens".
This is my King - the One who has always known my truest self even better than I could fathom.
The One who wishes for me to live fully in His company... freely in His grace.
Isn't it wonderful when the oldest and dearest of friends are able to reunite?
Isn't it heartwarming when the straightforwardness of childlike faith returns us back to the family of our Almighty?
What a pleasure to know that the love of the Most High is always nearby... that He is always available and waiting to return us to His limitless bounty.
What an honor to be given this new day to pick up with Him and rejoice as if no time has passed away.
What a wonder to know that He has promised to restore our "before" once again through the precious blood of Jesus Christ?

In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness; turn your ear to me and save me. Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of evil and cruel men. For you have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you. I have become like a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge. My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long. Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone. For my enemies speak against me; those who wait to kill me conspire together. They say, “God has forsaken him; pursue him and seize him, for no one will rescue him.” Be not far from me, O God; come quickly, O my God, to help me. May my accusers perish in shame; may those who want to harm men be covered with scorn and disgrace. But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure. I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone. Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come. Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things. Who, O God, is like you? Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again. I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you - I, whom you have redeemed. My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long, for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion. (Psalm 71)

Blessings!
Blog Posting Written By Victoria Anderson

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