Shadow Of Victory

Monday, 24 June 2013


The only positive thing about Insomnia is that you get to catch up on your lists and your Facebook , read other peoples blogs and write blog entries of my own that have been brewing for a few days..!!

I have been thinking so much about friendships recently...firstly because of an assignment I wrote for Academy a few weeks ago ..then used it as a base to blog The Fellowship of the Mat.....and that led to an evening to chat to others about enduring friendships because I think one of the themes for our conference REAL this year will be including stories about Friendships.

I have blogged about this before so if you want to read more then search through the archives...I have blogged about the positives and negatives and about grace and forgiveness that we all need to extend at all times. Penny Lander who is one of my heroines in the faith  says to me.." Always think well of others " and I try but sometimes fail...I have hurt people I am sure in the dark and distant past when I knew nothing about grace and the old cliché of "hurting people will hurt people" must ring true with others as well as me....and I know from listening to others that the whole area of true friendship can be a pain filled story.

For me in this last season of life .(January to right now ) I have learnt some things about friendships that have almost been worth the stress and hurt and pain just to have the experience of deep and holy moments of God filled friendship...I am still raw and hurting...I often joke that last time I had surgery they must have re-jigged my "wee " bits to my tear ducts,,!! ...I also wrote a blog recently called "Tears for Souvenirs"...again have a quick rummage for that one too...but these tears have come about in a weird way and are not carrying pain all the time..some of these tears are tears of relief that I can just be me and not have to hide behind a mask saying "I am fine" to those who ask "how are you doing"
Some of the tears have been tears of anguish at friends who I perceived to have been insensitive ( I know Penny.... I should think well of others and I am trying )...some have been tears FOR my friends whose burdens are heavier than mine and I haven't been able to help them at all...

I will very briefly list some of the life happenings that have caused me to lean very heavily on friends so much....I wont go into huge details because I am hoping the meds kick in before 3am and I actually get some sleep..!

*House move.....packing up two houses...oh you def need friends for that...
*Supporting family through painful situations...( Cat and Nick). yes I needed  friends for that
*Living with a two year old for 6 weeks with a broken leg.!!yep..friends needed for that
*Sensing all isn't well with another family development which should have been one of huge celebration as Orlaith was born but has morphed into a ten week far ...journey with our third grandchild who as yet is still in hospital....oh yes a real need for friends at this time.
*Realising that the feelings inside my head and thoughts weren't normal and needed medical intervention...huge thanks to the friends who pushed me into going and at times actually came and got me and drove me there!
*A further realisation that I cant "fix" things....many years ago an Elder of our church went abroad for a conference and he shared that in the quiet of his room one night he said to God..."if you only have one blessing left God then please give it to my wife "    I have said this to God so many times recently..."if you have only one left...give it to Cat and Nick and as I know God never runs out of blessings...I blatantly ask...give to Andrew and Limara for baby Orlaiths healing.
*My Dorset buddy who has the word cancer hanging over her I regularly ask God...."don't run out of blessing before you heal her "
*Having to try out 3 different meds to try and get my anxiety under control and one of which had an awful side effect called oral dystonia which basically meant I couldn't string two words together as my jaw clicked and my tongue did weird things...the family all said I was speaking Klingon...which got worse under stress
*Three separate prangs on my lovely car one of which ended up like an episode of the keystone cops as the police who saw me have a disagreement with a bollard at entrance to car park followed me in and as mentioned above I became a Klingon who was trying to explain what had happened...Mr Police Jobsworth asked if I had been drinking....hahahahahaha ....said the Klingon woman (where are your friends then when you need an interpreter )...long story short.he insisted I blow into  this weird thing ..and apparently its best of there I was 9.45 am in car park blowing away...he then asked me when was the last time I had drunk alcohol as he was about to say I needed to go to station and give a blood test because I was obviously unable to speak...I answered quite truthfully...last Christmas...I truly am not a drinker and I thought best not to mention the meds!!...The Klingon had humanised itself by then and so off they went having totally ruined my morning.
*I made myself go to Academy where a couple of the students were doing their preaching class and as always the tears drip...I have learnt though that Academy friends are a safe bunch and I don't need to run and hide from them..friends who just accept me and love me in Academy are so very precious and they ALWAYS keep my seat for me...
*Following that we went to vets with our old pooch...and we knew what was coming  and l knew it was time to let him go the the kennel in the sky...we haven't yet made the date as need a wee bit more time with him and also let family know...Oskar has been just the best,,I am not sentimental...he is a dog..he doesn't sleep on my bed nor does he sit on our furniture but he is still a huge part of all our lives so at some point in next few days our lovely vet will come to the house and do the necessary with us saying our goodbyes and I know I will need friends then too...strangely enough the vet herself is a friend and was so tenderly kind to us.

These points are only a very small picture of what life has been like for me...I still cant fix or be fixed...I still cant make commitments cos I know I may break them and this includes haircuts !! I still maybe hurt my friends but I have to finish by telling you about an avalanche of friendship on Friday evening.

I had decided to have a "soiree" and ask friends who have loved me through the last 5 months...way too many to name but due to random circumstances I knew I would have the house to myself and it was an ideal time to have a girly night.....and in a moment of madness I invited any of them to sleepover if they wanted to..! Bear in mind the average age was possibly 50...!!! but what the heck...I needed some friendship and altho when we got home from vets on Thursday every part of my being was saying NOOOOOOOOOO cancel it ..I decided I really couldn't do this and I had to go ahead with it....

If you are familiar with the phrase "dirty stop outs "..(maybe a Scottish  phrase) then this pretty much described the 19 (at last count ) friends who descended on me..bringing the gifts of of all colours and tastes...and the crowning jewel was the chocolate fountain....oh my...I could just live with this object and do without friends (!) one point a few hours into the evening they were like vultures round a dead body scrabbling for the last marshmallow and I swear I saw one friend actually dip her face in but I cant be sure. We topped it up and another friend mixed the choc with Baileys Irish was sublime...everyone needs a friend like that. Fortunately the evening was relatively warm and we all had wraps and cardis outside our bodies and alcohol inside and the chiminea was blasting out warmth to this time most of my sensible and driving friends were leaving,,,but the dirty stop outs were still here at 1am in the garden just laughing and crying and telling stories...we all need friends who know our stories. But more important than the pressies..the gifts ..the flowers...more important that anything else was their presence in my life....they ranged from a friend who I hadn't seen in 15 years who crocheted a beautiful blanket for the friend who first introduced me to church and then led me to Jesus...there were friends whose children I had cared for...friends who perhaps we had only walked the same journey over the years...friends from Academy who we all told them naughty stories discussing  the many different words in different languages for farting!!....we happen to also have three cockerels living next door who regularly joined in with us as we got louder and louder ....all in all an avalanche of friendship with the theme of reality running through it....we weren't pretending we were being one point in the evening..the chiminea set off all the smoke alarms...I went up and closed all the windows and as I looked out at my friends I just began to weep and sat on my bed mopping up the waterproof (yeah right ) mascara whist I waited to get myself together enough to go back precious friend who noticed I was missing came to find me and another gift was handed over freely...a hug...costs nothing but worth its weight in gold..

I am on the last bit as it is almost 3,30 am and I am sure my meds MUST kick in soon (please God)..the dirty stop outs all headed to bed...about 1.30 am but unbeknown to three of them I had planned a secret meeting in my bedroom with a friend who I have shared more Tena Lady pads with over the last 25 years than with anyone else...she had brought maltesers and we planned to have an hour to catch up sharing the bed and cup of tea... glass of baileys and our maltesers...well would you believe it another dirty stop out saw and heard us sneaking in she came too...I think 3am came and went before we all went to our own beds...

So what am I saying through this blog entry....I am trying to be really spiritual and Godly and cant for the life of me think of a scripture that I could leave you with...(blame the meds )...but apart from saying a hugely understated THANK YOU to all those who came and all those who were unable to come and all those too far away for me to actually invite...I just know that some deep healing work was done through every person who touched my life Friday evening/night/morning.....I think I managed to have a decent conversation with nearly everyone but even just sitting watching and listening to them all catching up with each other...some that they hadn't seen each other in years or who were going through painful times themselves was medicine to my I say often at the moment I haven't cried so much ever..I can honestly say I haven't laughed so much for a very long time...the gift of friendship is way more precious than I had ever realised until this year...its Gods gift to a broken world and its sometimes the only way through the broken-ness...None of my circumstances have changed at all but some of the pain involved has been shared out amongst my friends who willingly carry some of it for me and this is the most precious thing of all..People often say that happiness is dependant on circumstances but that JOY is dependant on God...let me tell you this is true....

I could go on and on....In the last ten weeks I have felt that all I had done was let my friends and family down..failing to be the fixer of past years...unable to help them ...making commitments to meet and then cancelling...causing pain to them....isolating myself...and in the Academy just unable to actually be there. I felt especially bad for my friend and line manager that I was totally unable to be a friend to her as she and her hubby hit the wall in shock and surprise at a totally unexpected diagnosis of cancer..I was nowhere to be seen and especially for my Sunday Academy commitments  I just lost momentum and I let the team down ( and starve )...hopefully pastries and goodies coming your way over last month of Academy in July

In all of this..... friends from all seasons and eras of my life propped me up....God gave us the gift of friendship...we all of us need friends who we can be real with and I am daily thanking God that the phrase " yeah I am fine" doesn't have to be one I trot out on a regular basis.

May you all know the blessings of friendship today and forever.....

1 comment:

Melita said...

Whoop whoop Im the bailey adder to the choc fountain... Im the one who asked what fart was in Lithuanian it was not a good sounding word he he he and Im the one to was in bed with my tenner lady friend till 3.30 am with maltesers
Im called Melita the mouth by Cat from a holiday years ago in devon ... what a lot of memories we still have to talk through Irene I can't wait till the 28th of July in PB xxxxxxxx