“Carol, wake up,” Susan stepped into my room. “There’s water all over the floor.”
It was about 1:30 am in Mexico. I dragged myself out of bed and stepped out of the bedroom into … about half an inch of water all over the living and dining room floors. A storm gusted outside. Lightning brightened the sky as thunder competed with the sound of the pounding waves of the ocean surf. I was scheduled to sign closing papers later that day, and we feared if there was suddenly water destruction the buyers might pull out.
As we saw that the water was coming through the door to the rooftop, I called reception downstairs. “Agua, aqui” (Water, here!). He came right up, found that debris had filled the rain gutter on the roof thereby channeling the pummeling rain through the doorway and down into the condo. He cleared the gutter and water stopped raining indoors. Susan and I spent the rest of the night sweeping out water, then wiping down the floors with towels and washing laundry. And the close went off without a hitch later that morning.
I spent a few days last week with Susan and another dear friend. I’ve known Susan for about thirty-two years; Joyce, about twenty-three. We’ve traveled together, gone through my romances together (both my first and second husbands–my friends were both married when we met), shared our mutual love for Jesus and service to others. And we’ve laughed together … a lot.
Together, we reminisced about some of our favorite times together–exploring the streets and restaurants of Puerto Vallarta, lazing in the sun, shopping (ah yes, girls’ shopping times – great!). We’ve spent time in each other’s homes over the years and enjoyed couple friendships together with our husbands.
Since our first vacation together with our husbands in Puerto Vallarta each of us, in addition to my current husband, Don, has lost a spouse. We’ve walked through both joys and sorrows together. Proverbs 17:17, NIV, says “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”
I have other long-time friends as well. What a gift to have people in my life whom I trust to encourage, uplift, challenge, and stick with me, even when I’m not very lovable. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” (Proverbs 27:6) Both Joyce and Susan have been instrumental at key times in my life, sharing their discerning, God-given wisdom with me. I hope I’ve done the same with them.
Who are the friends you trust and rely on? What character qualities make them valuable to you? What qualities do you want to exhibit as their friend?