After spending four days in Indiana with my in-laws, we stopped in Chicago for a couple of days. My husband, son and I needed a little fun time. My son's girlfriend was in Chicago visiting her family so while he visited with them, my husband and I roamed around town and had a much-needed break as well as some married-couple time.
As we headed home, my husband discovered that he had a voicemail message from one of our friends who was producing and directing a musical which was closing today. My husband had helped build the set. If we got back in time, we were invited to come out to the cast party which would be this evening.
We decided we would probably arrive home in time. We knew some of the actors and actresses as well as some of the technical crew. We had worked with some of the actors when they were teenagers and they're some of our "kids".
I was at the cast party, visiting with friends, when I suddenly felt like I was trembling in my soul. I realized I was about to have one of those "meltdowns". Oh no, not here, not now. I was torn. I wanted to run home and pull a blanket over my head even though home was 20 miles away. Another part of me wanted to stay. Then I found out my husband needed to stay a bit longer so that sort of settled things for me. I frantically whispered a prayer and managed to get through it even if I did feel like I was walking on eggshells.
The wife of the director is one of my closest friends. She's a licensed counselor and a great listener. She's one valuable friend :)
The problem is it seems that everyone always wants to track her down and unload all of their issues on her, particularly the teens she and her husband do ministry with. People flock about her like flies and while she really loves to be there for them and help them, it can sometimes wear her down. So, every one in a while, she unloads on me. That's what friends are for!
This evening was no different. Everyone wanted to talk to her or congratulate her on the great production that was just done. I wanted to talk to my friend. I knew she would understand what I was feeling. Although my husband is always a willing listener and has a great shoulder to cry on, at this moment I needed a woman because... well... just because I knew she could better understand what I was feeling at the moment.
My husband came over to me. He was all finished and we could go now. I looked over at my friend with pleading eyes. She was still busy with someone else. She looked up and saw me standing by the doorway at the back of the theatre. She excused herself and came up to me.
"I'm so sorry. I've been wanting to talk to you all evening but things just kept happening and... " She looked at my face and simply opened her arms.
The words came tumbling out of my mouth. "I'm having a meltdown and if another person tells me it's just blah, blah, blah I'll scream!"
"You know I would never say that" my friend replied. She put her arms around me and I buried my head on her shoulder as she softly prayed for me. Strength surged through me as the trembling in my soul became still. God was ministering to me through one of his own precious daughters.
Yes, God doesn't have to use human instruments but he often chooses too. It's one of the ways we can show others how much we love and care about them. While God does walk the dark paths with me, he often chooses companions to walk that road with me. It is good to have friends walk along beside me
*8/18/11--This blog is now part of a series entitled Walking With God In The Midst of Cancer.