Forever Friends

I asked if you would share about your friends and got a few great responses. As you read, think about that special friend in your life. Perhaps take a moment to give them a call, send an email or message and remind them how special they are to you.

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Patsy Daniels – My husband is definitely my best friend. He supports my endeavors, encourages me to keep going, praises my successes, and comforts me when I’m down. Gene is my cheerleader in all areas of my life. He loves me despite my shortcomings and goofs. I don’t know how I would function as well as I do without him. He’s my gift from God.

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Marlene Simmons– Although along life’s path I have been gifted with many dear and good friends, I have one friend that has been with me since my early teens. Her name is Dee Dee McLaughlin, and our journey together started at our church, the Titusville Christian and Missionary Alliance.  We had a great youth group, and it wasn’t long before we seemed to be pulled together. There were things that would normally work against many becoming close friends at that time. One was that she is younger than me by a couple of years. When you are younger that is a barrier, whereas now at this time of our lives who would even know? But then our shared love of God, shared secrets and fun times at teen camp solidified our friendship.

We lived about 30 minutes from each other and neither one of us had the freedom of a car to travel back and forth to see each other. Also it was a “long distance” call if we wanted to speak on the phone. That was a costly thing to do then, so we never had that luxury. It sounds funny now, when people call everywhere in the world to talk to one another. Thankfully our parents knew each other and were friends so that we could go each other’s home after church. We both have a love for each other’s families.

Another item that could have worked against us was that our schools were always pitted against each other. I don’t think that ever came up between us, though. In God’s infinite wisdom He did not send us to the same colleges. He sent me south to Toccoa Falls Bible College in Georgia, and she attended Nyack College in New York. We both met and cultivated many other friendships; but nothing has dimmed ours, and it has only grown stronger.

When I married, I stayed in the south; and Dee Dee and her husband lived in New York and then Pennsylvania. We have discussed this with each other and know that had we lived near each other we would have depended on each other instead of leaning on God and trusting in his hand in our lives. I can’t even begin to say what she has meant to me over the years. She has been my cheer leader, encourager and critic to keep me growing into a more positive person and closer to our God. She is certainly a gift from God. So, after more than 42 years of friendship, I can say, “Dee Dee you are my Forever Friend”.

andre and shawn

Cori Smelker – My best friend is one I have not seen in 20 years, and have not spoken to in person in at least 10. And yet, through email–and now FB–we have remained in contact and close. She is 13 years older than I, is a scientist and has an extremely analytical and critical mind; but is able to marry that with her deep love of Jesus. We met when I was 18 and she was looking for a long-term babysitter for her son Derek, who was 10 at the time. We remained friends even after she married and became an instant mother to two little girls, and later birthed a son. Her husband was used to seeing me sitting at the kitchen table with her, catching up, laughing, and just ‘doing life together’. Our lives diverged – I moved to the USA; her husband was diagnosed with cancer and passed away; Derek, her oldest son was tragically killed in a hit and run a couple of years later. I still cry when I think of him.

Today she lives 800km (approximately 500 miles) from where we first met, and next year I will be visiting her and spending hours catching up on what cannot be spoken in emails and FB. She shaped who I became, and for better or worse, she is often the voice of reason in my head when I have to make choices.

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