This week brought the gift of sharing not just one, but TWO evenings with KLR. One was impromptu, a bribing on my part, involving potato skins. The other was a planned occasion initiated on her part, involving a good pinot noir.

We remarked how our friendship is now at a place of complete understanding. We’ve moved through the stages of initial infatuation into the delicate land of learning – and accepting – one another’s faults. I’d like to say we made this progression with grace and finesse, but, like learning what love is really about, it took a lot of forgiveness, tears and several bottles of wine. But now we can joke about how she throws things and bottles up emotion while I let hurtful words fly and have a tendency to get a bit over-dramatic. We still encourage one another to grow out of this, but love is not conditional. At least, ours isn’t. And because of that, I can say that we’ve made a lot of progress. (At least, she has. I haven’t seen her throw something in nearly a year.)   

Ours is a comfortable friendship, one that can be picked up after a season of time apart. Whereas daily living used to define us, now we can weave throughout our time together. And probably most characteristic about our current friendship is why it exists: sanity. When life has a way of sweeping us into the clouds or knocking us on the ground, having a true friend as a baseline ensures you remember which way is up. So our monthly “dates” work to keep us charged. An evening of laughing, dreaming, sometimes crying, and often times engaging a bottle of a dry red brings us back to a point where the world is beautiful and good, but hard. We don’t try to fix one another, even though we frequently talk about current challenges. One of us may pose a good question to move us into the stages of being “part of the solution, not part of the problem” but often times we take on the world and its problems, together. It’s wonderful to know you’re not alone. I frequently tell the husband that I’m a better person for our entire family when I get to spend time with a friend like that. Yes, sanity.

I would have to say that Jesus has a similar place in my life. His presence used to be one that was fun and different from the norm. Learning all about him kept my interest and every new quirk or facet of his character kept me intrigued. I loved the learning. And each day I do learn something new about my faith and the cornerstone of it. But the newness isn’t what keeps me coming back, but rather it’s the sanity it brings. The baseline. Seeing the world outside of my own perspective and remembering my small place in it. Focusing my energy beyond the daily wear-and-tear of life. And knowing that I don’t control it all. It’s wonderful to know you’re not alone. Yes, sanity.

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