I’m grateful for friends who help me grow.
Today’s post is about my friend Brooke, who over the 8 or so years I have known her, has spoken truth and kindness into my life at pivotal moments.
She has also grown me into learning to have fun.
We met at church when we began attending Covenant, due to the fact that we sat in the same section where parents with kids usually sat. There was always room for small talk or mommy exchanges. She had a kind heart and understanding smile and wise eyes.
One specific memory places us on a picnic blanket at the Marsh Farm in the fall, eating beef stew and biscuits and corralling little people, grabbing bites of conversation while the daddies followed them around the grounds.
There was always space for my heart to be real and to hear truth.
Time passed, and church situations changed, and they moved downtown where we live, too, though our house is on the other side of the tracks.
It was five summers ago that my world was rocked deeply, as my husband departed for Recovery Week in the early morning hours, and I was left alone for the first time with the kids.
God, help! I am already totally overwhelmed, and it’s 9:22AM.
Just waking the teens adds a new dimension PLUS dealing with a whiny 4 year old.
I seriously CANNOT do this without you and SOME SORT of hope. For this to be the first time ever being left alone with the kids, it’s pretty over the top.
Those, and many other, words filled my journal that week. Words of confusion and crisis and crying out.
That, itself, is a story to tell.
Among the many women who offered windows of hope that week was Brooke.
While on a walk downtown to mail a letter (my children in the capable care of another heart-warrior), I met her family, on their return home from a downtown ice cream stroll, and she invited me to join them in walking to their house.
I said yes, which was huge for me at the time. It hasn’t always been easy for me to let people see the real me.
That walk became time over a glass of wine in her peaceful kitchen, unpacking some of the chaos and confusion that was brewing in my heart.
Her last name is Chao, and I love that over their front door is a sign that reads, House of Chaos.
After listening to me and really hearing, she reminded me of the vows.
Especially the vows.
I took vows for better or worse. It’s just sucky to be in the worse.
It’s what my heart needed to hear.
What does this have to do with fun? What’s the big deal? Those defining moments of our friendship didn’t become weekly coffee or play dates, and our lives moved on, each on our respective side of Market St.
Except it mattered. Time matters. Investment in another matters. Seasons matter.
When Brooke had a milestone birthday recently and invited us to her karaoke party, Steve and I sang Just Give Me a Reason by P!nk and had an amazingly fun time. It was great to be able to walk over to a friend’s house to party.
It was FUN to be included!
Which brings me to the whole point of this post, the house concert this week!
Monday night, Steve got a sitter, and we crossed 33 and walked over to the House of Chaos to hear the band Bronze Radio Return in house concert.
Truth be told, I didn’t know the band and didn’t have time to prepare by listening to their music, but I trusted Brooke and her husband and their musical taste and was not disappointed.
It was AMAZING and it was FUN and it was a gift to be invited into it!
Thank you for your friendship, Brooke! Thank you for sitting with me in my pain and for bringing fun to my life!