Sunday, November 13, 2011

BFF

                  “…there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”  Proverbs 18:24 (KJV)

BFF.  I see it everywhere I look these days, it seems.  Now, I am pretty much out of the loop when it comes to certain modern electronic means of communication.  I’m an old-fashioned kind of gal and email is about as high-tech as I get as far as sending messages.  I don’t do Facebook, and I have only texted a few times in my whole life.  I don’t understand Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn, Digg, StumbleUpon, Technorati, Tumblr, or the other countless applications.   So, I was curious as to what “BFF” meant.  I finally found out, and it turns out I have one, and I already know its meaning first-hand.

  Looking back over the years, so many friends have come into my life, only to leave it somewhere down the line.  We moved while I was growing up…a LOT.  The last time Dad and I sat down and tried to count the number of times we had moved, it was somewhere around 48 times….and there were many times after that.  I know that sounds absurd, but it is true.  When you are constantly on the move and things in your life are very unstable, it is very difficult to begin, let alone maintain, deep, lasting friendships.  I went to so many schools that I lost count, and there were times, I would change right while school was still in session.  Whatever relationships I managed to make would be very short-lived.  It made for a very lonely, disturbing way to grow up.  Back then, when you moved away and had to leave people behind, it wasn’t so easy to keep in touch.  Blackberries were small pieces of fruit you picked for your Mom to put into a pie, not a means to call and text.  There was no email, and no one I knew had a personal computer in their home.  I became guarded when I started a new school or moved into a new neighborhood, because I knew it wouldn’t be for long and it just hurt too much to keep having to say good-bye.   

I left home when I was 20 years old, after deciding to go to Bible College on the opposite coast of Florida from where I lived.  I had banking experience, so when I moved to the new area, I applied at a local bank for a part-time job to pay for my car payment and personal expenses while attending school.  Thankfully, I was hired quickly, and began training right away.  After training, I was assigned to one of the local branches and told that my Head Teller’s name was Kevin Smith.  I’ll never forget the first day I saw him.

I walked into the branch that March day in 1987 nervous, unsure of myself, and scared, not knowing a soul.  As I walked through the front door of the bank, I saw a handsome, dark-haired young guy walking across the lobby.  I know my heart skipped a beat, and I began to feel even more self-conscious as I saw his name plate on his desk as I passed by.  So, THIS was to be my Head Teller…Kevin Smith.  Hmmmm….

He met me and introduced himself and showed me around the branch.  He got my teller drawer out of the vault for me, helped me sign on to my computer, and my life has never been the same!  Day by day, I observed…not just the things he was teaching me about banking, either.  I found out he had been in banking for several years already and his knowledge of the ins and outs was quite impressive.  But, what impressed me most was his mannerisms, the way he treated our customers, how he reacted under pressure.  I remember one particularly trying day when a customer was cursing at him through the drive-thru window.  He let the man rant and rave and simply turned off the speaker so none of us had to hear it!  He didn’t come back at the guy or show any sign of being disturbed.  Wow!  

Since I was a Christian and felt strongly that I should be seriously interested in only someone who shared my faith, I finally got the nerve to ask him about it one day.  He told me that he was a Christian, and of course, my opinion of him soared even higher.  He was extremely quiet and shy, and believe it or not, so was I.  Our conversations were pretty short in the beginning, but little by little, we came to know each other.  I found that we had a lot in common….I loved bluegrass music, his brother had a bluegrass band; we both came from a Christian home; we both shared the same views on the important subjects, etc.  I found out that he didn’t like to move!  Whew!  THAT was a relief…I’d had enough of that to last me for several lifetimes!  We became more and more comfortable talking about so many things. Slowly and without realizing it, we became friends.  I couldn’t wait to share things with him and run things by him and spend time with him.  Work didn’t really feel like work at all. 

To make a very long and sweet story short, the more I got to know Kevin as a friend, the more I realized that I could trust him with my heart.  I realized that it was okay to let that guard down, and I didn’t feel the fear of having to move away and say good-bye.  I knew I had found a safe place, and I began to fall for him, romantically.  In August, we started dating, and by Christmas we were madly in love.  In February, He proposed to me on a moonlit beach, and I couldn’t have been happier.  We began our married life together that June.  I could never praise God enough for the precious gift of our love.

Kevin is many things to me…but one of the sweetest things about our relationship is that he became and remains….my Best Friend Forever.  He listens to me, he shows an interest in the things that are important to me, and he cares about me deeply.  Someone told me once to marry my best friend.  I’m so glad I did.

Do you need a BFF?  Today’s Scripture says, “…there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”  Proverbs 18:24 (KJV)  May I introduce you to Him?  His name is Jesus Christ.  Perhaps you already know Him.  If you do, you already know that He is the Friend of all friends….the ultimate best forever Friend.    He’s the One who comes in and helps you pick up all the broken pieces when everyone else has let you down and left you alone.  He loves you not only in spite of all of your issues and baggage, but because of them.  You don’t need an Android or a Smart Phone to reach Him.  All you have to do is call His name in prayer….from anywhere at anytime, with no interference.  You can trust Him with your heart; He will guard it with the utmost love and tender care.  He will never walk away and leave you.  If you place your trust in Him, You will never be friendless again.   


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