I haven’t posted a “make a friend” blog in awhile. There have been ups and downs in my life, things that have kept me busy.
I have been continuing to focus on making friends. There is a change in my method, however. Rather than bull dogging forward trying to making it happen by sheer determination, I have been praying, “Father, show me how to do this. I can try to do this on my own power, but I don’t know how to be effective. Please show me what to do.”
So I haven’t been reaching out to others out of grit and willpower, and sometimes it has happened more naturally, in ways I hadn’t planned on. I was walking a friend out the door last week, and met someone who was handing out business cards, and before I knew it, we were having a great conversation about the Bible.
But there have been challenges. There have been days where I wasn’t focused and forgot.
So yesterday I prayed that I would be focused on my “Make a Friend a Day” goal as I went about my errands. It turned out to be a stressful day. I didn’t eat enough for breakfast, my blood sugar crashed and I was feeling pretty shaky and yucky for awhile. I went to the grocery store, but I had phone calls and messages that distracted me. Still, I prayed, and felt moved to talk with a woman who was holding a cute baby. I almost walked on, but I turned around and went back and started a conversation.
It turned out that this woman is the children’s librarian. She hasn’t lived in Auburn long, and she and her husband are looking for a church! She had a nice friendly smile. Her baby was so sweet, just starting to smile, with a hairband around her little bald head. We had a great visit and she put my number in her phone before we moved on. I am so thankful that I focused and followed through when I prayed.
As my day went on, the challenges didn’t stop. I bought some expensive items at the store because I had a coupon, and then got to the register and saw my coupon had expired. I went to the doctor and was discouraged that it really didn’t give me a way to start feeling better — instead, there would be more tests! (My diagnosis was hypoglycemia — not a surprise.) I got to the Columbus Bible talk and found out someone else had reserved our meeting place. (Management forgot our reservation.)
But all along, there were things God did that I was thankful for. Jessica called me when I was at my lowest, and we had a good talk and laughed. We ended up having a fun Bible talk at Eddy and Amy’s apartment, and we all were encouraged and laughed a lot. I was able to connect with someone I reached out awhile ago, and had lost touch with. I had a good talk with the lab technician at the doctor’s office. I had a conversation that was the answer to prayer with a friend later in the day.
I am remembering to mark out the daily ways I see God working — the little miraculous answered prayers. It would be easy to miss them, or just take them as a matter of course. But things have been working out. When I have prayed, “God, show me,” He has answered.
It is good not to do things by just being gutsy, but to instead ask God to guide me. It is good to see how He is working. I have been studying out God’s mercy. And just like Lamentations 3 says, God’s mercies never fail. Every day, by His mercy, He gives us encouraging things that will sustain us if we acknowledge them.
Never say die. Keep going and do not give up. God will provide what we need to keep us going.
The picture at the beginning of this blog is of some flowers growing on the prairie. I took this picture at my family’s ranch in New Mexico this summer. Usually summers there are extremely hot and dry and everything is brown. It can get discouraging for my relatives because the grass doesn’t grow and they have to spend a lot of money on feed for the cattle. But just when the years seem the driest, there is a time like this summer when it rained and rained. God provides mercies when hope seems barren.
“I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:19-24