Reconnecting with Old Friends
By Hannah Goodwyn
- Cold, Friday night football games and loud conversations at sticky cafeteria tables seem like so long ago. Yet, memories from high school still resonate on my mind.
I love to remember the great friendships I made those four years. Regrettably, I must confess, I am one of those who lost total contact with my friends. Even though my yearbook is overflowing with phone and beeper numbers to keep in touch, I never made a move.
A few months ago, I resolved to do something about it. Curious with what some of my old friends are possibly doing these days, I joined an online service that reconnects old classmates. I wasn’t expecting much to happen, but I was wrong to assume.
The free trial quickly turned into an automatic payment listed on my bank statement each month. It was something I thought I wouldn’t care too much to invest in, but ended up loving. I am making up for the lost years.
Within a few days, I caught up with some old classmates, including a couple of good friends I missed being around. Glad to have the opportunity to get reacquainted, I simply sent e-mail messages to see if they still remembered me. Hours later I was excited when I opened my account to find I was remembered by friends who greeted me with news of what was happening in their lives. Some are happily married and raising children. Others have graduated from college. And one good friend is even serving in the United States Air Force as a Med Evac. It was a cool blessing it was to hear from such good friends.
But my greatest friend, and the one I needed to communicate with the most, couldn’t be found on the old high school classmates list. He was a friend I had spoken with everyday, but lost touch with along the way. I let lies and stubbornness destroy my relationship with God. Slowly, my faith became stagnant, and I trusted Him less each day.
I may have attended every church service since high school, but my heart was far from God. Hate and anger consumed me. I resented God and myself for the lack of changes I saw in my high friends after telling them about Jesus and living my faith out in front of them.
Bible in hand, I would walk the halls before first period with my mission in mind. I wanted to share with as many friends and strangers about the love of Jesus Christ. My nights were filled with intercession and weeping for each student at my public high school. Confident that God would draw people to himself, I held my head high. Even through the tough situations when I was ridiculed and taunted for my strong faith, I was determined to trust that God would keep His promise to save my friends.
After graduating, I began to let my trust in Him slip. The fruits of my labor weren’t visible to me, so I was going to teach God a lesson for lying to me. My goal was to live life only allowing the Lord limited access. Over the years, I spent less time praying and reading the Bible to the point that I didn’t open it at all for an entire year.
My story is a prodigal daughter journey. Not one where I physically separated myself, but one where I pushed Him away mentally and emotionally. I thought everything would be OK if I just left Him in the back of my mind. But, that wasn’t enough.
When I let myself feel His overwhelming love again, it was harder to deny Him. Although I fought to simply live life my way, I gradually turned back to God, who had never left my side.
Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you (Revelation 3:20 – The Message).
I’ve heard this verse a million times, but always thought it only applied to new Christians. I was wrong. It is for me, now. It is for every person, everyday. As we begin each new day, God is waiting, ready to walk with us. “Our Master Jesus has His arms wide open for you” (I Corinthians 16:23 – The Message). We must make a decision to allow Christ to be a part of each breath we take.
Now, I see how God has brought joy in my life. He took away the loneliness I struggled with when I tried to block Him out. I should have dealt with my feelings and been open with Him. After all, He is not offended by our questions or even our anger. He does not care if we yell at Him or whisper His name in quiet desperation. God just wants to reconnect.
The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you (II Corinthians 13:14 – The Message).
Hannah your e-mail comments.
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