24 years ago I was a single mom of two children, lost in life, and riddled with pain, guilt, and fear. Insert one new friend, and life changed. Kellie watched me at the bottom, and loved me; she watched me at the top, and loved me there. We laugh, cry, get lost, and together we were found. The mystery of God’s presence and timing is a beautiful blessing between us because we are aware of His amazing gift of friendship and perfect love.
Every year we meet up on a beach somewhere to enjoy a few days laughing like best friends do. This year it was Pompano Beach, north of Fort Lauderdale. We watched the weather report change from nice to rainy every day. God had different plans.
Our second day we decided to visit South Beach. Thanks to the incredibly frustrating traffic, we never made it. After moving four blocks in a half hour we turned around and went back to sanity. Pulling into the busy area at Fort Lauderdale By The Sea, we found a place for a late lunch and cold beverage (yes, with alcohol after that drive!), and decided to stay there on the beach. As we stepped from our car, the rain that had been hammering the area stopped. We walked to the restaurant on the beach and enjoyed great food and good views.
We bought a couple beach chairs and took off for the sand. The clouds were thick and the radar was scary. We watched the clouds head north and south, we remained dry. To our left a rainbow appeared. To the right the other side made it’s way forward. I looked up and said, “Wouldn’t it be amazing if God parted the clouds and gave us the whole rainbow.”
We watched those clouds slowly part from the middle out to give us a spectacular display of a full rainbow. We stood cheering and laughing, inside we were humbled and deeply touched that the same God who created this world loves us this much. (The people around us were probably concerned about our mental health. We didn’t care.)
The frustration of the drive South, wondering if we just wasted one of our few precious days dissipated with the clouds. We stood in awe and wonder as the beauty of a double rainbow graced us and sat up in the sky for near an hour! Yes, a whole hour!
The next day’s weather forecast was worse with some tropical something rolling into the entire southern part of Florida. We considered our options and determined we’d drive to dry land if needed. But we woke up to sunny skies, so we grabbed our little beach chairs and planted ourselves in the sand. The clouds were once again settled all around us. We said a couple prayers, and waited. I looked up, and directly above us, the clouds again dissipated and were splitting to the north and south. We enjoyed the sun on our shoulders, swam in the ocean, talked, laughed, and watched the birds flying everywhere.
God wasn’t done. The beautiful paintings He presented morning and night were breathtaking.
God changes things. He changes us. Our faith has grown over the years, and the bond we have in Christ has been unbreakable. God introduced us at a perfect time. We held eachother through the doors of reconciliation and invitation. He rekindled one relationship and found another. While we’ve moved and settle in new places, our hearts never move from one another.
Our belief and trust in God changed the radar. The storms have been conquered, scattered, even blown away. We endured brutal winds and rough seas in our 24 years of friendship and life, but God reached in and sheltered us through it all.
This is relationship through the blood of Jesus Christ. Relationship with God and relationship together. We are blessed and we know it.
See you next year my friend! I love you.