Tears poured down my face as I wrote out the words to this song. I sang Hand of Heaven probably a hundred times before I could get all the way through without crying.
The three years following my retirement from Youth Ministry ended up being one of the most lonely and painful periods in my life. After 7 years of working so hard at my career I realized that all the relationships I had were tied to that church. (When you retire from a church staff position it is proper to leave that church. This helps the congregation adjust to the new person. It also gives the new person some breathing room without the old guard watching over their shoulder. I have seen the dysfunction that takes place when pastors don’t leave their congregation and isn’t very pretty.)
So we left. It was like starting all over again, accept we were living in the same home.
For those three years I found myself in a friendship drought. If it hadn’t been for a very small number of people in my life and songwriting, life would have been so much harder than it already was. The depression due to the extreme chronic pain in my hands made regular life even more difficult.
When Jessica was in first grade, Joel was offered a promotion and a move to Boise. We had been in Yakima 10 years; we were ready for a new adventure!
Joel moved 7 weeks before we did. So for 7 weeks I prayed that God would prepare some special ladies to become my friends. I also prayed that He would prepare my heart to be a good friend to these new ladies. Frankly, I was feeling pretty rusty at friendships by that point. I had come to believe that I was a pretty boring person who was no fun to be around.
In the Hand…Heaven
Well, God pulled through and multi-blessed me with friendships. It was during that time I discovered a bunch of ladies who for some odd reason loved me to pieces and thoroughly enjoyed my company. I had never experienced so much love from so many ladies at one time in my life ever!! Their love really set me free from feelings from the past. It also empowered me to open up and reach out to others. All this became very helpful both in boosting my self-confidence and encouraging my music along.
Of course, as time has gone by some friends have moved and others our paths just don’t cross anymore. I seem to be in another drought but I have confidence that I will get through this. When I desperately needed to know I was lovable, God blessed me a rainstorm! So I am just preparing for rain once again.
I can’t thank God enough for pouring down on me so much love in the past!! He provided a hand of heaven. I can’t wait to see what God comes up with next. He has already started the process of ending the drought with one new girlfriend. Yeah!
Have you ever experienced a friendship drought? Are you there now?
Express your thoughts here…. If you know of someone who is going through a friendship drought, give them a little TLC and then encourage them to read this blog. Knowing that you are not alone in the experience can make a big difference!