Courage In Friendship

I gave a key from The Giving Keys to a dear friend of mine today, the day her 3rd child was born. I visited him on the day he was born, just as I have done with each of her other two children. He was a miracle baby in many ways, but the most obvious way was that last year my friend’s husband got a vasectomy. After their second son, then 2 at the time, received a heartbreaking diagnosis, they decided that he would be their last child.

God had a very different plan. On a summer day she came to my house with a cooler full of pregnancy tests – all POSITIVE. As she sat on my couch confused and terrified, I hugged her and told her I knew in my heart that the baby was part of something bigger than anyone could explain. You see, her second son, Henry, is also my Godson. My husband and I promised to be his Godparents before he was born. We didn’t fully understand what that commitment meant. We just knew we would always be there for them and we wanted to be there for their kids, as well.

Before my friend found out she was pregnant something was happening within me and between us that I can’t quite explain. I felt I needed distance from them as they struggled through some things and I just didn’t know how to help. As I experienced my own need for space and growth, I backed away from them, not knowing my place or how to fit into their story without having my own judgments and reservations. I abandoned my friend, and more disturbing to me, I broke a promise I made to Henry long before he was even born. And it was also right at a time that he needed support the very most. I have felt guilt, shame, and sadness over my failure to fulfill this promise, but then I received this COURAGE Giving Key in the mail from my MOPS group.

MOPS is a program for moms with preschoolers held at our local church. God is a very important part of MOPS. When I enrolled, He was not a very important part of my life at all. As I attended the meetings and also my own women’s empowerment group each week, I slowly recognized that spirituality was the missing piece of the puzzle in my life. The irony that I promised to be a Godmother while also going through this breakdown in my relationship with Henry and my friend is not lost on me. I spoke in my group each week how I struggled with why I had to distance myself from them and how I felt like a terrible person for leaving them at a time they needed support the most.

One evening a woman in my group told me that I should pray for Henry, because as his Godmother that would still be fulfilling part of the promise I made even when I wasn’t ready to ask to come back into their lives. So I did, and as I did I got stronger in my faith and saw a bigger purpose.

The Giving Key was the catalyst for change in me – for me to have COURAGE that I could make a big mistake but make it better, to have COURAGE that Henry and his mom could forgive me for having to take care of myself first (and understand that!), and to have COURAGE that things could turn around and be different.

I am giving this key to my friend today because I want her to know that the story she lived before doesn’t have to be the same story with her third blessing. I want her to know that she can have the courage to believe that just because it was hard before doesn’t mean it has to be hard again. I want her to know that there are women like her who question why things happen and question themselves and decisions they’ve made every day.

I am giving this key to my friend because I have the courage to know that we can be different in our friendship; that honesty, integrity, and love have a place again in our lives together. I am giving this key to her because I have faith now. Faith that people can be redeemed, friendships can be restored, and some children are simply blessed from the moment of their conception, just like her sweet baby boy who was born on Good Friday. Joy comes with the morning, for those who have the COURAGE to believe.