Friendship…a lot like Heaven

Driving to my friend Robin’s house this past Saturday, I was having the best time sipping coffee, thrilled to be going to her Fall Family Party, when I thought uh-oh…

I’m not a part of their family.

I don’t belong.

Ahhhhhh!

Robin and I’ve been BFFs since high school. She has the gift of hospitality. Just look at her blog, ALL THINGS HEART AND HOME.

But I’m not family! I should’ve politely declined.

It was too late now.

My heart fluttered as I rang the doorbell.

Robin’s son opened the door and bear-hugged me. Her sister gave me a big hug too. Her husband stopped building a fire to greet me.

Maybe they don’t mind…

“Julie! You’re here!” Robin grabbed my hand and led me out back. She’d set up HOT SPICED CIDER — gluten-free from TRADER JOE’S. We both have CELIAC.

As I mingled with the family, she made me a cup of cider–even squeezed an orange slice in it.

Robin’s daughter Emma from YELLOW DOOR CREATIVE took pictures.

Almost 40 years of friendship…

Weddings, motherhood, births, death of loved ones, raising babies and teenagers…

 

Time for the annual family picture.

I left the circle. “I’ll take the picture. I’m not family.”

“Of course you are,” Robin said.

Emma set the camera on auto…

Tears welled up.

Surely, this is a lot like Heaven. 

We’ll be welcomed.  

Restored.

Unconditionally loved.

We’ll be family.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Revelation 21:4 NLT

I’m so grateful for my FRIENDS OF THE HEART.

Tell me about your friendships. I’d love to hear.

Love,

Julie

Comments

  1. Isn’t funny how we can doubt ourselves. Somehow soul sisters are deeper than blood. You are right, it does give us a glimpse of how we are all one family. God’s family! Great Pic. That Robin knows how to through a party! Have no doubt. Thanks for sharing!

    • For sure, Tom!!! And the doubt just tip-toes in–so sneaky! Guarding those thoughts–has to be so daily for me.

      Thanks for reading and being so encouraging!

      P.S. We drove by your neighborhood early yesterday (on the way to a funeral) and prayed for y’all.

  2. Julie: Loved your post this morning. I have a friend just like this. Her name is Sharon. We’ve raised our children together. We’ve cried together. Grieved together. Rejoiced together. She knows things about me that no one (other than my husband) knows about me. We ARE family. I love her like nobody’s business. I’m so thankful for our friendship and my children love her like a second mom.

    • Felicia–YOU UNDERSTAND! You have Sharon. I’m so glad!! Love how you say it, “You love her like nobody’s business!”

      And I notice Robin put in my comments once more….”Julie, you ARE family.” Isn’t that just so sweet!

      Thank you. Blessings!

  3. I’m so glad we’re a part of the family of God! His love draws us all into His arms! Beautiful- thank you for sharing! hugs Julie

  4. Julie, you ARE family…isn’t God so sweet to tether us to kindred spirits so we can get a glimpse of His love for us??? I feel His love through you always xo

  5. Oh, how funny! I follow Robin’s blog (thanks to you–you mentioned it at the QCCWC), and when she posted pictures of the party on Facebook I saw you and said “There’s Julie!” And I thought how wonderful it must be to have such a good forever-friend that you’re part of the family. And I thought, “Robin and Julie both eat gluten-free, how nice it must be for Julie to go to a party and know she’ll have things to eat!”

    So, looks like you were the only one stressing over it. Everybody else thinks it’s GREAT!. 🙂

    • Neat, Marie! I’m grinning. 🙂 🙂 I mentioned it that long ago and you started following. I love it!

      Yep. I was the only one stressing. :/ Lesson learned.

      You’re right. I ate so much yummy stuff!

      Hugs to you and yours~

  6. Doug says:

    Julie–I think you were reading my mind. Obviously I have known Robin and Debra about the same amount of time as you, and felt the exact same way the first time I went to one of their family gatherings, but I learned. I learned that Robin and Mike raised wonderful kids and are now having fun spoiling the grandkids. I get hugs from the kids, even the ones I don’t know as well, and others know who I am even before I arrive. Pretty amazing, huh? They have a capacity that many of us do not have, or is it that we have the same capacity but don’t put it to use? Whichever it is, I am glad there are those out there like the Roberts-Gay-Lancaster-Curcio-Butler-McBride-Smiths and whoever else I left out. Kind of restores your faith on people a little huh?

    By the way Julie–we had an unusual high school experience. Every time I see someone I haven’t for awhile I still remember the young, fun, beautiful versions of ourselves(like your emerald green homecoming dress– I voted for you!!)

    • Doug, I’m sitting here reading your comment through happy tears. You said it so well. That’s exactly what Mike and Robin do–and I’m a tad relieved you understood how I felt.

      Doug. Doug. Homecoming.

      Thank you. Can’t believe you remember.

  7. I felt warm and welcomed just reading this alone! Robin radiates friendliness and warmth to me through the web even though I’m in New Brunswick. I can’t imagine how wonderful she must be in person! You must also be a very special friend to her.
    Friendships like that are a part of what life is all about. 🙂

    • Brandi, she just has this way about her. I’m telling you–way back when we were 14 and 15, I had no idea what a blessing she’d be.

      So nice to meet you! Will visit Nest of Bliss–I adore that title.

      Thank you…new friend!

  8. God blessed both of you with each other! And, when you are friends for a lifetime, you definitely become part of the family. I’m happy to have gotten to know you both through your blogs because I can feel that warmth and friendship radiate through your words.

    • Eileen, I feel the same way about you. I believe I met you through Robin’s blog??

      So grateful to know you, my friend. And I love your new picture!!!!

  9. I count 31 people in that photograph….31 beautiful hearts sharing with each other the gift of love. Sometimes, I think friendship family is stronger than some family family. There’s a bit of loving unconditionally, you know? And acceptance.

    • Very neat outlook, B.J. You counted the hearts. And you’re right about friendship and family.

      Acceptance. Hmmmm. I believe I’ve heard that word before?

      Thanks for today.

      🙂 LYLM

  10. Since God moved us away from Southern California, I’ve been without family, other than the hubs and youngest son. But friends quickly stepped into those places … friends like you, Jewels, and the other Seedlings. We have one friend family where the husband and wife are exactly 15 years younger than us and 15 years older than our son. We spend our holidays with them, since their families are in New York.

    I agree that it’s like Heaven will be, surrounded by love of our eternal family. Makes me anxious for Sunday. 🙂

    • Ane, I think you might be the friendliest person I’ve ever met.

      Bless your sweet heart. You’re so open, and friendly, and caring, and kind.

      Everybody loves you, Ane.

      Oh yeah, and Sunday’s coming!! xoxo

  11. What a treasure to read this morning Julie! I am with all the others who sense the love emanating from those pictures and if I didn’t know any better, I’d easily think you are indeed related. Yet, what a true blessing to be a “chosen” member of the family. Isn’t that a grand vision of Heaven?

    • Vicky, wish you’d have been there with us! I’m just soooooo grateful to have met you through Robin. Who says blog friends aren’t real friends!

      Yes–yes–love your vision of Heaven!

      XOXOXOX

  12. Anna Haney says:

    It’s 12:17 and I trying not to sob loudly! This has been a stressful week for me—issues with my mom, with church relationships, with friends I love who are dealing with sick parents, their own illnesses, one awaiting a heart transplant,–smack in the middle of the week of early registration and I often wonder, “why are these students seeking advice from me? I don’t know where I belong or what I’m doing or even if I’m doing this correctly. ” I SO needed this today. Thanks,, friend. I love you

    • Ohhh, Anna. My precious friend. You’re crying with this one? I’m finally stopping (busy day!) to read these sweet comments…and I’m finding you were near tears just 3 hours ago. And I didn’t know it!

      You belong exactly where you are.

      He’s working through you.

      Don’t doubt it.

      Patience. Surrender.

      I love you too! XO

  13. Sandy from Ca. says:

    How wonderful to have such a Great BFF 🙂 I had one I lost but she is now in Heaven and think of all the crazy things we did with our children. Sometimes we don’t even realize but we are family and we might not be related but are related by love and by something we can’t explain. Glad you went and that you still have a very special BFF in Robin 🙂 This is a very touching post and I will be back just found you on Robin’s face book page….Hugs, Sandy

    • Sandy…I’m so sorry ….well that doesn’t sound right, to say I’m sorry she’s in Heaven, but you know what I mean.

      I’m also discovering we can make lots of BFFS and new ones are such a gift from God.

      Thank you, thank you…means to much to hear from readers…FROM FRIENDS.

      XOXOXOXO

  14. Patricia Martin says:

    Such a great post this morning and so true! I have a dear friend that has been one of my grandma’s best friends for over 50 years. I call her every week and we talk about everything under the sun. (; You look so pretty in all the pictures at Robin’s house! Hope you are enjoying your favorite season. God bless you and your family!
    Love,
    Patricia

    • Don’t you love it, Patricia?! We can small talk or we can go deep. Such a wonderful blessings to have heart-friends.

      Ohhh, yes, I’m SO enjoying Fall. Hope you are too!

      xoxo

  15. Kim says:

    I do have a friend/family like this! I met her (and my husband-though we did not date until a year and a half after graduation) on my first day of 9th grade. She is 3 days older than me. She favors my real sister. (The one I mentioned last week, 1 yr. 5 days younger than me.) People confuse them often. They sound so much alike I can not tell who I am talking to on the phone until 1-2 sentences into the conversation! Her mom gives us both birthday gifts. Our birthdays are Nov. 2, 5, and 10! So we will soon have our cookout celebration!

    • Kim–I’m so happy for you–you have one of these heart-friends. Love it–you get birthday gifts from HER mother. Doesn’t that kind of love just melt your heart!! It sure does mine.

      You have to show me pics of your cookout!

      XOXO

  16. You were adopted into the family, just like we are into God’s family. Awesome. 🙂

    And yes, I have a couple of 52-year friendships, dating back to elementary school. I can’t believe it could possibly have been that long. I’m so thankful for them!

    • Perfect Word Choice, Vonda! Adopted into the family!!! Yes–wish I’d thought of that to go with the blog. That was the feeling~~~~

      All the way back to elementary school. Wow.

      We just had no idea way back then, did we.

      Love you, my friend.

  17. Two of my favorite blog friends together….beautiful!

  18. Arie says:

    Everyone should go over to Robin’s blog to see what Spiderman did with the bubbles!! happy Halloween

  19. Very, very cool! Great job.

  20. Sandra Walker says:

    I have a 50+ years friend, too. She now lives in NC but we keep in touch as much as possible. A precious gift! Also have a BFF in heaven, too. Looking forward to when we will all be together!

    • Sandra, I’m so glad you have a lifelong friend too! I just had no idea what it mean waaaaay back when….

      Thanks for letting me know you’re reading. And liking!

      XOXOXOXO

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