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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Great Expectations (not about the book) (08/25/11)

TITLE: New Expectations
By Gwen Plauche


This is not what I expected. A friendship like this should have lasted a lifetime. She had been there to see my newly acquired engagement ring years ago, and stood smiling at my wedding.

I never realized the time we spent separated from each other would take our friendship. She made it clear that the friendship had changed, which devastated my heart. I sat there numb, trying to recover my breath, thanking her for her time at Starbucks.

That evening, the tears flowed as I shared my heartache with my husband. I avoided her, not out of hate, but out of protection of my heart. Life went on and I met new friends over the next four years, friends I now love and am so thankful for.

We occasionally run into each other in this small community. We smile and politely chit-chat and the heartache tried to resurface. The invitations to her grown children's weddings did not arrive in my mailbox. The friendship has died. I am fine; or so I thought.

I walk into church and see their family seated to the side. I smile and wave with nothing in return. Ouch! What is that pain? I am sure she probably just did not see me. Ouch again! Is that a tear in my eye? Come on, heart! Just as I am attempting to push all this down one more time, the worship team sings, Bless the Lord, Oh my soul! Let everything within me bless the His holy name!

I pray silently for release of this pain: God, I do bless you. My soul cries out to you! Everything! Lord, take this pain I am continuing to feel! Lord, I am crying out in pain that my former close friend is seated too many rows away this morning! Yes, God, I am presenting this heart pain to you. This is not a family issue or a health issue, or any of those things I typically pray for. God I need you!

I turn to Psalm 103 to read and meditate: Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. (Psalm 103:1-5 NIV)

At that point, I realize the sermon is almost over. The last point is on contentment. I write that word down. The preacher continues. We are to be satisfied, not wrestling with our discontentments, but satisfied and content with Christ.

The pain is lifting, no longer buried and festering under the surface. I have met with the Lord and He has mended my heart. I stand up to leave, glancing towards my old friend, and smile. God is my hope and my salvation. That is enough and I am satisfied.

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This article has been read 293 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/01/11
This is a great story but it broke my heart. I know how hard it is to lose a friend like that. Isn't it wonderful how God teaches a lesson in the midst of pain?
C D Swanson 09/03/11
Good job. God Bless~
marcella franseen09/07/11
A well told story and sad. The death of a relationship is very painful. I appreciate your sharing how God is helping you work through the pain as you "cast all your cares on Him."
C D Swanson 09/08/11
A well deserved win. Congratulations, God Bless~