Before I share it with you, I need for you to understand what her loss meant to me. I have told people on more than one occasion that if there was such a thing as a ‘soul mate’ where friendships were concerned, then she was my soul mate. Our relationship was far from perfect, but it was faithful and endured much. I continue to have, and in the past have had, many very special friends and even a best friend since then, but our friendship was different. I never had it before and I will probably never have it again.
Others saw our dedication to one another also, as was evident on one occasion. She and I were sitting in this bar drinking when another girl came over and joined us. As we sat there chatting, this other girl finally broke in and said, “I have to tell you guys that I admire your loyalty to one another. I have watched you both over the years and you are always taking care of one another. I have never seen anything like it and I wish I had it.” We just sort of looked at each other and chuckled.
We argued … one day we were both very tired as she was helping me move and we had been at it all day. We were headed to my dad’s store … me in one vehicle loaded and her following me in another vehicle loaded. When we pulled out of my driveway, I had left either her cell phone or mine on the top of my vehicle. As we were going down the road, she was behind me honking the horn, and I just assumed she was acting crazy. We pulled in my dad’s store. As we did, she jumped out of the truck and started in on me, which, of course, caused me to start in on her. I guess we did not realize how loud we were, but as my dad was coming to the front door of the store to see what all the commotion was, a customer was pulling in the driveway. My dad opened the door and said, “What in the heck is going on out here?” Before either I or she could respond, the customer said, “Earl, don’t worry about it. They are just having a lover’s spat.” We looked at each other and just broke down laughing.
During the years of our friendship, we went through a great deal together. There were things I said to her that I wish I could now take back, and there were things she had said to me that I knew she did not mean. It did not deter how we felt about one another.
We were loyal to one another and she never allowed me to distance myself from her, or vice versa. Before becoming a Christian, my way of dealing with things was to lock people away and become a recluse. I was going through some ‘pity party’ and had been held up in my house, feeling sorry for myself, for about 2 days. I would not answer the phone or return calls. One morning as I was just waking up, I heard my front door open. You could tell by the way the door opened and the heaviness of the person’s walk that they were on a mission. Before I could gather my thoughts together, my bedroom door flew open, and she said, “If you think you are going to avoid me forever and just sit here feeling sorry for yourself, you are crazy.” She crawled in the bed with me and said, “We can feel sorry for ourselves together.” Again, we started to laugh, and as normal, it was over.
This is just the way we were with each other. Then, when I gave my life to Christ, though we were walking on different trails, we still spoke every morning and were there for each other. About a year after my conversion, I talked her into going to a Christian concert with me, and it was then that I knew without a doubt that she had given her life to Christ. She could not stop talking about it all the way home and she anxiously told me that she was going to church with me shortly. Unfortunately, that Sunday never came as she got called home.
Now, maybe you can understand the significance of this dream:
I was sitting on a park bench and I had my head in my hands crying. As I was sitting there, I could feel someone put their arms around my shoulders and sit down next to me. As I lifted my head to see who it was, it was my friend. At first I just stared at her, and then I could feel this anger seeping in. I sort of slid away from her and I said through my tears, “Why did you leave me? Now I have no one to talk to and I feel all alone. I don’t know what to do with all of this hurt over things in my life. I don’t understand why people that we loved have distanced themselves from me and I don’t understand why people think I am a Christian fanatic. Why do people want to hurt me when all I want to do is help them? Why do people want to talk about me behind my back? You are not here to reassure me and I am alone.”
She reached over and wiped the tears from my eyes, and she said, “Janet, you are never alone and I did not leave you. I am with you every day. I know things are not as they were, but I can tell you that you are exactly who you should and need to be. Do you remember when you used to tell me all the time not to allow what others thought of me to define who I was, and how if they did not accept the love I had, then it was their loss? Well, now I am saying that to you. Don’t ever change what you are doing or who you are. It is touching lives even though you don’t always get to see that. I love you and I am always right here beside you. But, listen to me, I need to share something with you. I am not making light of what you are going through right now, but that is not why I came. I came to thank you, and to show you that what you do does matter, as it mattered to me. You allowed God to use you to save me from living eternity in hell. If it were not for your persistence and love, I would not be in heaven today. I would be spending my eternity in pain and suffering. Don’t you see … you loved me enough to be honest with me no matter what I said. You cared more about me than you did about what I thought of you. You saved my life and you are saving other people’s lives to. Please, take my word for this. As for people we loved hurting you or whatever, I don’t know what to say. It confuses me and it is not as I would want it to be, but I simply don’t have the capacity to think of things as that. In heaven, I have nothing but joy in my heart. I am not suffering with all the issues that I had when here on earth. I am happy.”
As I looked at her, she just radiated with happiness and she looked so young. I said to her, “Don’t you miss me and everyone else?” She replied, ”Again, I don’t have the capacity to do that. Heaven is just about being happy and loving God. I am spending time with your mom and dad, and other people that I know. It is wonderful and I have you to thank for that … you and our Heavenly Father.”
I started to cry again and I said, “It is unfair that you left me. I need you here.” She replied, in a very stern but loving voice, “Janet, listen to me. My time was done here and yours is not. Do you remember the vision that God gave you a few months back, well, it is not fulfilled yet?(I sat with my mouth opened that she knew about this vision.) Please, just listen to me. You are not alone. I am watching over you, but more importantly, God is watching over you. He has great things in store for you. Just don’t change no matter what others say, don’t say, or do to you. Keep your eyes focused on Him.”
As she was saying this, she was beginning to fade. I reached out to her to stop her from leaving, and she said, “I have to go but more importantly I want to go. If given the chance, I would not return. I would not give up this sense of peace and happiness that I share for anyone. I love you. I am always with you, and oh yeah, this should make you happy … your son and daughter love you and can’t wait to meet you. Good bye my friend.”
As quickly as she came, she left. But, when I woke from my dream, I felt such a peace and I knew without a doubt that my friend had visited with me. Now, as for me crying and being upset, I don’t know what that was all about. I am struggling with a few things but nothing as dramatic as this dream seemed to convey, and I am a bit disillusioned by some people in my life, but I guess she knew something I don’t yet know. Some of the things she said made total sense to me and some left me wondering. I know there is a message here for me, and I will pray that God reveals it to me. But, I so enjoyed our short visit. It did not leave me longing for more, but thankful for what we had.