Lana and I at their cabin, 2014
As the time for my 50 year high school reunion nears, I have been thinking a great deal about my years in what I call my home town. I moved so often as a child, but spent 8 years there....the longest I lived anywhere until our last move to Iowa. It is a mixed bag of memories.....good, bad, and ugly.....Mostly good memories, but a couple of tough years before moving in with my older sister and her family.
During those tough times, a dear friend and her mother took me under their wings. Dear sweet Lana used to bring me home for lunch, as we went to grade school together. Lana and her mom loved on me with kindness, and I would stay there once in awhile too. I am sure they noticed my clothes were not always clean, nor did they fit properly. In fifth grade I skipped school more than I want to admit, and did not always have lunch money when I did go. Although they never said anything to me, they knew things were tough at home and they alone reached out to me during those two years. We have been friends ever since. We don't often see each other, but when I think about that time in my life and the past 57 years of friendship, it warms my heart. God placed her and her mom in my life and I am forever grateful that they responded to God with a yes.
Lana also played an important role in me accepting Jesus into my heart. I can see Lana and myself sitting together in a large recliner at a friend's home. She was talking about Jesus to me. Somewhere in the conversation she asked me if I wanted to accept Jesus as my Savior and I said yes. We prayed together and so began my journey in earnest of walking with God. It still is amazing to me that such a young girl would be bold enough to share the gospel and ask me the most important question of my life. Only God.
I am sure over the years there have been many other people that Lana has reached out to and still does. She has lived a life of faith, often going through her own tough times. Very difficult times, in fact, where her faith sustained her and she was an example for the rest of us to follow.
Do you have people in your life who have been a pivotal part of your journey? Someone who has a heart for God and a heart for others? Today I honor my friend Lana, and give thanks to God for her faith, her friendship, and her big heart. She is the definition of friend, a friend indeed!