Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Do you find it hard to try to keep in touch with friends? Friends that you may have lived close to for a long time and then one of you had to move?

Well, over the past year I have had a hard time trying to stay in touch with some dear friends we left in Texas.

My husband has been in the Air Force for a little over 18 years and we have lived in many places. Our closest friends we made live in Wichita Falls, Texas. We arrived there in 2000.

My husband taught Tech school at Sheppard Air Force Base for the four years we were stationed there. The weekend we first got to Wichita Falls we went to a small church in Burkburnett, Texas. (Which just happens to be on the border of Texas and Oklahoma)

 The church we visited that weekend was “referred” to us by some friends we had met in Guam, where we had just moved from. Our friends in Guam had lived in Wichita Falls right before they came to Guam. What a small world right? I don’t think it’s that small. I think God placed us all there in Guam for a reason.

The church’s name was Jan Lee Baptist Church and it is across the street from Burkburnett High School. If you are ever in the area, stop on by I promise you won’t regret stopping by.

So, we visited Jan Lee that first weekend and were looking for the wonderful people we had been told all about by our friends in Guam. We were so thrilled that we went that Sunday. We continued visiting and before long we made Jan Lee our church home.

Pastor Jim Smithee was the Pastor at the time, and he was a wonderful, Godly man! I learned so much in the three years he was Pastor while we were there. Pastor Smithee had cancer while we were there and in June of 2003 he went home to be with our heavenly Father. It was so hard to be there an entire year after he had passed away. It was very, very hard for me. We use to sit right behind him during the service.

But, I do have to say that during the four years we lived in Texas, I learned a lot about the Lord, and I grew a lot in my walk with HIM. Most of it was due to the friendship I made with Pastor Smithee, his wife and a wonderful, Godly group of ladies.

These ladies and I were part of a Tuesday night Bible study that Pastor’s wife Sue did. It was a small group of us and we got to pray for each other and really study God’s Word. I have not found a more loyal group of ladies or a more REAL Bible study since we left Jan Lee.

I sure do miss Sue a lot. She has had a real hard time over the past six years since Pastor Smithee passed away. I just heard from her yesterday and February 21st was her and Pastor’s 40th wedding anniversary. She still misses him so very, very much. She asked me when the pain would ever end.

There are so many, many more friends from Jan Lee that I miss. Rick Sims was such a blessing to our family, and he may not even knew it at all while we were there. His sports analogies when he did devotions on Wednesday nights or during the monthly Saturday morning Brotherhood breakfast really touched my husband. We ALL miss Rick so very, very much.

But, I would have to say that the closest of our friends that the Lord put in our path while we were there was the Williams family. Oh my gosh, I am tearing up just writing this, thinking about all we went together while in Wichita Falls. My heart breaks to think about their loss of their beautiful son Isaac, two days after 9-11-2001. He would have been two years old five days after his death. I don’t know how you go on after a loss like that, but my wonderful, amazing friends did, and have. I miss April and Jonathan so very much.

The Williams and our family have so much in common , especially since we both have blended families. But the biggest thing we have in common is our love for the Lord.

When you find true Godly friends, the Lord will always help you to remember to stay in touch with those friends. Even though I don’t always get back to Sue’s wonderful, hand written letters as soon as I should, I know that she is still praying for me. She is such a wonderful lady and a terrific friend.

I know that even though April and I may not talk on a daily, weekly or a monthly basis, I know that she is still a great friend and all I have to do is pick up the phone and call her and I know that she will be there to listen, talk and give advice to me. She is a terrific friend who I miss terribly. But, one day whenever we get the chance to be together again, it will be like neither one of us ever left each other.

Love ya April…you’re the greatest friend I have ever had!

If you have dear friends who you haven’t talked to, or e-mailed or written, I challenge you to get back in touch with them. Tell them how much you miss them and how much they mean to you.

Have a blessed Wednesday.

Learning to walk in God’s grace one day at a time,


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