By Jennifer Mandura
I hugged Annie goodbye, tight. It had been two years, we only had two hours together, and that is way too short. Annie is one of those friends, the kind who listens well, who loves me as I am, and tells me the truth in love. She knows the very core of who I am, and all my “stuff”. She knows my faults, my shortcomings, the items that set me off, the things that make me cry the good, the bad, and even the ugly.
It is not easy to find a friend like that. It is even harder as a Pastor’s wife. There are risks involved. There have been times when I have been hit by the flaming arrows that arise in ministry. When the arrows pierce the heart and I have been wounded, I need someone who will listen to my cries and pick me up. No matter how strong I pretend to be, I need an intimate friendship and accountability.
Thankfully for me I have Annie, my friend since I was sixteen. She knows almost twenty years’ worth of “stuff”. I also have Jess, my best friend from college and another Pastor’s wife. She also understands my “stuff”. We get together, but not often enough. We are separated by hundreds of miles, ministry obligations, raising children, and we are busy. There are substitutions like Facebook, phone calls, and e-mails, but there is nothing like a face to face conversation. These will have to work for now, until I can hug my friends again.
My prayer is that you will find a true friend, if you need one. Whether it is a friend from long ago, someone from college, a fellow pastor’s wife, a sister, or even someone in your church, we all need that intimate friendship. I pray you find someone with whom to share your “stuff”, and of course, a hug.