Thursday, November 17, 2011

thankful on paper {week 3}

this week, i'm grateful for wendy.
she's another friend who prayed for me before she even met me.
ocean city, maryland

in 1999, i think it was labor day-ish, i saw this beach for the first time.
i'd only been in town a few short days and i was not at all happy to be there.
i wanted to be left alone. with my coffee and my cigarettes.
as i was painfully enduring a church picnic, a sweet couple coaxed me into a beach visit.
not sure that this was a step up in the entertainment department
for my newly converted, detoxing self...but it was my ticket away from that swarm of church folk.
to my surprise, this couple was about as entertaining as you'll meet. cool even.
wendy and ralph saw my need-love-and gave it so freely. they didn't expect anything in return.
this was good, because i wasn't really dishing too much out those days.
we walked the boardwalk and chatted, ate and just enjoyed the salty air.
it was like being with my parents, only i enjoyed it.

every beach trip after that one, i always thought of wendy and her husband.

i think of wendy, going a few extra miles to be my friend.
looking back now, i laugh out loud remembering how huge of a mess i was,
and how delightfully patient wendy was with me. she is crazy.
time after time, grumpy attitude after sassy remark, wendy just poured grace into my life.
she's legit. she is really a lot like me, in many ways.
we are both pretty straight-forward, dry-humored, and we mean business.

here's one of my favorite wendy stories:

shortly after that beach day, i needed some major blood work done.
wendy offered to come along for support.
needles don't bother me, but my blood being sucked out does. blech.
this was after a previous attempted blood work visit,
where i freaked out and threw curses around to the multiple nurses trying to hold me down.
needless to say, my mom was not going to go through that again.
wendy ain't scared of me. i really like this about her:)
she sat in that room, held my hand gently and looked me in the eyes.
the nurse tightened the tourniquet and began to collect the vials she needed.
wendy started to sing:
'our god is an awesome god! he reigns from heaven above...'
i was thinking how crazy is this lady?
thankfully, crazy enough to risk being smacked in the face and sing jesus music to me.
i made it through. i can never properly express what a feat that was for me.
god was present in that little room.

wendy is my friend. not because i was lovable and friendly.
but because she loves and honors jesus.
she reflects his attitude toward me, grace and love.

May you be strengthened with all power,
according to his glorious might,
for all endurance and patience with joy,
giving thanks to the Father,
who has qualified you to share in the
inheritance of the saints in light.
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness
and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
{colossians 1:11-14}

wendy, thanks for listening to me.
thanks for praying with me, encouraging me.
thanks for getting me a cigarette from your neighbor,
when i was locked out of my house and needed one.
thanks for encouraging me when i quit smoking.
thanks for staying close as i grow in grace.

often those first months of our friendship seem like a dream.
i'm happy they are not.
they are perfect reminders of the transforming power of christ through his people.
i'm glad you didn't give up on me. i'm glad you pushed me to him.
i'm grateful for you and your family.
i love you.

a true friend freely;
advises justly,
assists readily,
adventures boldly,
takes all patiently,
defends courageously,
and continues a friend
{william penn}

who are you thankful for this week?


  1. 100% thankful for you today.
    no lie.

    and no exaggeration.

    and i love that you shared this. it reminds me that sometimes those difficult friendships really blossom with fruit later on.
    something i needed to hear.
    and be encouraged by.

    love you hannah!

  2. i'm rejoicing alongside you for the wendies in our lives. and thinking you're pretty wendy-ish yourself. thank you, hannah.

  3. Wendy sounds like the friend we all need to have and the kind of friend we all need to be. I'm thankful God put her in your life.

  4. This is such a heartfelt reminder of the importance of being a true friend. Love this...makes me want to call all of my friends!

  5. I LIKE this Wendy lady. How awesome that she was not ashamed to sing a praise song in a hospital room, not caring at all who was listening because she was simply comforting a friend. Awesome.

  6. Sounds like a wonderful person :) Good friends can be hard to find sometimes! So much easier when they find us :)
    love and blessings.

  7. I love how God uses people in our lives! So glad you had someone like Wendy!

  8. What a lovely post, Hannah. I can't even tell you why and how I loved reading this, but it totally just rocked my day. I love you and I love that you have friends such as Wendy. May you both be blessed!

  9. Hannah,

    I can't quit saying it....Thank you for bravely, boldly sharing your story, your testimony! Who knows who reads? To think, all the people who read this & will be blessed with the planting of a small seed.
    God bless the sower! :)

    Praise God for the Wendy's in our lives!

  10. ohhhhh i love this. what a special friend.

  11. ha! crazy ladies are THE BEST. love God's provision in rescuing you from the church picnic and bringing you to the seashore. and in providing a wonderfully crazy friend. ;)

  12. Love love love this story! It reminds me of the grace I was shown by the Wendys in my life when I was a new believer- I was a hot mess! But women of the word loved me along the way. Reminds me to continue to show grace today.

    You have blessed me so by sharing this story, Hannah! I am grateful that the Lord sent you Wendy, to hold your hand, to sing with you when you were afraid, and to love you always.

    Blessings & love to you sweet friend!

  13. Oh how I love this post.. how i love Wendy. We all need Wendy's in our life. You are awesome Hannah! Love you.

  14. Hannah
    wow - I do not know what to say. Well... I sort of know what to say... I loved you then and I love you still. You have no idea how often Ralph and I think of you, Patrick and Elijah. Your post made me laugh with the memories... can't believe you shared that I bummed a cig from my neighbor for you :) Ralph and I use that same lab to this day for annual blood work... and I always think of that day with you.

    May God's richest blessings be yours. It will be wonderful to see you the next time you come east.

  15. Love never fails. How awesome that Wendy kept on pursuing you with the love of Jesus. I love all these stories about you to.

  16. I love your heart, Hannah. Thankful God sent Wendy into your life. Thanks for sharing a little bit of her with us.

  17. Hannah you are too much and I love you to death. When I have the time I will have to tell you my "wendy" story! I have a friend who reminds me so much of your description of your "newly converted, de-toxing self"! Our God is INDEED an Awesome God! xo

  18. What a sweet story and sweet Wendy. (also, congrats on quitting smoking). Ocean City Maryland is a place my family travels to throughout the year!

  19. oh, i love wendy. love her! love that she wasn't judgmental but truthful and gracious. she sounds like she makes jesus obvious (glorifies him- who he really is).

    grateful for you to have such a friend. you are a lot like her. i can tell.