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You just hung up the phone and received the great news that you got the job you interviewed for and wanted. Who do you want to tell first? You tried something new and you succeeded. Who do you want to “show and tell” first? You want to go on an adventure, do something or go somewhere you’ve never been. Who do you invite to go with you? You didn’t receive the greatest of news. Who do you reach out to for support? You have a dilemna or a decision to make that you need some assistance with. Who is knowledgeable and will give you sound wisdom? Who reaches out to you just at the right time and motivate you to get moving forward? Who do you have in your life that just being with them is calming and uplifting. Who, without them realizing it, can say something that is just what you needed to hear? Who do you have in your bubble, your inner circle, your bigger circle and surrounding areas? It makes a difference.

Growing up, every Memorial Day weekend, we headed to southern Illinois to visit my great uncle and great aunt. This was way before cell phones and video games. Auntie had a whole 6 channels on her TV. She lived in a nice neighborhood so we spent a lot of time outside. Anyway, over the years, I looked forward to our trips to Southern Illinois more and more. As time passed, I got older, married, had kids, I still made sure we made a trip to visit. One summer, I went by myself. I was struggling with a few things and needed to get away. I called her up, set a date and spent the weekend with Auntie. (At this point Uncle had already joined his heavenly home.) I didn’t tell her why I was coming or what was troubling me. We just visited and spent time together. During our time, she made several comments that rocked my world. Nothing too profound, just everyday, living for Jesus, comments that set my heart and mind back where it needed to be.

Mam, my maternal grandmother, lived in the same town as we did growing up. She lived a short bike ride away. I spent a lot of time at her house and going on many shopping trips. I spent many evenings sitting on the floor in from of her foot stool, playing Rummy, watching Hee-Haw, Jeopardy and the Lawrence Welk shows. Good times, good memories. It was as simple as spending time together. So when my college graduation rolled around (she was 83 at the time) I asked if she was coming. “Well, of course! Where else would I be!”

I received a phone call and needed to leave right away. Yet, some people frown upon leaving a 2, 3, and 4 year old by themselves! I called a friend. Her response was, “I need to put shoes on, then I’ll be there.” When she arrived and I left and I knew the kids were in good hands and I didn’t have to worry about them.

Do you have an annoyance that only a few people would understand and/or would get a good laugh and an “I know, right!!” My sister and I call each other often and share an “I know, right!” moment. It makes us both smile and brightens both our days.

The other morning I got up with the kids, sent them off to school, then went back to bed! I was exhausted, couldn’t keep my eyes open and my body was yelling at me for rest. I listened and went back to bed. At one point I thought, I need to get up and get going. My to-do list was rather lengthy. But I couldn’t quite get there. Then, I got a message from my kayaking buddies to go out that morning. It was the kick in the rear I needed to get up and moving for the day.

On the flip side, there are people we come in contact with that can suck the life right out of you. Their negative outlook on life in general, the specific view on a topic that they won’t drop, the “woe is me” that comes up in every conversation, or pessimistic attitude about any encouraging comment you try to bring into the conversation. At this point I’m looking around wondering how the heck do I get out of this conversation! Or, I see them coming and try to duck away or look preoccupied. I know, it’s bad, but true! I am sure there are worse tactics out there.

Over time, you learn who lifts your up and who brings you down. You desire to spend more time with the ones who build you up. In return, you build them up. And so the relationship has begun. You learn to avoid or have the least amount of contact with the people that bring you down, You can’t avoid 100% of the time, but you can decide to not allow them to have the stage in your world and bring you down with them.

We need each other. We were not created to live as hermits and be our own companion. Yuck, I get tired of myself! I need “my people” on a consistent basis.

Think about the people in your life. Who would you consider the ones in your bubble, closest to you; your inner circle, the ones you can be authentic with, turn to and rely on; your outer circle, people you are in contact on a regular basis, will encourage you and are a positive influence on you?

I have learned some hard lessons of the years. More recently, who is the one I turn to for all things? For almost half my life, it was my late husband. He wasn’t just my husband, he was my best friend, my confidant, my voice of reasoning, my shoulder to lean on, my hug when I needed it the most. When someone like that leaves our presence, a hole deeper than we thought imaginable is left behind. Our human hearts and minds need to fill that hole to feel complete and steady with life. It’s not wrong. Again, we are not meant to live/be alone. We are meant to exist and live with others in our lives. Yet, how do we fill that hole? Who do we turn to, to replace what we have lost?

The Sunday School answer is Jesus. As contrite, clique and childish as it sounds, it’s also the simple truth. Yet, at times, the hardest to accept and live with.

Yes, I do my earthly best to live a life of Christ. I’m human, so I do make mistakes and I won’t experience the perfection of Christ until I enter the Pearly Gates of Heaven. While I’m here on this earth, I will give my valiant best to keep Christ in the center of it all. I will turn to Him for everything, everytime in all circumstances.

I also believe He gives us pieces of Heaven in the people He puts in our lives. He have given Himself for us AND given us each other for His purpose.

I can share endless stories of how God placed just the right person in my path to say or do just the right thing. It’s proof of His Devine plans for us.

So, I”m going to ask again (enter teenage eye rolls!), who are “your people?” Are you open to the Heavenly inspired people God has just for you? What direction are you looking to fill the hole, the vancency in your life? Some think it can’t be that simple. It really is. It’s not always easy or not what your earthly emotions are wanting, but Jesus is the only answer. He is the Way, the Truth, the Life, the way to the Father. Even our closest relationships will let us down at times. Yet the One relationship that will never leave you nor forsake you, is the love and friendship of Christ. Let His Words hug you. Lean on the presence of His shoulder. Then, when He sends “Jesus in skin” to give you a hug or a shoulder to lean on, be grateful and thankful for the bonus presence of Christ He has given you through His people here on earth.

The struggle of our human, emotional wants and desires is real. I want to stomp my 3 year old foot and yell what I want. We all know how well that goes! Christ is right there beside us, waiting patiently for us to look up at HIm, to breath HIm in and to say, “Your will, not mine.” It takes a willingness to go deeper with Christ to pass through those struggles. We have to set aside our personal wants and desires and trust in His timing of His wants and desires for us. He has our best at the heart of it all. Trust His love, trust His timing, lean into His desires for you. Breath in HIs presence, breath in His peace.

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this together in HIm.

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