God gives us the ability to pick up where we left off Print
Everyday Faith
Thursday, Sep. 12, 2019 -- 12:00 AM

Everyday Faith column by Julianne Nornberg

The other day I ran into an old friend at the grocery store.

She was behind me in the checkout line and as her eyes recognized mine, we both erupted into laughter of surprised reunion, as the memories of our past times together flooded my mind.

We laughed and chatted and updated each other, picking up from where we'd left off seven years ago.

Except that our children had visibly grown, it was as if no time had passed, and we jumped into easy conversation as if we had just seen each other the day before.

Special friendships

Many friendships are like that, allowing your relationship to ebb and flow with the seasons and needs of your family. There is no awkwardness but simply kindness and understanding of the years of busyness that need to take place.

There is something special about these types of friendships, a bond that forms when you first met at a particular time in your life.

Maybe it was that first mom you met at a library story hour when you brought your firstborn baby there. Maybe it was a childhood friend you've known forever. Maybe it was a friend who walked with you during a very difficult season of your life.

The bond formed when you first met at these tender moments of your life does not deteriorate with time. Many years can pass, but the memories you shared cement your hearts together in a way that is unbreakable.

God's hand in our lives

God introduces us to specific people we need to know during various times of our lives.

Family is constant, but friends are free to come and go. How grateful I am for both, for both provide so many different gifts of perspective, of compassion, of understanding. After all, our family and friends are often vehicles through which God reveals His love in our lives.

Even though God is my Father, my relationship with Him at times seems to echo that of a friendship in which I drift away for a while -- when my prayer life seems dry, when my daily schedule is regularly overbooked, when I'm just going through the motions of being His disciple. But when I come back, He always is there -- ever-giving, full of compassion -- right where we left off.

Perhaps after these periods of dryness, the moment of recognition comes during Mass or Eucharistic Adoration. Or perhaps it is in a passage that stands out in your spiritual reading.

Joyful reunion

But all at once there is a joyful reunion, a burst of "I know you!" flooding your heart.

Grab hold of Him then and bask in the knowledge of His unending love for you, which infinitely surpasses even the dearest of your own family and friends' love here on earth.

"Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands" (Isaiah 49:15-16).

Even in times of spiritual dryness, God is always with you. Even if you forget Him, He will never stop loving you. Strive to reunite with Him and love Him back.

Julianne Nornberg, mother of four young children, is a member of St. John the Baptist Parish, Waunakee.