Girlfriends – Riptide Rescuers

Today’s post by my guest, Heidi McLaughin will touch and encourage your heart! For over two decades Heidi has been teaching women how to heal their brokenness and unleash their full potential and beauty by connecting with God. She speaks internationally, teaches bible studies, mentors and writes. Heidi and her husband, Pastor Jack, live in the beautiful vineyards in West Kelowna, British Columbia Canada. Heidi’s favorite activity is sitting across from a woman and sharing “heart connection” stories.

Heidi is the author of BEAUTY UNLEASHED: Transforming a Woman’s Soul. Her new book SAND TO PEARLS: Making Choices to Enrich your Life will be released in January, 2011.

Riptide Rescuers

A ringing doorbell late at night is never a good thing. Those were my last thoughts as my pounding heart and jelly legs found their way to my front door. A policeman stood there, hat in hand, and gently said, “Mrs. Conley, your husband died tonight on the basketball floor. You will need to go to the morgue to identify his body; but do not go alone. Mrs. Conley, you will need to call a friend.”

Those words were like a riptide that almost swept me off my feet and sucked me into vortex of murky darkness. I kept hearing, “Mrs. Conley, please call a friend, you can’t do this alone.”

I had only lived in the beautiful city of Kelowna, British Columbia for one year, and my mind was racing for the name of a friend with whom I had developed enough trust, and who would be strong enough to rescue me from this riptide. All of a sudden I knew; I would call Bea. She was a friend I met at a Women’s conference and we had laughed and prayed together. We were delighted to find that we had common values and we both had a zany sense of humor. I knew I could trust her to engage with me in the most tender, painful and raw time in my life. I called and she was by my side within five minutes and never left for five days. She was my rescuer when I had to call my children; when an endless stream of people showed up at my door; when there were no groceries; when I was too weak to drive my car, and when the riptide almost sucked me into blackness. She was being used by God to be His hands and feet and to pour His love onto a heart that had been ripped apart.

Whenever I speak to Women’s groups, I always ask this question, “Do you have a friend you can call at 2:00 in the morning?” We were created for each other to be this kind of a friend. Friends are a crucial, essential part of our lives. Even Jesus needed this kind of friend.

The night before Jesus was to be hung on the cross, He took all his twelve disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane But when He “plunged into an agonizing sorrow” (Matthew 26:37 MSG); He needed his three closest friends; the ones with whom He had learned to trust and share his most tender, intimate moments with.

We all need those kind of friends; the kind that will hold us up when the riptides of life pull us apart. We need to intentionally seek them out, nurture them, love them, accept them, laugh with them and know we can call them at 2:00 in the morning.

As a matter of fact I, believe that there is such great power in friendship, I have devoted two chapters of my next book to this topic. My new book, SAND TO PEARLS: Making Bold Choices to Enrich your Life, will be released in January 2011.

I’m so thankful for Heidi’s willingness to share such a difficult time in her life. Life certainly ain’t easy! But God blesses us with friends to help us walk through the fun times as well as the difficult days. Do you have a friend who will rescue you from the riptides of life? Do you know THE FRIEND who will stick closer to you than a brother?

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7 Comments

  1. Stephanie, Thank you for sharing Heidi's touching story. And Heidi, I am so sorry for your loss. I know it was a heart-wrenching time for you and I'm glad you had friend to come along side you, to hold you up, to lend her strength, and to encourage you. Thank you for sharing your story here. Blessings to you both!

  2. It would never occur to me to call anyone at 2:00 am. I can't imagine anyone loving me enough to willingly get up in the middle of the night to comfort me and then stay by my side for 5 days straight. Only God loves me that much. I would most likely wait until the morning and then call to notify them of the death and ask for prayer. If they offered to come over, I would probably say no because I would feel it was out of obligation and duty, not deep love.

  3. Lynn ~ Thanks for popping in! Heidi's story certainly brought a valued perspective to friendship. What a courageous women. What an awesome friend!

  4. Anonymous ~ As I read your comment my heart reflected to a time I felt the same way. I'm blessed to have many friends, yet I'm not one that 'hangs' with anyone. Somewhat of a loner.

    My somewhat solitary world of ministry often leaves me pouring out yet I don't always feel that I could call very many people at 2 a.m. However, there are a couple girlfriends I know would be there.

    I am praying that God would give you someone you know you could call any time, day or night and know they would be honored to be there for you!

  5. We all need a riptide rescuer–or two. My best friend (aside from my hubby) went to heaven about a year ago this past May. She was like a sister to me. Right now there's is a huge void in my life. I miss my friend and all the “girl talk” that we shared.

    I'm often called upon, due to being in ministry, and always blessed to be able to help someone through difficulties. There is nothing like it. I love being able to walk alongside others.

    This post makes me realize that I need to open myself up to the possibility of allowing another person into my life to stand in the place of my sweet friend.

    My thanks to Heidi for sharing her story. I can't imagine how difficult this was for her. She's living proof that God wastes nothing–not even our sorrow.

  6. Melinda ~ I'm so sorry for your loss! Death stinks! ONE DAY it there will be no more sorrow, no more pain, no more death! AMEN!

    I'm so glad God is using you to minister to others. There's nothing like loving people with the love of Jesus.

    I'm praying for you now, that God fills your void with sweet memories and new friends. Your sweet friend would have wanted that for you. 🙂

  7. Girlfriends, I love your posts-thank you for sharing your stories. Since that “riptide night” I have intentionally and lovingly made friendships a priority in my life. I now have ten (yes 10:)) 2:00 am friends, and I pray that I will not have to call on them. This past year been a season of a lot of “mini-riptides” and I actually had friends call me and tell me “Don't forget, I'm your 2:00 am friend. I believe in this life, there is nothing more beautiful than the friends God has given us. I thank God for each and every one of them, and I thank God for your comments. Isn't it great to share our stories. I pray that each one of you will have the delight of having a 2:00 am friend.

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