Saturday, August 9, 2008

Working Together

I have a dear friend of 35 years who also happens to be my sister-in-law. We have a unique and beautiful story. We met as students at a Christian college in Minnesota. I was a junior when she came as a freshman from Miles City, Montana. She attended college for just one year before moving to St. Paul to attend nursing school. Our paths crossed again a year later when I began attending church in a suburb of St. Paul which she joined a short time later. We then got an apartment together with two other young ladies and had a wonderful time as young, single adults serving in many capacities in our local church. Kris was and ICU nurse at the U of M and I taught fourth grade. A few years later Kris moved to Indiana to continue her Bible college education. One year later I also moved to Indiana. To make a long story short, we met and married brothers at a double wedding ceremony 26 years ago. In 2007 we celebrated 25 years of marriage by renewing our vows in a double ceremony with our children standing up with us. (See family picture) Kris and I, of course, have had our highs and lows in our friendship but there came a time when we had to decide (and this was before we knew we'd one day be in-laws!) if we wanted to work through difficulties and hard times in our friendship or allow hurt feelings to interfere with our relationship. We had a wonderful older lady who mentored us and helped us learn to work through difficulties. What a favor she did us. What a blessing that we chose to work through our problems! Kris and I have a close relationship and our families (husbands and children) are all close. Currently we are in the process of writing a book together. When you learn to work through relationships instead of "discarding" people when things get tough or uncomfortable, you never know what a blessing that will be to you and others in the future. Had Kris and I never learned to work through our relationship struggles, quite possibly we would never have married brothers, would not be working together on a book that is going to help women, or be able to do any of the other things we've been privileged to do together. Proverbs 18:24 says, "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." In other words, friend relationships take work. But that work is very worth it! You may not see the whole picture for years to come, but believe me, it is very, very worth it to build right relationships! I wonder how often we trade hurt feelings for some wonderful opportunities and relationships in the future and don't even know it. Take the time and effort to work through your relationships in life!


Terri said...

Jane, what a beautiful story! I love learning little things about people. It makes look at their shops a little more personal, thanks for sharing!

Jane Grafton said...

Thanks, Terri. I love your work. You have a great eye for design and color. I enjoyed "strolling" through your shop.

I noticed you are from Rhode Island. My aunt and uncle lived in Ashaway for many years. I still have one cousin there.

Again, thanks!

BlossomingTree said...

What great advice and such a touching story.:)