As many of you know, I live in the town in which I grew up. A lovely city nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa, where everything looks beautiful.

Looks can be deceiving though, and pretty outside is not always pretty inside.

I ran into an old friend the other day, one I had not seen for years – in fact, I had not seen her for over a decade, which sounds incredibly long when you consider that Holland is not a large city.

This friend and I were in a Bible Study together and when I filed for divorce, the group dropped me like a hot potato. It was a very painful but excellent life lesson for me; people will not always make the choices you think they will.

I was at BN stopping to get a book and spend a few minutes browsing with a cup of hot tea, I turned, and there she was. I am not sure who was more surprised, her or I and watching her face as she recognized me was very interesting. What happened next was even more interesting, I expected her to be polite, say hello, and move on. However, what transpired was an interesting experience and one I thought I might share with you all.

After a 10 plus year void, there was a bit of catching up to do, as you might expect and after the pleasantries of catching up on each others children, imagine my surprise in finding out that she and her husband were divorced. This saddened me greatly; they always appeared a most solid, unified, and loving couple. But, when she went on to talk about loosing her support system, the very same friends, of whom she was one of, who did this to me a decade before, and all of a sudden it was as if a light came on for her. We both began to cry, no uncontrollable sobbing, but tears that escape unwillingly from your eyes; mine for the ache that I knew was filling her heart at the loss of a husband of 35 years and friends that sadly have not changed in a decade. We have walked the same path, it seems.

After sharing a truly wonderful conversation, I am happy to inform you that we exchanged phone numbers and have arranged to meet for coffee next week.

The one thing I have learned in life is not to hold grudges and that things happen for a reason. It is nice that our paths have crossed again; I hope that we each bring joy to the other’s journey.

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