it wasn't part of my plan, that college, in that state, so many years ago. i have a friend that says, "everything happens for a reason." we tease him, lovingly, for his optimistic point of view. i'm more of the perspective that things happen and there is much to be learned in all circumstances.
from the circumstances that lead me to that school and the things that happened there after, i learned a lot. it was in that year that god stopped being the god of my mom and my church and became my own. it was in that year that i learned to lean on jesus and began to live in his ways the best i knew how.
at the time this included becoming a small group leader on my hall, encouraging a few girls throughout the week and leading a small bible study in my dorm. looking back i now see how this paved the way for the girls bible study held in my home years later. a study that welcomed girls from all over, churched and unchurched, to hang and learn about life and friendship and jesus.
this learning to live like jesus also lead me on two short term mission trips. the first to an impoverished part of mexico which was life changing. the second, a trip to australia, which turned out out to be more of a vacation. still i learned, jesus can meet you anywhere. he met me half way around the world that summer, through ruth. she was an amazing teenage girl, with blonde hair and a contagious smile. she also turned out to be the only follower of christ in her home, enduring a lot of scrutiny from her family and friends because of her profession of faith. yet to her, it was worth it. to me, an ear mark of devotion to jesus.
the other thing that happened in that year, at that college, in that state, was meeting krissy. upon first meeting her i did not think, hey/ she's my lobster. (you can find this reference here and here) i did think, she needs a new hair stylist and in my sincerest form of snobbery that i have since out grown, i hope she doesn't think we are going to be friends. yet friends we became. BEST friends
she got engaged first. married first. became a mother first. she has been my loving-jesus-with-skin-on-guide for this journey called life. our husbands are best buds. our children are best buds. and there are very few fourth of july's and new years eve's that we haven't spent together over the last seventeen years. i cannot say enough good about her. she is gracious and kind and always gives others the benefit-of-the-doubt.
after a year of missed visits our schedules finally coordinated. we met at chic-fil-a to have lunch and let the children play. you never know how these things will go. we found ourselves chatting the hours away while the oldest five played pleasantly. they played for three hours. THREE HOURS!
on the drive home i thought about the gift of our friendship and the leading role it has played in our lives and is now playing in the lives of our children. they are friends, loving and true because we are friends, loving and true. they will be what they see. amen.
*linking up with carissa