Your letters always come at the right time. You words are full of encouragement, commiseration, affirmation, and wisdom. I have so appreciated your correspondence and regret that I have not been as good a pen pal.
My best intentions before we moved were to tell you how much your friendship means to me – via note, of course, because I am much better at expressing those things via written words (to a fault). I’ve been avoiding the task for the past month for fear of not being able to properly say all that I want to say. But, it’s high time I at least made an attempt!
When I first met you at the Urane’s, I had no idea you would become such an important person in my life. I sat across the living room from a girl with a contagious laugh, great teeth (yeah, I notice weird things), and pretty, dark curls. We watched The Bachelor among mutual friends and parted ways with little thought of meeting again. Mere months later, we were sleeping in the same bed, overseeing a bunch of crazy 9th grade girls during Disciple Now. God works in mysterious ways…
After I started volunteering with youth group, we got to know each other in a much more sane environment – no Party In The USA karaoke on two hours of sleep… I wish I could say that our friendship was born with a pure heart and clean motives, but I wasted a lot of those early months being jealous. I was so threatened by your obvious (and God given) talents/abilities/passions. You are a natural leader, gifted in working with youth, and a lovely person on the outside (inside too!! I just wasn’t focused on that at the time…).
I wasn’t mature enough to look beyond my envy and see the jewell of a friend that God was providing. Lucky for me, God eventually got through to me and, for the most part, I stopped being such a turd.
I regret the time wasted in petty dislike but am blessed by what our friendship has become. I’m not sure I have ever encountered someone who was so similar to me and, yet, so different. Those differences have challenged my perspective on community, women in ministry, relationships and stretched my understanding of the God we both serve.
Sarah, I’ve always admired your faith in God’s provision during uncertain circumstances. In situations where I would have freaked out and concocted my own solutions, you trusted God with the future – the future of your finances, your education, your housing, and your job.
You are a generous friend, a loyal friend, a thoughtful and encouraging friend. You are a gorgeous woman, a strong woman, a smart and talented woman. You are an Ideal.
This past season deserves another letter entirely, but let me say this: I have seen more beauty in you through this whole mess than during any other part of our friendship. I may be dating myself (is 25 too young to be doing that?), but I was reminded of a Crystal Lewis song… Since I can’t grace you with my tunefulness at this time, here are the lyrics:
I once was lost but God has found me. Though I was bound I’ve been set free. I’ve been made righteous in His sight, a display of His splendor all can see.
He gives beauty for ashes, strength for fear. Gladness for mourning, peace for despair.
Know that there is plenty more I could say about how wonderful you are. I miss having coffee with you. I miss talking about books and laughing over our shared perfectionist tendencies. I miss doing life with you on a day to day basis.
Thank you for your friendship during old seasons and new. I love you sister-friend!
So much love,
You can find all my letters here.
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