Friday, September 7, 2012

God Writes the Best Stories

A few months back, I got the opportunity to get together with some friends from high school for a bridal shower. It had been since my own wedding, six years ago, that I'd seen some of them. With a certain amount of nervous worry, I decided to go. It had been so long. Would we still be able to talk? Did six years and different life circumstances mean our friendship was a thing of the past? Would the evening be awkward?

I don't think my body relaxed once as I made my way into the house and embraced my friends. Part of me wanted to duck out, apologizing for showing up somewhere I might not belong any more. They obviously had kept in touch better than I had. Why hadn't I been a better friend! These girls were blessing to me my senior year and I wondered, as I sat down stiffly on the sofa, if I'd ever really be able to express my gratitude. Maybe that was why I showed up, despite the near panic I felt. Somewhere inside, I was more afraid of them not knowing how much I cared.

In hindsight, the evening must have been orchestrated by God. He has a way of pulling a beautiful story out of my life; one divinely wrote moment to the next.

Five of us stayed later than the rest, sitting around talking, remembering. I saw what worry, years, and growing up had blurred a little.

I saw my friends.

The one who never spoke an ill word of anyone, the one I often wished to be more like.
The one who's been there since one month after my birth. Like God planned on us walking together from the beginning.
The one that sticks loyally to your side despite everything because she cares about people personally.
The one that bursts in with color and sunshine. She never feels awkward. And never lets you feel that way either, at least not for long.

Before I left, I noticed a white board hanging on the wall of the kitchen. Words were written all over it. I asked my friend who was getting married what it was for.

"That is my gratitude board. I started it when things where hard. I write on it things that I'm thankful for; things that make me happy."

For a moment, I saw something deep inside her, a glimpse of the trials she's been through, her personal journey with God. And it was beautiful. Like her admitting her struggle also revealed the sweet brilliance of her testimony.

Not more than ten minutes later, I would encounter my own personal trial and begin another journey down a path unexpected. In the months that have passed, I've thought about those girls many times. Each has played a part in helping me face the future, all because of the faith and trust I saw in them that night. If I had my own gratitude board, their names would be on it.

The ironic thing is I'm more grateful for them now than ever before, and they still might never know it.  I hope one day they realize whenever their lives crossed with mine I've been better off. Its like that moment in a good book when someone perfect from the beginning walks in with just enough answers to get the hero to the end. God writes the best stories. I love what he's written for me.

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