It started long ago when you were eleven and I wasn’t much older. Our families spent the week together. A week full of fun, laughter, games, singing, praying, story telling. I was sad to see you go.
Three years went by.
It continued when you were fifteen and I needed a friend. Our families spent a week together. A week full of long talks, water fights, hanging out in the goat barn, stories, songs, late summer evenings and campfires.
The years slipped away. This time we kept in contact even though we were on opposite sides of the world. The night owl in me made it work perfectly for us to have late night/middle of the day chatting conversations with the twelve hour time difference.
“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered.
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”*
When I had exciting news, I would sit down and send an email off to you. When you had exciting news, you would do the same thing.
When you were going though a hard time, you would leave a little note in my inbox, knowing that you could count on me to pray for you and feel your pain. When I was going through a hard time, I would do the same thing.
Somehow, we both figured out that when we were confused about a situation it helped to talk it out. And we would, with our fingers on the computer keyboard, typing away. Both of us express ourselves through writing, and so hours of chatting/emailing ensued.
“I don’t feel very much like Pooh today,” said Pooh.
“There there,” said Piglet. “I’ll bring you tea and honey until you do.”
It was several years ago when I realized I had found a best friend. I had always wanted a best friend. It thrilled me to little bitty bits when I found out that you had found a best friend, too.
I discovered that friends sometimes have miscommunications, but they can be worked though. I realized that sometimes friends unknowingly hurt each other, but they can be forgiven. I realized that friendship is a lot of work, but it’s well worth it.
Mostly I discovered that God had blessed me beyond my wildest dreams when He put you in my life.
When you came back to the states for a couple of months last year, I loved getting to hang out with you. Our friendship grew, although now there was an added element that sometimes excited me, sometimes worried me. I loved getting to watch you fall in love, but it was scary at the same time. I knew things would never be the same, but I knew it was a good kind of ‘never the same’. Still, it was new to me and new can be frightening.
“We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet.
Even longer,’ Pooh answered.”
The way God worked out your love story will always been an inspiration to me. It taught me how to trust Him more fully. It was something I had prayed about for years and then got to watch unfold before my very eyes.
You told me you didn’t want your courtship to mess up our friendship. We both knew it would be hard for you to keep up with me when you had your future prince charming vying for your attention (not that it was even a contest…), but it meant a lot to me to know that you valued me.
Way back when, you told me If you ever get to come and visit me in Asia, make it be a surprise. My dream of surprising you became a reality in March when I went and spent a month with you on the island. It was during that time that I realized again how amazing you are.
I kept thinking How in the world did she choose me to be her friend? I loved knowing that you could see though my crazy randomness and know that I deeper than most people realized. And that you appreciated both sides of me.
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
Then came the day when he got down on his knee and asked you to spend your life by his side. I was in the background, taking pictures of the beautiful occasion and knowing that I was indeed blessed beyond words to have both of you in my life.
Another dream of mine came true when you asked me to be one of your bridesmaids. I have wanted to be a bridesmaid since I was eight. To me, being a bridesmaid was a sign of how close we are to each other. Despite our differences, despite how insensitive I can be, despite the three billion other girls in the world, you chose me to be one of your bridesmaids.
Last week when I went out to visit you and see your wedding dress and help make my bridesmaid dress, I realized anew that dreams do come true. Twirling around in the beautiful fabric you bought for me, I couldn’t wait for August 23rd to come.
“What day is it?”
It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
My favorite day,” said Pooh.”
Now, it’s only three days until your bridal shower I’ve been working on. I’m excited about the decorations, the food, the games. Mostly though, I’m excited about having you around. Excited about what a bridal shower means. It means you’re going to be married. You’re going to have a house, a place, a home, of your own. And, you’re going to be my neighbor.
Sarah, thank you for being such a wonderful friend. God has blessed me so very much with allowing you to be in my life. I love you and I’m excited about this next stage in your life. Remember, you’re amazing, wonderful, gorgeous, sweet and a blessing to everyone who knows you.
“I was walking along looking for somebody, and then suddenly I wasn’t anymore.”