Thursday, July 30, 2015

WHEN A DEAR FRIEND COMES TO VISIT

This past weekend we were so blessed with a sweet visitor.  I've long thought that I should dedicate a blog post to this friend, and now is the moment.  I've written John and I's love story here on the blog, though it has been years.  I do mention our friend, Becci, in those posts, because she was there for a lot of the beginning of our story.

Let's flash back to the beginning.  Becci worked at JBU, and because both John and I were involved with either student government or leadership or ministries or all of those things, we both individually got to know Becci well during our time there.  John ended up working in her office, and Becci mentored me.  So, she had a very front row seat to the rather rocky, unintentional road we took to dating one another.

And, it is safe to say that without Becci standing in the gap, John and I would probably have fallen apart.  We were walking challenging paths in each of our lives at the time between my dad dying and things happening in his family.  Becci saw all of those things up close and loved us anyway.  She spoke truth.  She prayed for us.  When John took the idea of dating me way. too. seriously. - Becci was there to remind him that he just had to take the first step.  And that I probably wouldn't wait around forever.  What a wise woman she is.  Though I might have waited around for quite a while.  I was a smitten kitten.

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(on Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge in Northern Ireland, summer 2003)

She walked with us when we were sort of miserable creatures.  She was gracious and loving no matter what.  We told her we owed her our first child, and when Lily was born, she was christened Lily Rebecca after Becci.  Though we don't live near Becci, we manage to see her with some regularity, because she lives near Ellen and Luke, and so we get to visit frequently.  And sometimes, she comes to see us, which is just delightful.

This weekend, Becci joined us for a bit of our regular lives.  Which meant we watched some Tour de France, played with the kiddos and went out to eat a lot, because I just haven't been much up for cooking lately, and it is SO hot right now that we could really only spend time in the air-conditioning.  No outdoorsy stuff for us when there is a heat index of 116.  If you've read much of the blog this summer, you'll know that we have had a lot going on.  Even as I type that, I get a bit annoyed reading it.  I feel like I am always saying that we've got a lot going.

So, as we sat around playing games with Becci, I flat out asked her if we are annoying - if the "pattern of intensity" that seems to exist in our lives is wearing to be around as our friend.  It's amazing how easy it is to be raw with people that have known you so long and so deep.  I know that we annoy me, so I figured it must be true that we annoy our friends.  (And I'm sure we occasionally do, because we are all just people.)

But Becci paused and took me very seriously.  That is one mark of someone who knows how to love well.  They take the flippant comment that reveals something much deeper with the weight it demands.

And then she proceeded to speak truth into us.  She encouraged us for where we are and who we are. And she knows, because she has seen us at our bests and our worsts and knows so many of the ins and outs and whys of how we operate.  My eyes filled with tears as she spoke, and even now as I remember back to it.  We needed to be reminded of why what we do matters.  We needed to be reminded of the ways that God is using us that sometimes feel exhausting but are most definitely worth it.

I'm so thankful for Becci and the role she has played in our life and the way she loves us.  Becci shows us more of God's love and also shows me what a difference a friend/mentor can make in a life. She has forever impacted ours and continues to do so.  Thanks, Becci.  XOXO

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