Today I packed up my kitchen. Probably not what most would consider to be a blessed day, but for me it was one of my best days as of late. And the reason why is one of my dearest friends and biggest mentor's came to help me pack. She drove two hours here and is ,right now,driving two hours back home just to come and help me pack up my kitchen.
Let me tell you a little about my friend K. I met K when I was 16 year's old when her husband, T, became the new pastor of my little country church in Georgia where I grew up. This appointment was their first out of seminary. They were brand, spanking new to being "the preacher" and "the preacher's wife" and we youth group kids didn't made life easy for them at all.
See, we were rather fond of the pastor who was leaving our church. He was fun and silly and acted like one of us a lot of the time. He took us on youth trips and wrote skits for us to perform and he taught our Sunday School Class. He had been with us through out our "youth group years"( since I was 11) and quite frankly, we didn't want anyone new.
And I am ashamed to say that within the first few months of them being in our small community, we let them both know it. Matter of fact, T and K moved to our town in late June and in July we headed out on a youth trip to Florida and T was expected to go with us. He did go with us but we just made him miserable, I'm sure.
But as God planned it, these two people became an integral part of who I've become as an adult.
K started doing our youth meetings and she started a Girls Discipleship Group for us. They were young and I grew to love them both very much when I stopped allowing my own selfishness to color what and who they were.
They had their children while serving our church and those two kids stayed with me a whole bunch. I can't tell you how blessed I was that they shared their kids with me the way they did. I have always loved children but these two became very special to me. Lots of Sundays, I would take one or both of them home with me after church and bring them back at youth group time.
They stayed at our church for NINE years (and anyone who knows anything about Methodism know s that is a LONG time). In those nine years so many forming things happened in my life and through it all they were there for me. They were there when I graduated from High School, and started college. They loved me in spite of me in my "wilder" years of college. They saw me through being fired from my job and accused of stealing - something that was totally false. They saw me through my parent's separation and divorce and all the aftermath of that. We went on many, many youth trips and even went on two mission trips together. They saw me through lots of boyfriends and even saw me through when the one I eventually married broke my heart.
And when we got back together,they told me it would be ok to be a preacher's wife and that I would be good at it when I was anything but sure I wanted to be a preacher's wife.
I got so close to them that when I first started college and would come home in the afternoons, I'd just show up for a visit to talk to them. I was comfortable enough with them that it was ok for me to do that and they always welcomed me in lovingly. And I would say that lots of times, it was an inconvenient time to have company but they never let me feel that!
They came when I was 16 and moved when I was 25 and even though I knew that I was grown and wouldn't be there that much longer -- it devastated me when they left. Saying goodbye to them was like saying goodbye to family.
And that is what they all are to me - family. When I got married T came back to do my wedding and K and their kids were all a part of it, too. I joined K in the ranks of being "the preacher's wife" and I gained new understanding of what their lives were like. They now became more than my mentor's - they were my friends.
K has seen me through many a struggle as "the preacher's wife". Struggles in the church, struggles being a mom, struggles being a wife. And she is also one of the people who keeps me on track spiritually in all of these area's. When I email her ranting and raving about something -- she is one of the people who reminds me to see my own part of things. To check myself and see what my sin in the matter might be. She holds me accountable to be who I profess to be and to become more than I am.
We don't get to visit all that often anymore. She has two teenager's to chase after and I have three little ones of my own. So, today, to have her here - helping me pack was wonderful. We got the whole kitchen done which is something I couldn't have finished today on my own. But even more than that -- today filled up my heart. Just getting to chat with her and really talk to her (because see, she is one of those friends I can honestly share ANYTHING with and she will love me anyway) was priceless. I know I chatted and chatted and chatted and I'm sure she wondered if I'd ever shut up -- but I was just so glad she was here!
So, K if you read this. Thank you for coming to help me pack and get ready for this move. But more than that -- thank you for being who you are what you have been and what you continue to be in my life. You and T have had more influence in my life than you'll ever know. I love you both and your kids more than any of you could possibly know.
I know that there are probably times you look back and wonder how much of a difference you've made in the lives of the people you've pastored and known over the years. KNOW that I am a better person having you both in my life. And I hope that in some way you are proud of who I've become because you were a part of that becoming.
Today was truly A Blessed Day!