I am really blessed to have some of the best friends in the whole world. I am really proud of them. I am sure you know. If you have hung around me for any period of time you know that my college friends are life friends - top notch friends, and I speak of them often. Oh the stories we could tell. My life has been marked by journeying through recent years with these precious girls and I am humbled to have them in my life and look forward to the days ahead.
Heather is a kindred spirit, my best friend. I often wonder how many people are blessed to experience rich friendship like this. We have many memories that I am grateful for: like driving to Destin at the drop of a hat to pick up the Larrivee that was given to me, my sophomore year of college. Going to the Sarah McLachlan concert for my birthday one year, singing paperboy in the car, and endless trips to Dairy Queen that Heather required us to take so she could get a blizzard. These are just a few of the good times, but when I recall many of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in my life, there are several that Heather has been around for. The day I found out my parents were getting a divorce, Heather took me (and my destructive personality) to the batting cage. She just sat there with me until I was done hitting.
Henri Nouwen says, “The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing... not healing, not curing... that is a friend who cares.” That is the kind of friend that Heather has been to me, but she is even more. A mentor, accountability, someone that gets my craziness and laughs at me when I make NO sense. Whats more is she calls me to a higher standard. She is the one friend that I can always count on to call out sin in my life, and I appreciate this about her. I love that she esteems my relationship with the Lord more than even I do at times and she is always looking to point me to Christ and His word - and yet, she has more grace than you would ever know. Times of temptation, hurt, anger, defeat, despair - I can call her, and find a loving friend.
I had the privilege of standing by Heather as MOH on her wedding day, and being at the hospital when she and Clay welcomed their two beautiful children into the world.
(I always say that if I can love my own kids a fraction of how
much I love my friends kids I will be in good shape.)
Heather is a few years older than me, and so I learn a lot from her as she is very candid with me about each of life's stages, and as I see her handle challenges, joys, fears, and dreams - I am encouraged, and I grow.
I will never forget this one day. Clayton was just a baby but Heather began to pray for him, consistently. She made this card that listed 31 character traits that she desired her son to have, and each day of the month she prays, even still, that the Lord would instill these things in him. She made one for me, so I can pray too - and I keep it in my pocket Bible - and although I'm not as faithful as she is, I pray for Clayton. And I pray for myself, that I, by the grace of God, would possess these traits as well. That I would be molded more into the image of Christ with each passing day. I pray these things for my husband, my brother, my cousins, and friends.
I guarantee that you will be convicted when you read through this list. I am, every time. Thanks for the example, Hal. Thank you for sharing your life with mine, and thanks for teaching me how to be a Godly friend, wife, mother, and lover of Christ.