You know how whenever you have to fill out forms you have to check the box married or single? For a long time, that box was a symbol of my discontent. Checking “single” was not the plan that I had for my life.
I met my husband at 25 and married him at 26. Seems young now. But when I watched many of friends being married at age 19 and 20, I felt very alone. Especially since I had really not dated and had no “prospects” in sight.
I remember one particularly heartbreaking moment when a godly guy I was friends with made it clear that while I seemed to be interested, he was not at that time. I thought I was destined to be alone forever.
But then God prompted a friend to show up unexpectedly with flowers in hand and a hug. She had heard my sadness in a phone conversation. She knew I needed the reminder that even if I was not walking hand in hand with someone, I was still loved and important. God still would fulfill his purposes in my life.
She listened as I poured out my heart. Details that no longer matter and that I can no longer even remember. Then she continued to encourage me in the months ahead. Asking occasionally if I had met anyone (just enough, she told me, so that I knew that she still felt God had someone in mind for me!). But then most of our conversational time was spent being a friend – caring about me as a person. Regardless of what my checked box said for my marital status.
She was a busy young mom at the time. And I am pretty sure that I did not do the best about understanding of what all that title entails. I probably did not offer the same support to her then. Yet she continued to be a friend to me. Because that is who she is.
I rarely get to talk to her now. While we are both the moms of 4 kids, hers are obviously a little older. Our paths have taken different directions. Yet since we are both headed toward the same Destination, when we do have a chance to catch up, the connection is different. More real. She will always be a friend of my heart.
Today is the perfect day to thank her. Happy birthday, dear Jonica. Thank you for the support that you have always provided for me. For helping me through those single days, then the early married and mothering days. And all other sorts of days. I love you, my friend!