About Me

I am a proud wife and mother, and a born again Christian. I work from home as a writer while taking care of Miss N, our six-year-old, Miss M, our four-year-old and Miss C, our newest bundle of joy. Life is crazy but so much fun!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Friend Worth Keeping

Have you ever made an unexpected friend? I have. You can meet her at her blog.

My earliest memory of this gal is from junior high or early high school. She had a perm. I had short, unruly curly hair. We were returning from an infamous "bus trip," either with the youth group or the high school, I cannot remember. I was anxious to get off the bus, but I was near the back. I was trying to push my way to the front of the bus, and this gal had her legs across the aisle. She would not move. I was so very annoyed. I don't remember much of the conversation, but I remember being so very annoyed.

Sounds like the great basis for a friendship, doesn't it? But God has a great sense of humor.

As we moved upwards in the high school, high school girl pettiness stepped in. I had a good friend, and this gal was her best friend. That meant that she was better than me in the High School hierarchy that we all know is so pointless. I disliked her, but only because she held the coveted best friend spot. I spent many days thinking on how I wished I could be her. She was pretty, she was K.P.'s best friend, and the boys liked her. I wanted to be her, but I didn't like her.

God has a sense of humor.

Fast forward to my senior year of high school and the dreaded "where to go to college" decision. I prayed, worried, and planned. I wanted to go where K.P. went, and hopefully take that best friend spot. Yet, God had other plans.

I visited Maranatha Baptist Bible College my senior year. At the time, it was the only college in "our circles" that was accredited. I was going to pursue a teaching degree, and felt an accredited degree was important.

The only catch, this gal was the only one from my church and high school who attended that college, and it was 9 hours away.

I wanted to go elsewhere, but I landed a scholarship that had to be used at an accredited institution. God knew I needed to go to Maranatha. He knew that a beautiful friendship was about to develop.

My freshman year, this gal, Janna, became a friend rather than an enemy. I doubt that we were that close at that time, but really, there were times I had no one else to talk to. We started attending the same church, because I didn't know where else to go and really didn't want to "ride the bus" to the church in town. I loved that church, and through it got to see my friend's heart for the ministry.

As my freshman year progressed into my sophomore year, I started to appreciate my friend for who she was inside. Instead of seeing her as a rival in some way, I started to appreciate her as a sister in Christ. As I learned more about her life, the struggle she went through when her dad went to heaven when she was a young girl, and the fact that she dealt with her own insecurities, as we all do, I grew to love her. I started to understand her more.

We spent many 9 hour drives back and forth to school with just each other for company. Sometimes we traveled together and left a car up north, and sometimes we communicated via walkie-talkie. Oh, occasionally we took someone else, but usually it was just us. We were even asked to lunch by a semi truck driver. Sometimes we drove the 45 minutes to church together without others in the car. Usually when that happened, we would spend a long portion of the time praying together.

My sophomore year and her junior year I had really an interesting room situation, and she was facing a busy senior year coming up. She came to me at the end of that year and asked if we could request to room together. I was nervous. After all, when you live with someone, they see you for who you really are, but I agreed.

My junior year, her senior year, we roomed together with Melody, another person I hold as a dear friend. Janna got to see some of my worst qualities as my roommate, but she still loved me. We enjoyed some great memories, such as the night the "trumpets" sounded and the night me and Mel kicked her out in so she wouldn't catch our cold right before her voice recital. We also celebrated birthdays all around the same time, so of course a room birthday party was in order.

What made my friendship with Janna so special? I think it was several things. First, we had a spiritual connection that I share with few people. Second, she was willing to tell me when I was doing something stupid (and still is). that takes guts, but that is the kind of friend worth keeping. Finally, since we grew up in the same church/school and went to the same college, we have similar histories.

Janna made a huge decision when she graduated. She decided to move to the remote Island of Siapan to teach. This decision was very hard for me, because I was sure we would no longer be friends, at least not on the same level as we were. I figured she would start a new life and forget all about little me.

But I knew Janna was a friend worth keeping, and we kept up with each other through the next few years. Eventually she moved to Guam, yet we still stayed in touch.

When Tim and I got engaged, she was the first person we called (hey, it was the middle of the night in the US). She made the trek across the globe for my wedding. She was my maid of honor.

A few years later, we traversed the globe to stand up with her in her wedding.
(I don't have a digital picture of the two of us, but I really was there)

She was one of the only non-family people I called when I was in the hospital having Natalie through emergency induction at 34 weeks, and prayed with us that our little girl would come home, even though she was still grieving the loss of her baby.

In a week and a half, I will make the trek with my family back to KC. Not to see my parents,(although we will be seeing them too) but to see Janna and her precious daughter. Here we are last Christmas all together at my parent's house. I cannot believe my good fortune that I will get to see her twice in the same year!

Janna is one of the only friends I have who I feel really knows me. She knows me intimately, and loves me as a sister in Christ. We have prayed together, wept together through losses, talked about how silly boys are, dealt with broken hearts, rejoiced with each other as we found "Mr. Right," and been there to encourage each other when Mr. Right turned out to be human, even though we are 5,000 miles apart. I cried for her when she told me she lost her first baby, who would have been born not long after Natalie. She grieved with me when I lost the pregnancy right before Megan, a baby that would have been born not long after Briella.

When we have the rare chance to see one another or the slightly less rare phone call, it is so easy to pick up where we left off. We have similar goals and desires for ourselves as Christian wives and our children, so it is easy to talk. I thank God regularly for giving me such a godly and loving friend, and I pray that we will remain friends for many years to come.

I can't wait to see you again girl! Hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane!


The Harrisons said...

aw so sweet. I know what her problem was her junior year...she had to room with this really weird Irish girl..lol :-) Cute pics too!

MommaHarms said...

Oh no Karen, I don't think that was it. Now I'm embarrassed! I really don't remember - maybe it was just my psycho roomy??

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Nicole. I am sitting here teary eyed going down memory lane with you . and am so thankful for God's grace and mercy in your life. You have a wonderful gift and I am thankful for that and you

Ann-Marie said...

What an amazing story of friendship. I was moved to tears! I'm so glad you are going to be able to see her again, soon!

Adventure Mom Janna said...

I finally got on the computer and had time to read your blog. Oh my! where do I begin. Such a beautiful summary.

I don't remember not moving my legs but I can be stubborn:)

I like what you said about finding out Mr. Right is human-clever.

gotta go the husband needs assistance w/ baby girl. Love ya and see you soon.