Friday, January 25, 2008

Old Friends

My freshman year of high school I met this crazy beautiful girl who wore odd clothes and only ate sugar. We quickly became good friends. We are as different as night and day. She is ridiculously intelligent and has a passion for all beings, one that I cannot understand but only know that it must come from God. She is a woman after God's heart. He is her passion. She has always been the one to keep me grounded in the word, and I keep her updated in the "real world". I love this woman with everything that I have, and for the last two and a half years it's been long distance.

We always new that Katie would live a missionary life. It's what she wanted. She spent a summer in Kenya while we were in high school and she was going to teach English in Japan after graduating, but she has a condition that causes her extremities to "fall off" in extreme cold and she was going to the coldest climate possible in Japan (or it could have been China, I can't remember, it was a long time ago).

Katie married a man whose heart was on fire for missions. Specifically Turkey. So two and a half years after they got married they packed up their 6 month old Samuel and moved to Turkey. Before Wednesday I hadn't seen in her since July 6, 2005. Nor had I spoken with her. Our only communication was through e-mail. And I missed her terribly.

There are certain people that have relationships where they can go months or years without talking but the second they see each other it is as if no time has ever passed. Katie and I have that kind of relationship. And it's wonderful. We have always lived apart since I left college early. We only lived in the same part of the state for about 7 months before I got married. So seeing each other was a rarity, but it always felt like we had just seen each other hours before. And Wednesday when she opened her mother-in-laws' front door with a new baby on her hip, it was the same feeling. Familiarity, comfortable, safe.

Since they left they welcomed little Joy into their lives. She's just a little over a year and the cutest thing ever. And Sammy, well, he's a big boy now. He just turned three this month. It amazes me to see her and her children. She was never one that dreamed of a family. Her focus was on God and the Great Commission. She has taken to the role of mother very well. I am in awe of her strength. Raising a family in a foreign country where they are seen as outsiders and ridiculed on a daily basis. She has no family there and they have very few friends. It's hard for them. It will be hard on the children as they grow older. Yet both her and her husband feel that this is where they need to be. Reaching out to a country that is rapidly accepting the Muslim faith and where they are daily making a path for God to reach out to those who do not know him.

And I am jealous. Not of the hardships they face in the foreign country, but of her motherhood. And it shames me to feel that way. That I could be jealous of this woman, who has done nothing but love and encourage me, telling me when I was straying and still loving me through my sinful years. We talked about everything on Wednesday, as well as you can fit 2 1/2 years into three hours. And of course the fertility issue came up. She's been praying for me this whole time. Yet I felt as if she was trying to make little of my feelings, of the hurt. We talked about how the doctors have yet to come up with anything substantial besides the progesterone and in her eyes see still sees me as fertile. Just a "having to wait" fertile. Which frustrated me. We also talked about how hard it is dealing with being surrounded by children and pregnant women in our small group. She said something to the effect that it is only hard right now because everyone else has it and I want it. Which made me mad.

I don't think she was trying to belittle my feelings, I just think she was trying to put it into perspective. As much as someone who has never been through this can. I guess what I'm trying to say is she was trying her best, but she was hurtful. Yet, I still love her like I had before we had the conversation. It's hard to explain the feelings to someone who can look at her children who came easily and not truly understand. We then talked about how hard raising a family was and I kind of felt that she was trying to downplay having kids. Or make me think "twice" before venturing into the world of family. I told her that I am not naive enough to think that having a child will be all roses and amazing, that yes, it will be the hardest thing that we've ever done, but well worth it.

It's hard to explain how the conversation really went. I'm having a hard time getting down in words how I felt. I know she was just doing what she felt was the right thing. She would never purposefully be mean, she doesn't know how. And I'm not angry at her, not angry enough to be mean (which I do know how to be). I know what she was trying to do, and I appreciate it. I think it was because it came from her. Had it come from any other person in this world, I probably would have left. For some reason, this woman whom I adore, can do no wrong. That sounds bad, it's not that she can do no wrong, it's that I know her heart is pure and her motives biblical.

I wonder if there are others out there who have a relationship with someone like this. I don't feel as if I am getting run over or she's not taking my feelings seriously. I guess I just needed to get this out and sort through my feelings on it all. It was the best three hours I'd had in a long time. Just sitting there talking with my good friend, being honest and open, something I haven't been with so many people since I've moved here. It felt freeing. And I cried when I left, not wanting to let go of her. Knowing that it would be another three years before I saw her again. I miss her already. I miss her heart, how she so effortlessly relies on God to provide for her and her family. How she can let him take everything she's worrying about and live her life the way he intended it to be. For him.

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