I think there’s so much in this life we take for granted. We roll in and out of each day, distracted by each moment and often lost in our thoughts or situations. For so many years after Kyle and I got married, I found myself struggling to truly connect with other women. I had not grown up in California, was a college transfer student so no deep roots were created in college and, as a newly married, working woman, it was hard to build strong relationships.
Now I say this with the realization that this was, in part, my fault. It was during those years that I felt I needed to have a group of instant best friends, who all knew one another and that Kyle would meet their husbands and we would all be forever besties. Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing if you have friendships like this, my point is more that I was on the hunt for what I felt was the perfect friendship scenario, rather than being open to women that God wanted to bring into my life. It wasn’t until I stopped asking for what I wanted and began asking God to bring the right women into my life, that He did just that.
As the years went on, God has brought women into my life who have become some of the bestest friends I could ever ask for. Do they all know each other? They didn’t at first, but they do now. Do we all spend time together all the time? Not all together, all the time, but we do see one another often. But today, I have to share one of these special friendships with you. This is my friend Cristina. We met 2 years ago when her family moved into a home down the street from me. What was even more incredible was that we went to the same church (different services at the time)!! Little did I know when she popped by to introduce herself that her friendship would change my life in the best kinds of ways.
Cristina has taught me how to find joy in everything life throws at you, to love and pray for others always, to invest in people and relationships, not for what they can do for you, but what you can do for them and she has show me Jesus with skin on in more occasions that I could share in one post. Her family has become our family, her children my children. When our families come together, there is no shortage of stories, laughter and conversation. Cristina is even the reason I began my fitness journey last year and I owe my addiction to working out to her. She seriously drug my sore butt there for weeks until I final caved and went on my own free will.
Knowing her has made me a better person and for that I’m so grateful.
This morning we decided to get together for a swim and bbq for dinner and anticipating their arrival tonight was so bittersweet. See, John Mark, Cristina and their family have been called to the mission field and they are leaving on June 23rd to serve the people of El Salvador through an organization called Enlace. It seems like just yesterday that they said they were going and at that point June 2014 seemed so far away. Now it’s slapping me in the face and the mixed emotions of being excited for all God is going to do through them and the sadness that one of my best friends is moving away is hitting me all at once. It might be for only 2 years, but two years is a long time!
I cant even begin to describe the sadness that’s weighing on me. My friend and neighbor is going to be living millions of miles away for the next two years. I’m sad that I will have to hear her laughter through the phone instead of in my backyard, our homes or at workout. I’m sad that this month has snuck on me so quickly and suddenly and I feel so completely and utterly unprepared for her to go. I’m sad because I need more time, I need more coffee dates, bbq’s and conversations.
As they walked out the door tonight after we swam and chatted until long after our children’s bedtimes, I stood at the kitchen sink, tears streaming as I did the dishes. And through those tears, prayers for protection, for joy and for God to use them in great ways as they serve the people in the villages of El Salvador. As I tucked Katelyn into bed tonight, I wiped away her tears and prayed through her sadness. It’s breaking my heart that her heart has carried so much sorrow over the last several weeks. Through the loss of her Great Grandpa, the passing of Ryan, one of her best friends moving away and her TK teacher not returning to the school she goes to next year, she is truly learning to lean on Jesus, but at 6 there’s so much of this that is still so hard to understand.
I’m not sure where I’m going with all this. I think I just really needed to write. I’m hoping that through writing I can process some of the sadness I’m feeling. Please forgive me if much of this doesn’t make sense and I seem a little scattered as I write.
If you want to follow the Robeck’s journey in El Salvador, you can do so here. They are still in the process of raising the last of their support for their journey and if you want to give to them, you can do that here. I hope you will check out their story and read about all the wonderful things God is doing in their lives and if you feel led to support them through prayer or financial giving, I know that would bless them so much as well.
Cris, I love you like my sister. Your family is my family and I’m forever grateful for the two years God has given us together and the many we will have while you are in El Salvador and when you come home. And you better come home. That’s the deal, remember?! I love you and I’m praying for you every day. I know that God is going to to incredible things through your family to glorify His kingdom!