I have a pen pal.
Alright, she's more like an email pal since no one really writes anymore but the point is, I write to her often.
There are things that I write here that need to go deeper. I write her.
There are things that I'm too sloppy to correct when I write her. There are things that I are unedited when I write her. I have opened up to her and gotten to know her through many months of exchanging stories about our lives. I feel like I could sit down with her now at any given time, not having met her face to face and carry a conversation that is deep, meaningful and yet light and funny.
She has become a dear friend.
I have met many close friends online.
Rachel and I met on a Marine Wives support forum years ago.
Tiffany and I met because of our blogs and her entire family of 6 came to stay with us this past summer. I am no stranger to developing strong friendships because of writing.
I get several emails a day from people all around the world, all of which I read and mostly try to return in time. But this friendship was different from the get go.
Months ago my sister fell in love at literal first sight with a man that I believe probably is 'the one.' I refuse to write exactly what she called home from work to tell me after she cut his hair for the first time [because I believe he's probably reading this right now and I really would like to hold out for my maid of honor speech at their potential wedding;)]
The point is: she loved him and she knew it. Right away.
And then they dated, life happened, things were said, things were done and because she's the exact opposite of me, communication is not her strongest suit.
They broke up.
During this time I had already began emailing my pen pal almost daily. Most often, however, she would write daily and I'd respond when I got the chance. The race was coming and I was so bogged down with emails and regular mail; questions and information. But I always read and tried to write often.
Until one day I heard Jeni talk about loverboy's sister. When she said her name it took me several seconds to catch up.
I am pen pals with loverboy's sister?!
Turns out penpal had told me so. Turns out I knew all along but my mind was crazy and hazy from everything else happening around me. But in that moment, God really lit something in me and we've been building an amazing friendship ever since.
Loverboy's in another country right now, studying.
Because he's very smart and very dedicated to his life, career and future.
And I want him to know that I see that and understand it.
And I'm really proud of him.
I'm really proud of he and Jeni both.
I watched my sister see my interaction with his sister and begin to understand that life is about so much more than love-at-first-sight feelings. That helped, no doubt...[I mean honestly who has that happened to anyway?]
Life is about relational things, among each other and those closest to you. A future with someone means a future with the ones that they love. It may look like dinner together or Christmas cards being sent to one another. But it may mean taking care of one another in the deepest, darkest pit of despair. It may mean rising up to raise children for each other if something terrible happens and that's what life deals. It's about more than those moments of flutters. It's about realistic. life altering moments that define who we are--together.
I see a maturing happening in me, because of my great new friend. We talk and I feel a release after writing. I get an email and I feel excited to read.
I see a maturing in my own sister because of it too. And not because of me. Not because of loverboy's sister (my penpal). But because it sometimes takes more than just moments that feel right or easy to understand what life and God may have in store.
It's not always for us to know but sometimes when things fall together just right, it's undeniable that God's hand is in it.
I know He is in my writing and I know He is in this new friendship of mine.
I am so thankful.