From day one, I knew there was something special about you. We were kindred souls somehow.
I found out you were from Canada, took a couple glances at your husband, and proceeded to initiate our first conversation with the most absurd question ever. “You don’t happen to know who Ann Voskamp is, do you? Because your husband looks exactly like Ann’s husband. I thought there was a remote chance they’re brothers.”
Stupid, okay. What was the likelihood of me meeting my favorite writer’s brother-in-law thousands of miles away from home? 0% chance, I’d say. I don’t know what I was thinking. Sorry for the stupid question. Totally geeky, I know.
But I was onto something after all. Of course, your husband wasn’t Ann Voskamp’s brother! But you were fully aware of Ann and a huge fan of her writing. That connected us, like that, from day one. Without saying another word, we “got” each other, we understood, we both loved Ann’s writing and that’s all we needed to know.
Our friendship blossomed and we forged a friendship in six days. Six days total. That’s all the time we had. We ate dinners together. Conversed together. Asked hard questions together. Experienced beautiful moments together. Experienced GOD together. It was rich, life giving and life changing.
I’ll never, ever forget the day we sat in a circle and told stories and I felt like a fool telling my own. “This is just really important to me,” I sobbed. You put your hand on my leg, looked into my eyes with the deepest sincerity I’d ever seen, tilted your head in the kindest of ways, and said quietly “We love who you are.” I’m sure I cried some more. Only this time, I knew it was okay. Somebody understood. YOU understood. You got me.
We were kindreds.
Before we parted ways on the last day, we hugged and agreed to stay connected on Facebook. Then you handed me that infamous letter, the letter I didn’t read until later.
Yes, friend. You gave me two of the greatest gifts I’ve ever been given. First, the gift of feeling completely KNOWN, UNDERSTOOD and ACCEPTED for who I am. Second, the gift of the most beautiful letter I’ve ever received from a friend.
In it, you expressed the most endearing words. Words of truth. Words that spoke deeply to my heart. Words that mean the world to me.
I’ve kept that letter in my Bible for two years now. Folded with the beauty inside. Just as you handed it to me. Every month or two, I take it out and read it to remind myself WHO it was that YOU saw those six days. You saw the real me and you loved me. Thank you, friend.
I don’t know if we’ll ever see each other again this side of heaven. But every now and then, you pop into my Facebook feed with your incredible words of love and encouragement, and I remember how amazing you were, how amazing you ARE.
Sisters are the best.
This is part of a month-long series on friendship titled Love Letters to Friends. To read the rest of the posts in the series, CLICK HERE and you’ll be directed to the series introductory post. Scroll to the bottom and you’ll find all the posts listed and linked for your reading pleasure.