When I was in Middle School, I went through this phase where I wrote "essays" about my friends. I have tons of them... just a little one or two pager about why I loved that individual. In my mind, it was the ultimate yearbook entry. (It maaaay have been a touch lame, too.)
Often on people's birthdays, I'm tempted to blog about them. I want you all to know why I love said-birthday individual. But let's be honest... I'm not sure you'd all want to read what makes ___ special over and over and over again. (Although, while we're being honest, I'm still not sure why lots of you continue to read this anyway.)
Kimberly and I met to pray weekly. And for some reason, I rarely missed. That was a big deal because I was missing a lot of things those days in search of things that would greater fulfill my life. I would skip Small Group if it meant I got to do something more fun. I would skip Large Group if I got a chance to go uptown with some of my friends. I would skip Chapter events if it meant I got a ride to visit friends in Raleigh who had better access to "good times." I was busy living a double life of knowing I should have one foot in IV (which was, at the time, my one connection to the Lord) and the rest of me in a life of self indulgence. But for whatever reason, I rarely bailed on praying with Kimberly.
In retrospect, I asked Kimberly if she knew I was partying it up the whole time we were praying. She said she knew something was going on, but she didn't know my life was quite as jacked up as it was. (My words, not hers.) What she did know, however, was that she was supposed to pray with me... and for me.
I don't think I can put adequate words around the jumbled-ness I felt in my heart during that year. I was on the biggest roller coaster of emotions- I felt loved and rejected, cool and unworthy, fun and distraught, determined and lost, and completely a wreck. Yet during that year, sitting in Kimberly's dorm room, I found peace.
Jesus ordained our times together.
He did not make us best friends. We did not spend hours catching up. We did not do a great job of keeping in touch after college. We did not attend each other's weddings. Yet He wove our hearts together and used Kimberly to keep me connected to Him... all because she was available. She lived upstairs and I knew she was there. She was consistent. She was grounded. And she radiated His love for everyone... and His love for me.
Today, she is the proud mom of 3 beautiful children and the wife of another friend, Tyler, and together God is using them mightily to grow His Kingdom in Raleigh. But 17 years ago, she was "just" a girl who lived upstairs. And she was being used mightily in my life... and for that, I am thankful. I pray that I am "just" that kind of girl for others, too.
Happy Birthday, Kimberly.