It was nearly midnight. I crawled wearily into my sleeping bag, but couldn’t help noticing the girl beside me, holding a Bible and flashlight.
Now, who in the world would dream of reading Scripture in the dead of the night after a long, exhausting day of hiking, games, outdoor cooking, and team activities?
So it wasn’t just those homeschooled girls who had been zealously brought up in the faith who had real relationships with God.
It wasn’t just those ministry people who were aflame for God.
It wasn’t just those people who’d had dramatic encounters with God who really had Him in their lives.
Normal people like her could, too.
I wanted to experience the type of relationship that she had with God. I wanted to know what it was about God that meant so much to her. I wanted to feel for myself this God that she had such a personal relationship with, she felt something was missing in a day without time spent with Him.
She is beautiful. Maybe not to others, but to me, she is simply beautiful.
Beautiful- deep in her heart. Simplicity, honesty, humility, and that love for God. That’s what attracted me.
How much she, in this age, respected her parents, and wasn’t afraid to show it.
How she was willing to admit her mistakes, and share lessons she had learnt.
How she was courageous, standing firm in her beliefs despite the deteriorating moral standards of our culture today- music, fashion, conduct, language, you name it.
That night, we had our first real conversation. An honest, vulnerable, and yet fulfilling one like I had never had before. May 3, 2014. In a yellow-and-green tent, in the middle of the night. Yes.
Her voice still resonates in my mind. I still remember the passage we read and discussed that night.
Treasures in Heaven
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Since that night two years ago, that relationship has grown. It is a gem to me- deeply treasured.
She’s stood by me in my happiest moments. She doesn’t waver when I make the dumbest mistakes. She always has a word of encouragement for someone who needs it.
Her spontaneity and enthusiasm are contagious. She’s willing to be vulnerable, and takes correction humbly.
She doesn’t fake it when she doesn’t understand. She doesn’t judge someone for their mistakes, actions, or emotions.
She respects those who tease her, and cares for everyone, no matter how insignificant.
She doesn’t look for admiration- she looks for ways to be a blessing and a light to others in her corner of the world.
She is motherly, caring, and kind. She is willing to sacrifice to help others.
And I know beyond a doubt, no matter how badly I’ve failed, she’s there cheering me on.
I know beyond a doubt, no matter how small my success, she’s happy for me.
I know beyond a doubt, she will be there for me through thick and thin.
Maybe not physically, but spiritually and emotionally, yes.
She is that friend – we don’t need to meet every day, or even every week. Sometimes we don’t even talk when we see each other- we just wave from a distance and carry on.
It’s really true. Real friends don’t need to talk to you all the time to be connected. Real friends are already connected to you.
1 universe, 9 planets, 245 countries, 809 islands, 7 seas, and I had the privilege of meeting her.
All by God’s grace.
Each moment spent with her, each memory that lingers here, each word that echoes in my ear- they’re all expressions of God’s grace.
And I’m so grateful for that.
It’s been two years, and I pray there will be many more to come.
I am truly grateful. 🙂
And as a final note to my beautiful bestie:
You’ve done so much for me, and walked so far for me.
Now, this is the least I can do for you. Love you so much!