Wednesday, September 19, 2007

we'll be best friends until forever. wait and see.

I just went to Colorado for my "vacation", and really the reason why I chose Colorado and took a long train ride was because of the woman you see here. Her name is Jami. I have known her since we were 8 and 9. She rode by on her bike in the alley behind our apartments. We said hi, and never really said goodbye, even though we did part ways for a time. I am going to share our story without all the details, because well, you don't need to know everything. But I love our story and how God has weaved our lives together.

I think our friendship started out as a convenience. We were close in age and we lived so close to each other. Our personalities (even to this day) are so different...I was "goofy", she was "trouble". But as we spent more time together, we bonded. She was there when my grandma died and my parents divorced, a time I can hardly recall. She remembers how devastated I was. I dragged her to church with me. After a while, she liked coming. We both received Christ as our Savior, and dominated our youth group with our crazy friendship. We listened and danced to all the latest on Mtv. We had bad hair, crazy outfits, and lots of laughter. We lived at each others' homes, both of which had been torn by divorce. We even remember thinking we could try the parent trap thing and get our parents together so we could be sisters!

Jami and I shared everything, clothes, crushes, beds, food, video games, our hearts. We looked like sisters for a long time. My grandpa even mixed us up once! She moved across town, but that did not stop us from spending countless hours together. My dad had simply adopted another daughter. He was so gracious and loving, even though he already carried the weight of raising two kids by himself. He fed Jami, paid for trips for her, allowed her to stay with us on a semi-permanent basis, and loved her like his own, even if she drove him crazy. God used him and our family to bring her to Jesus. And God gave me a best friend.

wow. and we thought we were soooo cool.

junior high. we wanted to look cute.

We started to grow up, and I moved to a different city at 14. Neither of us could drive yet, and my dad had a new marriage. We began to grow apart. I made new friends, and Jami did too. We kept in touch, but Jami became disconnected from our church. She began to drift from the Lord. Many, many things added up in her life and mine. Somehow, we stayed connected despite the growing differences.

now. i realize how ridiculous we look trying to pose like that and laugh.

In April 2001, Jami lost her mom. She called me, and we tried to see each other. I was leaving to go find a place to live in San Luis Obispo. I told her to call me. She never did. It was silence for the next six years. I kept her picture up, and prayed for her. I always hoped to find her again. Little did I know, she was doing the same. In December 2006, I lost my mom. In January 2007, I joined I thought about discontinuing it almost as soon as I joined it. I am glad I didn't. It was through it that Jami found me. I got an email and couldn't believe my eyes! Not only that, but God had redeemed much of what was lost in Jami's life, most importantly, her relationship with God. She filled in all the details of what had happened since we last talked, and I thank God that His hand was upon her life to bring her to where she is today. She has a wonderful husband, a beautiful daughter, and a house of her own. She is walking in success, and is walking with God. I am proud of her. In some ways, she has done more than I have ever thought of and has come so far.
I got to finally come and see her last week. It was like we never separated, but at the same time, someone hit the "grown up" button, and there we were. We laughed, and we cried, and we stared at each other in disbelief. She tried to convince me to live in her office forever. I brought my pictures from our younger days, and the one at the top really does say it all- "we'll be best friends forever. wait and see." We waited, and now we see. We are so grateful to have a second chapter to our tale. I can't wait till she walks with me as I start motherhood. She has learned much, and I know she will delight in the many kids I will have! This is God's doing, all of it, and we are blessed to have each other.

like kids again...
hee hee!

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Last night I was sitting in cell group, and my leader was teaching about God's purpose for our lives. She began to tell us that God has given us the authority to trample over the enemy's work if we walk with Him. In effect, the enemy has no power over us. For some reason, this brought to mind the movie Labyrinth. I know, weird connection, but I am about to make this movie biblical in nature, so watch out!

The story talks about a girl named Sarah, who after getting mad at her parents, makes a poor decision by taking her anger out on her brother, wishing him to be taken away. Jareth (goblin king aka our enemy) comes and does just that, turning Sarah's world upside down and intimidating her. He tells her "you are no match for me", and encourages her to give up before she starts. She pushes through and begins her journey through the confusing labyrinth, where she comes up against many obstacles and makes some amazing friends along the way.
Our lives are like Sarah's. We get frustrated at our circumstances and in our frustration, instead of looking to God, we look to other things. We aim our anger at the wrong things, and the door opens up to let the enemy in. He takes from us what we don't intend for him to take, and then we become intimidated by his lies. We don't walk in the authority God has given us through the power of the cross, so we end up walking through a crazy labyrinth- the enemy's territory. We are attacked, misled, and hurt. We feel like we are coming up against the wall and cannot break through. Even when we do confront the enemy, he bribes us and intimidates us- "I ASK FOR SO LITTLE. JUST LET ME RULE YOU, AND YOU CAN HAVE EVERYTHING THAT YOU WANT." (Jareth's lines in the movie...sounds like what Satan told Jesus when tempting Him...).
My favorite part, and the part that came up in my mind as my leader talked about the enemy having no power over us, is when Sarah realizes that Jareth has no power over her. That is the line that breaks his power- "You have no power over me." She overcomes his temptations. Her realization that she is not under his power and can walk out of fear into authority brings restoration to her life. Toby, her brother, is returned safely, and her heart is changed.
We need to realize and walk out in the authority God has given us. Otherwise, we allow ourselves to be intimidated and are forced to go through our own labyrinths. We also need to guard our hearts from sin and not let the enemy get a foothold.
Funny how a crazy movie from the eighties can echo God's word for our lives!