I got an email reminding me of this contest. And I started thinking, who would I want to take with me? Then I thought of her, my incredible friend, Fran. I met Fran at a Pampered Chef show that I was doing....I ruined the goodies I was making and Fran came to my rescue. We were SUCH different people....WOW! I was beginning to grow in my godly role of wife and mother, and then along comes this person who is the antithesis of all I was learning. She was divorced and remarried with 2 step children and her own daughter (who was about the same age as her stepson, just to add to the confusion!). I have NO idea what she saw in me, why she wanted to be friends with me! And at first, it was hard work....what do I say to her when she thinks I'm crazy for the choices I made in my life. She had so many tough issues to deal with and the attitude to go with it, and I appeared as a "goody-two-shoes" in her life. Only God could take this bizarre relationship and turn it into finest gold. Over the years we have been through so much. At first she seemed overly dependent on me, and I can remember times, talking on the phone with her, when she would be screaming and cussing and carrying on about something happening in her life, and I would feel so silly when I'd say "You need to pray and let God take care of it." Time and again that was the only answer I could come up with and telling it to her seemed like such a cop out....little did I know that that was the ONLY answer, the perfect answer! Over time, her phone calls became much calmer, her struggles not quite so overwhelming, her faith becoming bigger when she began letting God have the things that seemed such a mess in her life. She became less dependent on me and more dependent on God and our love for each other grew. Then, just as we were beginning to walk together, side by side on this journey of life, I got the news that we would be moving (my hubby is a Chaplain's Assistant in the Air Force). The agony of having to tell her that I was leaving was almost unbearable.....our hearts were joined by the amazing, incredible, life changing love of God, and now that she was someone that I could grow WITH rather than pull along, we were being separated! But as we both gave this over to God, we realized this is what He needed of us.....we had both become better equipped to share this way of life, living as a godly wife. We realized it would be selfish of us to just continue our walk just the two of us, God needed us to go out and share all that we had learned. That was just over 2 years ago. We still talk by phone and I am ASTOUNDED at the growth she is still experiencing! So often, growth takes place so slowly that it's hard to see, but this dear friend is growing by leaps and bounds. The life she once thought was crazy and impossible is now her way of life. God shines so mightily in her! If you saw her before and after pictures....real pictures of her......you can actually SEE the love of Christ in her, she has literally become a beautiful person inside and out (and it's not that I'm biased because she's my friend). Recently she called to tell me she had done the unthinkable (to her)....she pulled her children out of school so that she could homeschool them and further teach them how God is involved in every single aspect of their lives. I have always homeschooled my children and that was one area she said that she could NEVER do. But God's ways are always so much better than our ways and He called her to do this. I am simply amazed at all God has worked in her and am so thankful that the answer has been and always will be "pray and trust God in this".....He truly does amazing things! I would love to be able to go on this cruise with her so that we could share and grow further in Christ...the teachings to be taught on this cruise are what God used to build this most amazing friendship. I don't know when/if I'll ever see her again on this earth, but I'm hoping that God will let us live right next door to each other in heaven so that we can daily get together and worship Him together!
I Love you Fran (Piglet)!!
Love, Amy (Pooh)