Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sweet Relationships

On July 1, my college roommate of three years died.  Despite not talking to her in ages, I was rattled deeply and spent the entire night awake, alternating tears and utter shock.

I'd been awaiting July 1, the mid-year mark, because this is the first year I've been truly excited about my New Years Resolutions. I'd planned to post an update here on how my resolutions were going... and perhaps encourage all of us to refocus our energies towards a meaningful last half of 2012.

So when my college roommate died -- someone whose life played a vital role in mine for three brief yet formative years -- I stood stunned in my bedroom at 2 a.m. and gawked at the list of resolutions literally hanging on my wall.  Suddenly, those goals aimed at relationship seemed infinitely more important than they had the day before.

This week has been a sweet time for relationship... for connecting with friends and family I miss during day to day life.

Toni, who lives in Bend, Oregan, but came to Alabama this week.
She taught me that friends know each other inside and out, support and encourage each other no matter what, and stay close even when we're both terrible at picking up the phone. :)  She knows I love her.

My sweet Montgomery friends.  
I spent one whirlwind moment in Montgomery to speak at a women's event.

Laura is pregnant with her second baby and looks even more beautiful in person.  I think of how tired I got when pregnant with Caroline and feel honored that she'd come to hear me speak on what could have been a lazy summer night.

KC in the pink shirt grew up in Mobile, and she rallied everyone she knows on Facebook to help us find an adoption community in Mobile -- and it's working!  She and her husband are some of our dearest friends and have girls who look enough like ours that people confuse our families for each other all of the time. :)  

Lacy in the purple is in process to adopt her first child from Uganda.  She's been an incredible source of encouragement to me, first during Amelia's adoption process, most recently during our move, and I still think of her with tears each time I pop in my Gungor CD... She sent me this beautiful album all about God's redemption while my dad was so sick last summer.  

My mama, who taught me that I am loved.  She also taught me to love Scripture, although she doesn't know it.  Well... I suppose she knows how she encouraged me to seek God and value His inerrant Word.  What she doesn't know is that her passionate love of literature, and her teachings on how to discern deeper meanings in texts, are what cause me to so appreciate the Bible's beauty.  It is apparently eternally valuable to have an AP English teacher for your mother.

Plus, she'd give me the world if she could.

Jessica, who teaches me everyday how sweet friendship can be.  There's not enough I can say about sweet Jess.  She's thoughtful, she reaches out to me constantly -- and I'm a turtle kind of friend... you know, head in my own shell.  She pulls me out and checks on me all the time.  She teaches me what outward-focused friendship looks like, which warms my heart and will hopefully help transform me.  Jessica, our friend Amanda, and I have a pretty unique friendship -- one of those rare kinds that should last.

My dad, who teaches me that Christ is my greatest treasure.  My dad, who teaches me that you can suffer and have peace simultaneously, if you believe when Scripture says that the outcome of suffering is greater than the pain of the process.  If I were to start talking about my dad after the year he's had and the ways his faithful response to the gates of hell has shaped my Christian walk, I'd be at this keyboard for months.  Like my mom, there's no way to list what my dad taught me.

And these are just the people I saw and got pictures with.
I only have so many words I can write each day.
To those of you I didn't mention, know that the only reason is because I didn't have a picture of you taken in the last week on my iPhone.  :)

Treasure the meaningful relationships in life.  Life itself is fragile.


Jessica Whatley said...

The gifts of relationships are so sweet. Catching up with you truly made my week! Love you so much and can't even begin to tell you how much you've taught me about friendship!

Toni Patrick said...

I love you too Rach!

Toni Patrick said...

I love you too Rach!

RACHEL said...

Two comments frOm two of the best friends in the world!!!!