The moment I read that last week, I knew the person I would write to. This woman is one of the people I hold closest in my heart. She has been my enthusiastic cheerleader, my faithful encourager, my gentle admonisher, my wise counselor, and a precious sister in Christ. She's known to drop everything and supply a coffee maker when yours dies on a day you're stuck at home with a sick little. She's known to find you a bargain replacement coffee maker while she's shopping and will grab it for you and drop it off on her way home. She's known to be very organized and can help you bring order to chaos. She's known as an amazing nurse and uses the gifts God gave her with much compassion and precision. She's known to call and check up on you after you've had surgery, and will pick up a rotisserie chicken and Gatorade for you when she hears how miserable you sound, knowing you need some protein and hydration. She's known to be a survivor, as she faced the fight of her life and beat breast cancer just over three years ago. And she's known to hand you a blanket and a hot mug when you show up at her house near tears, inviting you to sit on the couch and spill what's on your heart, not letting you leave until she shares Truth and prays with you. She's also very humble and will probably want to punch me for this. :)
She's my Rachel.
(Sorry I 'borrowed' a Facebook pic, friend!) :)
My dear Rachel,
I can't remember the exact moment we met, can you? It may have been in a Sunday morning service, or in an Adult Bible Fellowship class, or just passing in the halls at church. I do remember our friendship beginning to grow, though - serving in the nursery together when Devon and Annaliese were babies (how is it they're in Middle School together now?), Tuesday morning Bible studies, small groups. Little moments of time that built trust and transparency, which grew into this sweet friendship we share today.
Thank you for teaching me more about Jesus in the way you live your life. You are one of the strongest women I know, yet your gentle and quiet spirit is so evident. The way you honor and respect your husband is a great reminder to me to hold my tongue when I might be tempted to be critical or say something unkind about my own marriage. The creativity and energy you have when it comes to raising your three boys challenges me to parent differently, to point my kids to Jesus and to encourage them to be more like Him, recognizing that they all have different personalities and needs.
The courage and utter dependence on God that you showed as you "Fought Like a Girl" and kicked cancer's behind inspired all of us who prayed for you as you walked that road. I will never forget the day I went with you as you received chemo. I don't think you knew the privilege it was for me to be allowed into your difficult in that way. Thank you for trusting me with that.
One of my favorite things about you is your knowledge of God's Word. I LOVE that when I come to you with something heavy weighing on my heart, you let me vent, but you ALWAYS point me to TRUTH. (I also love the motions you can whip out to help commit those verses to memory...seriously.) Thank you for being faithful to Him in this way.
I'm sure I've gone on longer than you would like, and I could keep going, but I'll stop. :) I'm realizing more and more that life is short. We don't know which breath will be our last, and I don't want to have any regrets when it comes to things unsaid. Thank you for loving me well as your friend and sister. You are a precious gift to me and all of us who love you!