I have many friends in my life who are not like me. In fact, you'll be hearing about some of them by the time I finish this series. I like having friends who are not like me - they challenge me, complement me, and support me in areas where I am weak. This is a very real gift.
My friend Becca, however, is a gift of a completely different sort. She is a friend who is very much like me -frighteningly so at times. We are both oldest children with moms who are nurses. We both grew up in the church, became Christians at an early age, and walked with the Lord throughout high school and college. We both majored in English and taught English for several years. As a result, we've both graded thousands of essays. We are both idealists who struggle when reality doesn't measure up to our dreams (which is often, in case you're curious!). We both love coffee, Pottery Barn, ethnic food, and Ann Taylor. We both thought we'd get married young and actually got married at 28. We both have husbands who are engineers, love Settlers of Catan and sports, and challenge us with tender truthfulness in the face of our emotionality.
All that to say, our brains and hearts are shaped in much the same way. More than most other people I know, Becca understands my particular joys and struggles, the way they feel inside and the particular impact they have on my soul. This has been a wonderful blessing to me. Sometimes, when I am in a hard place, I just need to hear that I am not crazy for struggling like I do, and Becca is quick to remind me that I am not alone. Even more importantly though, she always points me back to God and to His word as my ultimate source of hope and comfort.
It's hard to believe I've really only known Becca for four years. In that time, she has grown from being an acquaintance I talked about teaching with to a European traveling partner to the kind of friend who notices when I've had my eyebrows waxed. She has rejoiced with me when I have rejoiced, even when she herself longed for the blessings I was receiving, and has wept with me as I have wept. She has seen me at my worst and has persisted as my friend, having faith for me when I didn't have faith for myself. She and her husband Seth are also some of CJ and my favorite neighbors, blizzard buddies, Settlers of Catan competitors, and marriage counselors.
Becca, thanks for being a faithful friend!