I really want this post to be well-written and eloquent; but it's late, and I want more to be able to publish this on Friday, so it's getting written off the cuff. Bear with me.
If you are blessed enough to go through life with a dear friend or two who is in the same "season," chances are, as you enter into the child-bearing and -rearing stage, one of you will make the tongue-in-cheek remark about "Oh, our daughters are going to be best friends," or "Hey, you better keep your little guy in check -- he's making eyes at my princess," or something like that. I know I have; admit it -- you have, too!
Sometimes, it works out just like that. My high school sweetheart ended up married to the daughter of some of his parents' best friends, and anyone reading Kelly's blog knows that Sarah Kate and Harper are going to be BFF!
My experience with this "phenomenon" has been a little different, but just as sweet.
See this guy? Not Jim; I know you know who that is. The other one; the one in the middle? That's Pastor Jon.
He is my dad's best friend, and has been for 20 years. The amazing thing is that they haven't lived in the same place for almost that long. But the whole time I was growing up, I saw a rich example of what true friendship looked like -- even when it had to be long distance.
Pastor Jon and his wife have three daughters and a son. Their three girls and I are like stair steps in age, with me being the eldest, then Joyel, then Jessa, then Jana. (And then there's Jordan....but this post is about the gals.)
Almost every year, we would go to Knoxville to visit Pastor Jon and his family. I was as comfortable in their home as I was in my own. I loved them -- love them -- all so much, it was like we really were family. And even though we girls only saw each other once a year, it was like no time passed between visits. We would stay up til the wee hours of the morning, talking about boys, and our futures, and college options, and God's will for our lives.
And we grew, from little girls in AWANA to married women. I was SO blessed to have Pastor Jon officiate our marriage ceremony; Jim and I traveled to Knoxville two summers ago to watch Joyel wed her Nathan, and Friday, we will head east on I-40 to see Jana wed Graham.
And as I wrapped her gift, I marveled at the blessing this family -- these daughters -- have been. They truly are the sisters of my heart. And I am so thankful that 20+ years ago, our fathers' became friends.
It truly gives me pause, too, to think how Jim and I are shaping Seth's life by the company we keep. May we be as blessed to have our our Pastor Jon.
Jana, I love you, and I can't wait to be part of your fairytale on Friday!
Joyel, me, Jana, and Jessa, spring 2003