“He’s a Christian”. Those words aren’t spoken very often from my husband when describing new members of his company. That uncommon phrase immediately piqued my interest about this new member, so I inquired further and found out that this man was married with kids, where they came from, and what job he had.
The military loves social functions, so it didn’t take long for me to meet this man and his family.
His wife and I hit it off immediately.
We found it easy to talk to one another. Her family and my family share the same morals, goals, and priorities.
And not very long into our relationship, we decided to become best friends. Yes, we literally discussed it. She was having issues with her best friend at the exact time I was having issues with mine and she said (jokingly, but seriously) “Let’s just be best friends” and I laughed and said “YES”! 🙂 And then we were—still makes me smile.
Our friendship is easy—as friendships should be. We don’t have to talk everyday. We don’t have to see each other all the time. There’s no pressure in our relationship, but when we do get together, we pick up where we left off. Conveniently, our husbands feel the same way about each other.
I attribute our friendship with helping my marriage. Why? Because their marriage is so solid and they face many of the same issues we face as a military family. They embrace their military lifestyle and meet issues head on with God at the center. I attribute our friendship with helping our family dynamics. Why? Because they have MANY children and we only have two and I find myself freaking out about the smallest thing—but they build their children up and allow them to be who they are without trying to conform them and it is beautiful to us and a wonderful example of how a family should work. We admire them.
She has inspired me in many ways: to start a Bible study, to write, to be confident, to treat my man with respect and to create a safe place in our home.
We love each other. For. Real.
Their last child is named after me and recently, we were standing in my front yard, all talking, and we made retirement plans to all stay together after this military gig is over for us.
But on a Friday afternoon, only a week after planning our future, my phone rang:
Her: Lila, I need you to come to my house, right now. He’s gone.
Me: I’m on my way, but what do you mean, he’s gone?
Her: They are here, in suits, telling me that he’s gone.
Her man, her soulmate, her husband, literally plucked from this earth in his prime.
Just like that.
Jesus help me.
Even now, a few weeks later, there are still no words.
What do you say to your best friend, who has been your voice of reason and comfort so many times when her husband is gone?
Nothing. You say nothing.
It’s not okay.
There are no words for grief like that.
There’s no comfort you can offer.
You’re just there. You listen and you pray. You pray hard.
With eyes clinched tight and a voice that shook, I heard her say: “God, please take this cup from me”.
When there were no words, there were groans—grieving groans that wrench the soul.
Holy Spirit come.
Grief is a cruel, cruel thing.
He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds.
He defends and sustains them.
He hears their cry.
He restores them, making them strong, firm, and steadfast.
God is good.
One day, my friend will share her testimony…giving praise to His name.
He has a plan.