Melissa has been one of my BFFs (best friends forever) since we were fourteen. I fell in love with her immediately for her fierce attitude, her courage, her ability to say things I hardly dared to think. And okay, for her curly red hair too. Her mom moved her and her siblings back to Scranton when we were sixteen, and I was devastated. I couldn't imagine life without her, I didn't want to. I thought we'd never see her again, that it would never be the same. I was partly right, it was never the same. We had to write letters and talk on the phone and travel a few hours to see each other. It wasn't always easy to be long distance friends. It took work. Luckily for me, she is a dedicated letter writer and communicator, because I have been known to slack on both of those fronts. But over the more than ten years that we lived in different cities, we remained close friends.
And then a few years ago, she moved back to Philly! We've grown closer than ever since she's returned, and now it's funny to remember how scared I was that I would lose her friendship, because she is part of the small handful of people that I see and talk to most.
She's on the brain because she gave birth to a gorgeous baby boy this week, which got me to thinking about life. (Dangerous, I know.) If Melissa hadn't moved to Scranton, she wouldn't have met her husband. If she hadn't met her husband, not only would I not know The Dicker, one of my favorite people in the world, but also we wouldn't have Alexander. And it's clear as day to me that the world needs Alexander, that he's part of the plan.
So it's true that things were never the same, but they actually got better. This helps me in two ways:
1) When things are uncertain, I tend to assume the worst. But in this scenario, not only did I keep my friend, but added two more amazing people to my world (and a really sweet dog.)
2) When things are painful, I always want an explanation. You know, like "why would God do this to me?" kind of thing. And though an explanation while the pain is happening would be nice, today when I finally understood the much greater good that came out of my friend moving away, it helped me to believe that there actually is a plan, even when I don't understand it.
So I'm grateful this morning, not just for Baby Alexander and his parents, but for friendship--real, true, deep friendship. I'm grateful for acceptance. For having people in my life with whom I can be totally honest, totally myself. For people with whom I laugh early and often. For the support and nourishment I get from my friends. And for this new tiny bit of insight into the Universe that just may allow me to have a little more faith.