Honestly. I’m over it. The ministry of losing besties. I’ve walked this road multiple times, and last Friday a friend was tragically killed in a car accident, she was a bestie to many of my friends.
I’ve also walked alongside several besties who have lost their parents. Seemingly way too young, as well. Most after long battles of disease.
In 2019, I’ve been praying for a miracle for a bestie. She was given 1% in a cancer diagnosis. I literally said out loud thought sobs in my kitchen upon this news that “I can’t handle another bestie dying”. It’s too much. The kind of friends you’ve had for years. By the grace of God, the 1% is winning and she’s fighting.
A couple of weeks ago I picked up a $6 dozen roses on my grocery trip to fill the designated “fresh flowers vase” in my house. As I was arranging them memories of my sweet bestie Ashley flooded my mind, she arranged beautiful bouquets and never set a table without flowers. Those roses bloomed out to be the prettiest roses I’ve had in a long time. This isn’t even them at full bloom. A reminder of her every time I saw them I smiled.
Then Friday. August 23rd.
A text from a friend, a couple of phone calls. This news about my church friend. A car wreck. Gone. When I think of her this image comes to mind:
A person with a gift like no one else I know to see a blank space and create a beautiful space that glorified the name of Jesus.
Long before I knew her, I only recognized her as the wife of a husband who was the very first person to ever greet me on my first Sunday attending a new church alone on the launch day of a church plant. As I got to know her I saw her gifts of creative design humbly on display. Edison bulbs, Restoration Hardware LED Christmas trees, the name of JESUS in 8′ pieces of plywood, countless back-drops, Women’s Events decor and most recently as our church took permanent residence in a new building. She invited me into these spaces to letter a few times. Can you make two 9-foot banners with scripture? Will you show up a little early and letter signs for an Oreo cookie bar? Can you come by one more day this week and letter on the paper rolls in the new 5th grade room?
Her vision and touch of design is in every room of our new building.
I admired her work so much, and how she stewarded a gift God gave her so well. Several years ago I got to know her because of a group of Moms from my church who I am so fortunate to call friends. She is really their bestie. Seeing them grieve is heartbreaking. See, a bestie is unique. They are the people you call on when family doesn’t live down the street. They are a safe place when family needs to not be involved. They are often roommates. They come at the drop of a hat for sickness and other times of distress. They know all of your favorite things and can tell simply by looking at you something isn’t right. They are your best secret keepers. They laugh the hardest with you and shed tears with no shame alongside you. They hold a sacred space in our lives.
I know this because I have a tribe of besties I am fierce about.
And, I know what that grief feels like to others because I’ve lost besties from my tribe.
Friendship is such a gift to our lives. Having besties doesn’t come without time and effort. And, losing them comes with a really deep pain that someone without those kinds of relationships can’t understand.
I’m thankful for the day in late December when I went to church to letter a few signs on my lunch hour at work. We got to sit and chat about all things of life going on; a relationship for me, living in a new state for her, the holidays and getting to be “back home” with her people, vision for the church kids ministry rooms, a lot of laughs, too. That hour of time and conversation meant a lot to me then, and I’ll always treasure it.
This is what I know to be true about losing besties, I’ve wrestled with it since 1996:
I have hope because of Jesus.
One day all things that rip our hearts in two on this earth will be made right in heaven.
Until that day, “the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.“
I’ll cling to that verse and pray it for my dear friends who are brokenhearted with this news of last week. One day at a time, until Jesus returns, and we are reunited for eternity in heaven. The Lord will be close every day until then.
I know her friends and family would appreciate your prayers; for her husband, two young children, and extended family, which includes her besties.
I was reminded yesterday as we sang in church and tears stung my eyes, despite the heartbreak of this earth, He is worthy.
Be enthroned upon the praises
Of a thousand generations
You are worthy. Lord of all
Because of her faith, generations will be introduced to and know Jesus within our church walls and outside of it.
We will never know the number of generations who will be reached. It will be a lot.
Loving besties and walking incredibly hard seasons is worth it.
Because one more knows Jesus.
For that we can sing through tears.