Meet Christina. She is my one of my bestestest friends in the whole wide world.
Lovely Miss Christina and I met 8 years ago. We got thrown together when we both joined a women's bible study on our college campus. I was newly saved, and highly un-sanctified. Christina had little patience for my tales of woe regarding the trivial, worldly concerns with which I was consumed at the time. Christina was bubbly and energetic in her faith. I found her to be infuriatingly cheerful and a little too eager to please.
Needless to say, it was not love at first sight.
Don't get me wrong, we never had any intent of malice toward one another. We saw each other as sisters in Christ and did our best to encourage and edify one another. But in the midst of that, it was also pretty clear that we often rubbed each other the wrong way. The. Wrong. Way.
I talked too much. About unimportant things. And cared too much about boys.
Christina was too loud. She sang to herself. And talked to herself. Loudly. In Public.
Despite our differences, we continued to try our hand at building a friendship. The road was bumpy, with the occasional head-on-collision.
Case in point: Christina was understandably frustrated by what appeared to be my utter disregard for the virtue of modesty during the early months of our
accidental companionship friendship. Prior to encountering the Lord during the middle of my freshman year of college, I was rather preoccupied with garnering and keeping the attention and affections of the male gender. I was not promiscuous, but I liked to feel wanted. Despite my desire for subtlety, certain pieces in my wardrobe reflected that desire a leeeeeeetle too much. So, one day as we were leaving to go to dinner, Christina looked at my outfit and said “You look trashy – I’m not going to dinner with you dressed like that!”
Oh, no, wait. That’s not what she said.
She was genuinely appalled at my choice of attire, but showing appropriate restraint she probably said gently, “Are you sure that shirt isn’t too tight/too revealing/too (enter immodest adjective here)?” I tried not to be offended, but my worldly mind wanted to scream – “EXCUSE ME? You dare to question my judgment?” After a moment of internal debate, I knew that she was completely right. I acquiesced and changed my clothes before heading to dinner, and a short while later I threw away the offending shirt.
So began the next chapter of our friendship. For some reason, God made us vulnerable to one another. We were aware of each others’ weaknesses and needs, and we didn’t always like what we found in each other, or in ourselves. As I spoke, I could practically feel her picking up on what was happening under the surface my heart, and as we spent time together, I got pretty good at reading her heart too. The amazing part was this: Although we were uncomfortable when the capacity for sinfulness found lurking in our hearts was revealed, the Lord was teaching us to speak the Truth in Love, and receive godly correction in humility. We cared for one another deeply, even when we were annoyed up to our eyebrows.
Soon, we were unfolding the deep places of our hearts to each other, and finding not only weakness and need therein, but also beauty, joy, and love. Somehow, through the rocky beginnings of our friendship, we had each become lodged deep within the others’ heart. We were bound in a friendship like none other I had known.
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Prov. 27:17
Christina is now serving our country as an officer in the U.S. Army. She is stationed in Iraq. Please see Part Two>>>> to join me in prayer for her.