This song came on the radio the other day. It always reminds me of my friend Bonnie.
We met when we were 12. Ahh...the good old days of budding puberty and incredible awkwardness. Since we were both extra awkward, even by 12yo standards...we became fast friends.
Bonnie was a christian. I was not. That was ok tho. She was still whole-heartedly my friend, and I didn't make fun of that weird churchy stuff. It was a very good match. Our awkwardness paired well and put us at ease with each other.
Bonnie witnessed to me in the best possible way she could. Like most 12 year olds, I wouldn't have responded to anything telling me anything. Because at 12, I already knew everything, so what could she tell me that I didn't already know? So she witnessed quietly. Gently. With actions instead of words. Loving me beyond my 12yo confusion and general angst at the world.
By high school, I'd decided that if there even was a God, He was a big, fat smelly jerk. Since my home life sucked more than usual and generally went straight to crap, He must not care much.
Our senior year was hard for both of us. We both had troubled home lives, and her parents divorced our senior year. Mine had divorced the summer before. While the divorce was welcome to me, because it meant an end to many years of tension, home life in general still sucked. I solved that by spending at little time at home as I could possibly get away with. I came home to sleep. Sometimes eat. Escape worked at the time. Of course, that meant I didn't deal with anything on an emotional level, but eh, whatever works when your 17 and in denial right?
Anyhoo. While I was filled with confusion and anger and general denial...Bonnie was filled with quiet, calm faith. That's not to say it wasn't hard on her. Of course it was. And she had real, big feelings. But under all of that was a calm I'd never seen in anyone before.
That was when I felt the first twinge of something besides apathy or anger towards Christianity.
I felt jealousy.
I was jealous of her faith. Her assurance that her life wouldn't be a trainwreck forever. Her total trust that her pain had a purpose.
Life moved on tho, I got married and moved away, but we still always kept in touch, visiting when we could.
11 years from when we became friends to when Justin and I came to Christ. 11.years. That's a long time to wait on something you want so badly.
It took a long time, but God is faithful. He had His way in His time.
I reflect on what might have been of my life...and it wouldn't be pretty.
Bonnie and I have been friends for 18 years. Over half our lives! As much as I love her nerdiness, her fun quirks and excellently gross sense of humor, the dearest place she holds in my heart is as the first person who showed me the love of Christ.