In high school I was very blessed to have a great group of close girlfriends. We trudged through dating, algebra, and driver's ed together. We acted like silly gooses as much as possible and laughed until it hurt. We prayed together and encouraged each other in our walks of faith. Like I said, I was very blessed. Despite that incredible blessing I never had a "best" friend. I never felt cheated when my friends paired off with their own BFF's because I was just grateful to have all of them. But the summer before college I decided I wanted my own BFF. So, I prayed for one. Specifically that my college roomate would become my best friend. I love to remember how fresh my faith was then. I had no qualms about requesting that God would give me a best friend or about specifying to Him that I would prefer she be my roomate. It never occured me to not to trust God with that request. I'm glad I made it because God did, in fact, answer that prayer.
I still remember the day I found out my roomate's name-Karen Napp. Somehow I found out early before most people and the day that I spotted Karen Napp's name tag at freshman orientation I practically assaulted her in my attempt to greet her with excitement. She looked at me like I had a third eye and never said a word. NOT A WORD. Emily's attempt at gaining BFF in college-FAIL!!!!!
Thankfully I later learned she was just incredibly shy and overwhelmed by me (can you imagine? :) and she couldn't figure out how I already knew we were roomates since no one else had been privy to that info. After a phone conversation we would learn that she had a mini-fridge and I had a microwave. God had ordained our appliances to be exactly what we needed so surely He would also ordain this friendship. :)
He did! We became the best of friends. We watched Golden Girls and ate spaghettios like they were going out of style. We stayed up til all hours of the night discussing everything from western civ. to how to get our fingernails to grow. We became inseparable even including a time we accompanied a friend to the coast for a blind date because we were worried the guy might be a serial killer. Wasn't that great thinking on our part, giving the potential serial killer a 3 for 1 special? :) Thankfully, he turned out to not be a killer, but I'm pretty sure our attendance on that date did kill any future relationship possibilities.
Well, I would decide to change my major and leave that school. Many friendships wouldn't survive a move like that but ours did. Tomorrow, my best friend will celebrate her 30th birthday and all I can say is, how the heck am I old enough to have a best friend who is 30?????? JUST KIDDING!
Karen, you truly have been the best friend I prayed for. I can't think of a major life event that has happened in the last 10 (almost 11!) years that you have not seen me through. And boy have there been some life events! You helped me pack the little red rocket when I decided to leave Carey, and even though I was abandoning you , you assured me I was doing the right thing. You were with me the night before my wedding at Wal-Mart buying hemmoroid (sp?) cream because someone told us it would get rid of the bags under our eyes. You helped me unpack a bazillion and a half boxes in mine and Josh's first apartment. You were in the car with me when I totaled it and had the nervous breakdown of a lifetime. You took a week of your life to come help me teach 2nd grade Vacation Bible School. You helped me refloor a house. You were by my side when the nurse told me Kate was having trouble breathing and had to be taken to the NICU. You were still there minutes later when the nurse checked on me and I was having my own complications. You were still there hours later when my parents got to the hospital and you had to give them the news of everything that had happened. When I felt like God was leading me to quit my job you were the one who said, "You know you will make the right decision" even though at that point I really didn't know that. You were the one I called and said, "The doctor just disconnected the life support. We don't know how long it will take...". You have cried with me, prayed with me, and listened for HOURS to me whine, complain, gripe, say ugly things, and all other manner of venting.
Even more than all of the heartache we've shared, we've shared so much joy as well. I've learned that sometimes it is harder to find people to rejoice with you than to be sad with you. It takes a special friend to be TRULY as excited for you as you have been for me. It was such a blessing to have you spend the week before my wedding with me playing my personal assistant. You never once acted put out or jealous. You were as happy for me as if it were your own wedding. That is a gift. I love that we can laugh together and in a way that makes people in restaurants look at us funny. We share more inside jokes than we will probably be able to remember in a few years. You keep me informed on world events and up to date on all of the good books I need to read. I'm smarter because I'm friends with you. Well, okay, at least I'm more informed. :) You are the most thoughtful person and I can always count on a card at just the right time or the perfect gift. You are classy and sassy. You seek God in a way that makes me want to seek Him more. You are my best friend.
You have really been a friend to me for all seasons. I look forward to the seasons to come. We are so going to be 30, flirty and thriving. (Well, I can't be too flirty, being a married preacher's wife and all, but you know what I mean. :) I pray that this new season will bring you a fresh Word, a clear direction and a good amount of fun. :)
Psalm 119:105 says, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path". How I pray that our Father will fill you with direction, purpose and contentment on the path that light shines on. I know we are both anxious to see the whole path completely lit. But, I'm pretty sure if God had shown the floodgate on what life would hold for us these past ten years we would probably still be hiding under our dorm room beds in Bass Hall, scared to death to come out. You, of course, would lay out a clean sheet and be holding your lysol. :) So, I pray that we will just trust our Father to lead us one night light step at a time. He has big plans for you. I know it.
I love you Karen, my BFF! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!