“We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone… and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads form one to another that creates something.” Sandra Day O’Connor.
It’s 1996. My family has moved from San Diego to Indiana after my dad’s retirement from the Marine Corps. My mom has decided to homeschool me through middle school as the public schools in Indiana are not up to her standards. We start attending a co-op with other homeschool families. This allows for socialization and our parents teach subjects that others may not get at home like music, art, drama and foreign languages. I meet and befriend a boy named Joshua*.
It’s 2002. I’m a senior in high school and set on attending Wheaton College next fall. I ask my friend Julie to visit with me over one weekend. We’ve been friends throughout high school as some of the only non-Catholics in a Catholic school. Julie agrees to visit with me, not because she’s interested, but because it’s a fun trip to the Chicago area. Fast forward a couple months, I’ve applied for early admission. I was not accepted. Julie applied. She was accepted. I am devastated.
It’s 2009. Andrew was one of my first friends in Peace Corps. We actually rode together from the airport in Philadelphia to the hotel for Staging. A year and a half into our service, I was at one of the lowest points in my entire life. I was depressed and involved in increasing self-destructive behavior. Andrew sees and reaches out to me in my time of need.
Each of these friends has been woven back into my life over the last few weeks. Joshua and I reconnected, thanks to Facebook, in 2007, which led to a dinner in Atlanta in 2011. This past weekend I visited him in Tampa where he now lives. He took me to his church, Watermark and introduced me to some amazing godly people. He took time from his busy schedule to meet with me, encourage me and share life for those brief moments.
Julie and I reconnected, also thanks to Facebook, when she moved to Augusta, GA last summer for several months. I reached out since it’s only about a three hour drive from Atlanta and we were able to jump right back into a friendship that is based on so much more than just shared experiences. Julie had gone to Wheaton, met her husband and now both are career military. She was immediately excited about what God was doing in my life and as I went through the application process, she was always asking for updates. When the support letters, emails and Facebook messages went out she and her husband were among the first to pledge their support. Their generosity left me speechless. And I am still in awe of their love for the work of the Lord and the faith this displays.
Andrew is now married to the love of his life as well. He attends graduate school and time is limited. However, when he received my letter he took time from his busy schedule to compose a beautiful, heartfelt letter that uplifted my soul. Americans are so busy these days that writing a hand written note to friend can seem an overwhelming burden at times. I know this from personal experience. Writing a letter that obviously took thought and effort is a rare find in a digital world. I’m sure he did not believe his letter would have such a great impact. That’s the thing about being a friend, you never know how much it will mean to the person who needs one.
Our lives are interwoven together. People weave in and out of our lives. We have a small window in which to make a difference. But what a difference one person can make. I am reminded of the lyrics from “Through Heaven’s Eyes” that was sung by Jethro in DreamWorks’ The Prince of Egypt. He says:
A single thread in a tapestry
though its color brightly shines
can never see its purpose
in the pattern of the grand design
And the stone that sits up on the very top
of the mountain’s mighty face
doesn’t think it’s more important
than the stones that forms the base
So how can you see what your life is worth
or where your value lies
you can never see through the eyes of man
you must look at your life
look at your life through heaven’s eyes
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:3-6
*some names have been changed to protect privacy.