Okay, confession. When I was growing up I didn’t have many girl friends. I think it was partially because I had no brothers, and partially because I was so much a tomboy. And there was only one girl my age who lived on Aime Street. I did, of course, have girls in my class at school, but – except for a very few trusted female souls, I wasn’t really part of a big group of girl friends.
Girls did a lot of chatting and fussing about things and wondering who’s class ring they were going to wear… I did a lot of climbing trees and digging in the dirt and learning how to put a proper spin on a football, and scheming about being Mr. Miyagi’s next protoge’….
So yeah, not a lot of girlfriends.
In the years that followed, God was so kind to me. He began to really weave some wonderful, godly women into my life. I didn’t even know at the time I was sorely missing out on something. But through the years that followed some of those young women helped shape me and refine me in ways I couldn’t even imagine that I needed.
It’s such a blessing to have kindred spirits in your life – ones you know God put there. For better and worse. In my case, mostly worse. I had a lot of refining to do.
So, in some upcoming posts, I’d really like to honor some of these gals.
And – completely out of chronological order, I’ll start with this one.
This is Teesa (and her Hubby, Bill).
We met overseas in southeast Asia, and were members of the same team. We grew into pretty good friends while we lived over there together – I think she quickly spotted that my personality was very similar to hers and she began offering tidbits of advice on marriage, since I was soon to be heading back to the States to marry Jeffrey. At the time, I thought I knew myself pretty well and was prepared for what married life would bring. But you know… in the words of an old, loveable Japanese man, ‘someone always know more’.
It wasn’t really until Teesa and Bill and their newborn son Sam returned to the States that we really began to be closer friends. She is fun, a fantastic cook. She is sharp and quick-witted and loves to laugh. She is loyal. And she’s one of those friends who will straight-up tell you like it is.
Whether we’re discussing our faith-walk or recipes… or potty-training… or how our babies won’t sleep… We have ‘been there’ through a myriad of ups and downs. When her son had life-threatening issues (more on that in a bit) and when I had a miscarriage…
And when they were going through the adoption of their daughter from China, I felt like I was living it with her. I even gave up Coca-Cola as a fast until they finally had their daughter on US soil.
That’s serious friendship, ya’ll. (wink)
Now we have emailed on an almost daily basis the past 6 years – we’re talking – literally – thousands of emails back and forth. Seriously. Someone buy us some plane tickets, okay?
I daydream that when we co-write our book together, we’ll be brought on the Oprah show (oh, right, she doesn’t have a show anymore, huh?… well, the Today Show) and we’ll have this big glorious reunion there live, on the air… two friends from across the nation… who haven’t seen each other since their firstborns were babies… get the tissues ready; this is going to be glorious…
Teesa and I recently had a conversation about her name, which is pretty unique. As a result, I decided to do a little research and found ‘Teesa; is a variant of “Theresa”- it could be derived from the Greek “theros” meaning “summer”, or from the Greek “therizo”, meaning “harvest“.
I love this, because if you know Teesa, you know that she is just radiant. Not only does she have that beautiful Haley Mills blonde hair and fair skin, and that fabulous smile, but she just really shines with love for Jesus. She loves sharing Jesus with others. She loves discipling others. So of course, her name means ‘harvest’. It totally fits her.
Through the years, I’ve watched her go through various trials and come out clutching more tightly to Jesus and more grateful for His mercies. And six years ago, when they came upon some serious issues with their son, I watched her place herself in God’s mighty hand once again.
She wrote her story recently on another blog, and you can read it here. Go read it!
What a loving Father-God I have for putting such fabulous women in my life. I’m so grateful that life is about relationships. Learning from others… leaning on others… encouraging others… because in this life, one thing is true: ‘first learn stand; then learn fly’.