I'm not much of a party planner lately, so it wasn't really planned. I don't have a lot of friends down here yet, so it wasn't a large party. It wasn't even really a "party." It was a whole, wonderful weekend spent drowsing and watching movies and playing with Piper and visiting the beach and getting a flat tire and hanging out and going out and talking and laughing in-between times. We didn't remember to get a photo of us together until Leeann was on the plane headed home - Can you imagine, this photographer has been on camera strike lately.
This whole Sister Party thing left me feeling a bit unsure of myself, wanting to participate, not really having close friends I could just hang with - until Leeann came to town for a visit.
Leeann's visit refreshed me. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding, the one bridesmaid who was really there for me, even though I didn't realize it at the time. She sees me as I am, and is willing to be who she is with me in spite of it. We talk about God and life and learn from one another; she challenges me with her optimism in the face of D.C. politics. I love seeing how God has secreted her away from the power struggles there and given her a passion for hearts instead.
I can still talk about boys with her too - she's single and fantastic. She hasn't yet met the guy who wants God the way she does, and she doesn't want to settle. So we can giggle and dream together and I get to wonder some more at the man God dropped into my life, because I sure wouldn't be married yet if He hadn't been holding and moving Pete's heart to Himself.
I've known Leeann for eight years now. She's been my friend since I started collapsing with undiagnosed M.S., since we both had feelings for the same guy, since I dropped out of school and we read John together in my new office. And since I got married, she has remained my friend, has been willing to give me a chance to be me in spite of marriage, has made a friend of Pete - sometimes it freaks me out, their same sense of humor!
My sister party wasn't so much an hour for hanging out and chatting it up as it was a time to drink deeply of my appreciation for this real-life friendship that has grown through the ups and downs and ins and outs that life hands you through college and career and singleness and marriage and kids. I think I'd have appreciated it without Amber's invitation for participation - but I wouldn't have thought about it so much.
I'm not one who makes friends easily; the doors haven't exactly been thrown open in the relatively closed culture that is our new town. Oh sure, if you go to the right church, or know the right people, you can make relationships. It has been a stretching time for me, a questioning time when I'm not sure I want to be alone, a wait time for God to open doors and provide opportunity to share.
I wonder what new He may have for me in the coming year.
(Image © Informal Moments Photography)