"Surely the Lord purposes precious friendships as quiet whispers of encouragement along the paths we walk." -Kala Allen (my sister-in-law)
In August 2009, the Lord brought a very special friend into my life. Besides Lily's father, she was the first person to know about my sweet little flower. I call it our "friendiversary." ;)
I knew about her story because Eric and Leslie Ludy, who have authored several books that have greatly impacted me, adopted her son almost 8 years ago, when she was 18-years-old. I had read about her and her son, Kip, on their website/blog, so I knew her name. I decided to look her up on Facebook so I could write to her and share what I was going through. I was desperate for a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on so to speak, especially from someone who would understand, someone who had walked a similar path to my own. It is hard to believe that 7 years ago is when I first contacted her and our friendship began. I pored my heart out to her through words on a screen. She was such a support and encouragement to me at that extremely difficult time. She prayed for me and shared her own heart and story with me. God knew what He was doing when He brought her into my life. She was a whisper of hope and encouragement.
Once I chose life for my baby, I was suddenly facing the choice between adoption and parenting. I knew that either choice would be difficult to make. I was seriously considering adoption, when God was bringing me to a place of complete and total surrender. I wanted the best for my child. I pored over videos, songs, and stories about adoption. There were many tears shed over the thought of it. I just wanted the Lord's will for my life and my baby's life. I had to do what I knew God led me to do, no matter how afraid I was of other people's opinions or of what my life would look like.
Not only was Bex the first person that knew about Lily and a part of what God used to give me strength and courage as I faced an unplanned pregnancy, but she supported me throughout my entire pregnancy. She was there when I lost Lily. She's been there through it all. We have both had to let go of our babies, just in different ways. Bex lives in Colorado and I live in North Carolina, though at the time that we met, I was living in Virginia. After 2 1/2 years of friendship, we finally met in person in 2011 when I attended Ellerslie Leadership Training in Colorado, which Eric and Leslie Ludy started. It feels like I've known her so much longer than I have.
We have had many precious times together, sharing our hearts of love for our children, sharing memories, both painful and beautiful, blog entries, songs, letters, and many laughs. I am thankful for her friendship. Bex got married in September 3 years ago and I was able to go to Colorado for her wedding. It was precious to see her birth-son Kip walk her down the aisle to her man. :) It is quite special that I have all of our messages and emails from the time we first met, safely tucked away in Lily's memory chest.
Me and Bex last August on an adventure in Denver
Our friendship bracelets and our tattoos for the little ones who brought us together in friendship 7 years ago... She was the first person to know the name that is now forever on my wrist.
With Kip at his 3rd birthday party in 2011