September 23, 2008 | My Joys
This is my dear friend Carey. She and I met about 24 years ago at a young couples’ small group gathering through our church. We were in our twenties then and still pretty naive about so many things. Now we are middle-aged and hopefully a little wiser. We giggle about how in another 24 years we’ll be clacking our dentures and cackling together on the phone like we always have. Cackling and clacking. We won’t look as cute if we cackle and clack, but the love will still be there.
Carey and I have seen each other through a lot in life. Or you might say that we have clung to our friendship while we’ve waited and watched for Jesus to see us through. We have cried to each other too many times to count, carried one another’s burdens as the scriptures encourage sisters in the Lord to do, and laughed and lunched and longed for higher things together.
My husband and I were eating dinner with family the night we got the horrible call that Carey’s husband Gary had died suddenly at age 26. I spoke at Gary’s funeral and wondered how God would show Himself to a young widow who had experienced less than two years of marriage. Then God brought new love to her life, and I rejoiced when she and David were married. I also remember the phone ringing in the night and Carey’s soft voice saying, “We have a girl!” Now that little babe is doing wonderfully in college. I will never forget the night their third child was born. I went down to the hospital to be with their two sleeping young daughters, while she and David waited to welcome their son. I couldn’t help bursting into tears when I heard his healthy cry, and when I drove home I pondered: death, life, tears and tragedy, health and happiness. I’m so glad God gives us friendships to help us hurt and to help us celebrate. Carey has certainly done this in my life.
Carey isn’t just a loyal friend. She is a real-life version of Wonder Woman, if you ask me. There are so many things she does well it’s astounding. She can cook and bake delectable meals and treats, and the desserts she makes look like they’re off the cover of Bon Appetit. She can expertly fish for walleye, bring down a deer with an accurate shot, then gut it with a knife. She can butcher the deer and then make her own sausage from the meat. She can properly tear apart an outdated room in an old house all by herself. She can install ceramic tile. Carey can sew beautifully, and used to have a business doing just that. Then she started making the most unique and gorgeous dried florals, and couldn’t keep up with the demand. Today she makes jewelry and when she eventually has the website I think she needs, I’ll update this post and you can see her gorgeous creations. She can read a how-to manual on just about anything and then do the job well. She handily changed a flat tire for me once. She has sewn incredible Halloween costumes. She sacrificially and cheerfully did all the flowers for the wedding of one of our daughters. She can pour concrete and she can create a breathtaking English flower garden. She can canoe, portage and set up camp in the Boundary Waters and she can put on a fabulous English tea. But even though she’s strong and can meet a physical challenge, she’s very feminine, tender, beautiful and kind.
Carey is smart, too. Really smart. She has two college degrees and could probably get a third while building a garage, altering a wardrobe and feeding the multitudes. But she wouldn’t like me telling you that, because she’s humble. She has a quiet servant’s heart that always wants to make people feel cared for, listened to, and helped in a practical way. Not too long ago she came to my house and helped me put a bed together, move some furniture around, prime the kitchen walls, and fold some clothes. She made me feel like this was no big deal to her, yet it meant so much to me.
We were in a book club together for a decade. We have read and discussed and recommended books to each other time and again. I can imagine we’ll be talking books while we’re clacking and cackling. We’ve even talked about visiting some of the places we’ve read about. Our most recent travel dream is the island of Guernsey in the English Channel. Up until now the farthest we’ve gone together is Minneapolis, but we had so much fun on that trip I think we could handle Guernsey someday.
One special memory is when we met for a movie one evening – a film about chocolate. Or maybe it was just a movie about life, with lots of chocolate thrown in, which isn’t that far from the truth of our own lives, actually. Carey and I couldn’t simply sit there and enjoy the movie together. We hunkered down in the theater seats and ate huge, freshly baked and still warm, gooey, appropriately chocolate cookies as we watched, and washed them down with jars of cold, smuggled-in milk.
We know what brings joy to each others’ hearts. We well understand what brings pain and fear. But we also know how to point each other back to the Lord, and that is what I cherish about our friendship.
Carey and I have been in many Bible studies together, marking each summer with a different Beth Moore study, and each fall, winter and spring we attend Community Bible Study. We have learned so much about God and His goodness together, talking things out and praying for each other. I think that’s the main thing that comes to mind as I think over the years we’ve been friends – God has grown us up together, in Him. He has instructed us about life and eternity, and about His inscrutable ways; He has shown us what we can live through as we walk with Him, and in His kindness He has given us our friendship, which is truly rooted in Christ.
After all these years she still warmly says to me, “Julie, it’s so good to hear your voice.” I feel the same way about her.
I want you to get to know Carey. It’s so good to have her as a friend.