We were friends through elementary school, best friends in high school. We shared classes and sleepovers, personal victories and disappointments.
Our relationship is no longer that close; I’m here on the east coast while she lives out west. But we still keep in touch the old-fashioned way, through cards and notes on birthdays and holidays.
When no card arrived for my wedding anniversary in late summer, I wondered how she was. But as the weeks passed, I just waited expectantly for her Christmas greetings. The card, along with a note, arrived a couple of days ago.
She has been fighting breast cancer for the last seven months. After undergoing chemotherapy and surgery, she had her last radiation treatment on December 20th, putting, Lord willing, the most difficult part of the journey behind her.
Because of another need she had mentioned back in the spring, I was already praying for her. In the last couple of months, when I wasn’t sure if that situation had been resolved, I just began asking God to meet whatever need she might be facing. Little did I know the importance of those prayers.
In the picture she included with her card she is bald, yet smiling the warm, contagious smile I remember from years ago. I can only imagine the testimony she has maintained through this trial, as her note begins and ends with references to God’s love, goodness, and peace.
In this season of reflecting while also looking ahead, may this unexpected reminder of the frailty of life and the providence of God direct my thoughts and goals for the coming year.