It's been a big week.
One of my dearest friends underwent a double mastectomy and reconstruction this morning.
I still don't completely believe she has cancer. It all seems a bit like a bad dream from which I will eventually wake. And yet we keep plodding along, one foot in front of another from mammogram to biopsy to diagnosis to surgical plans to setting a date and now ... today.
We met in the shared struggle of wrangling active boys in our church's fellowship hall. I, pregnant with our third, she anticipating adoption of their third ... they would be 3, 2, 1 ... we would be 3, 2, newborn ... a shared excitement mixed with fear. She a stay at home "pastor's wife", I a stay at home "not sure what's next".
Life took us many directions in the years between. Mine are now 6, 5, 3 and hers 6, 5, 4. She no longer stays home. A pastor also, she has heeded her call. I live in the in-between. A call on my heart as well, still discerning, balancing the needs of family with the claim on my life to ministry.
And through the in-between, she has walked beside me, quite literally. Continuing a friendship between a SAHM and a working mom isn't easy. The demands of our lives became quite different. But there we were - 5:30 a.m. Walking side by side. Discerning next steps. Sharing sorrows. Celebrating joys. Carried and carrying.
And as much as I wanted to take away today for her and her precious family ... it simply is.
And in the weeks to follow there will be meals, and there will be tears. There will be exhaustion and pain.
And we will keep walking.
Because we have been called ... to each other and out to the world.
And we take turns. The being carried and the carrying.
And there really is no more beautiful thing in the world.
For this is our command, "Just as I have loved you, you should love one another." John 13:34