One hot humid July day I made a new friend. A cute young black woman caught my eye as I pounded the asphalt route in our neighborhood. Our paths merged onto a narrow sidewalk. There we were side by side, with nowhere else to go. I couldn’t easily jog ahead or lag behind. Would my awkward closeness make her uncomfortable? With no thought at all, words jumped from my mouth, “Well, I guess we’ll have to walk together.”
“That’s fine,” she said. “What do you do?” That’s all it took. A long answer to questions she hadn’t even asked rolled off my tongue. As I look back, I can’t believe how raw and transparent I was with a stranger. I may be an introvert but I love deep meaningful conversations. She listened intently as I described what I’d been writing just before the walk.
“I’m pretty emotional right now. I may cry. I’ve been writing a story about my developmentally-disabled daughter. I’m imagining how different my life would be if I’d been aware of her disabilities and chosen an abortion. I don’t mean to make you uncomfortable.” My thoughts spilled out before I considered how difficult the subject was. An Abortion Dilemma and Abortion Dilemma—A Few More Thoughts
“Well, I’m the result of a date gone wrong, as my birth mother put it. I’m so glad she chose to carry me. She turned a difficult situation into a good life for me. She also gave birth to my sister and we were adopted by the same wonderful parents.”
Whitney’s birth mother was a good candidate for abortion, some folks might say. I looked into the face of this beautiful young woman who’d been spared by the love of her first mother who gave her life, and her second mom who’d raised her in a loving home.
It was soon apparent that our Christian faith was the driving force in each of our lives. Similar topics were of interest to us both. We’d known each other only twenty minutes, yet when Whitney’s neighborhood came into view we kept talking. Neither of us wanted to say goodbye. We had more to discuss. Dare I say we felt like friends?
After we went to our homes, we began a text thread that continues today. She told me all about her husband and three boys. We’ve discussed raising teenagers, loving husbands and cooking meals.
She’s an accomplished musician and entrepreneur. She owns a creative arts academy and gives young people private lessons in voice and piano.
We’ve racked up lots of miles on our neighborhood path, eaten together, and watched the Jesus Revolution. After I shared my story about becoming a Christian during the Jesus movement, she sent me a text: “I want to see the Jesus Revolution movie with you.” So that’s how we celebrated her birthday. My Jesus Revolution
When we talked about our families, I learned her parents had passed away. I could tell she missed them a lot. My mind was spinning. How could our experiences have meshed to such a degree? I had a nagging thought that we were puzzle pieces needed in each other’s lives.
When is your birthday? I asked in a text. Turns out, she was born four days after Dawn. She missed her mom, and I missed the life I’d anticipated for my daughter Dawn. I’ve experienced perpetual sadness over Dawn’s losses due to her disabilities.
Were we thrown together on the path to encourage each other? Did we have empty spots the other could fill?
Another person may look at us and think we’re an odd combination, but we have the most important pieces of our lives in common. Jesus is in our midst and He makes all the difference. Whatever points we may diverge on are small in comparison.
On the day we met, we were both mesmerized by what had happened. Whitney sent me a text:
The Lord is up to something here!
She added a music video she’d created and directed with her students.
Before the beginning of time God knew Whitney and I would meet on that path and share our stories.
He knew we’d become friends.
How can we live expectantly each day, ready for His surprises? How can we lean into His plan with joy?
Who knows when God will break through our average days with His miracles?
Oh, the wonder of God!