I don’t know how to word any of this. This is going to be long and boring for most of you but I don’t care. You see, on Wednesday my best friend is leaving the country for 7 months. Today I spent my last real day with her. I’ll probably see her for a bit tomorrow, but today was our last day with just the two of us. We went out for coffee and then spent literally all day laying in my backyard talking and taking pictures. It really was a beautiful day. It poured this morning but by the time I met with Diana it had cleared up and the sun came out. Yesterday was her official goodbye party and I cried buckets full of tears. I was feeling so sad last night; but today I’m actually feeling hopeful. So maybe I won’t cry as much writing this as I thought I would. Maybe it just hasn’t sunk in yet. Or its because I know I’ll see her for a bit tomorrow. I’m not sure.
But now to get down to what I have to say.
How do you thank someone for changing your life? Why are the most important words to say always the hardest? These were questions I thought of as I was hugging my best friend goodbye while we waited at the bus stop. I was crying, she was tearing up, and there was that lingering knowledge that we would spend a lot of time apart. I wanted to say so much but all the words got caught in my throat and I wondered why it was so hard to speak. Maybe it was because mere words can’t describe how blessed I have been to be Diana’s best friend.
I met her in 2012. I honestly have no idea how we became friends. All I know is that one minute I didn’t know her at all, and the next moment I couldn’t live without her. I didn’t know I needed a best friend until she came along. She taught me so much and changed me so much…I couldn’t put it into words. Today I could only say one thing to her, and it was from Sherlock. “I was so alone…and I owe you so much.” Because how do you repay someone for walking into your life and blessing it in the way that she did mine? I didn’t only find my best friend in Diana, I found my other half. My partner in crime. My sister. God had everything to do with it. She came from another country and after 10 years here, God brought her to me. To my church. It still amazes me that she chose to be my best friend. I have a lot of amazing people in my church and so many of them could have been her best friend; yet she chose me. Not only that, but she puts up with me and she understands me. Who else would hold my hand and not judge me while I’m crying during X-Men: Days Of Future Past? No one else understood why I was freaking out when I saw The Winter Soldier. And when we first became friends, she let me talk to her for hours straight (not exaggerating) about Star Wars after I made her watch all 6 movies because I had to catch her up on all the entire EU. She also didn’t think I was crazy after I told her why the Star Wars universe meant so much to me.
Diana has always put up with my nonsense and my moods and she never once complained about it. She was the person who taught me to be myself. She taught me that I never need be ashamed of my feelings or the things God teaches me or says to me; no matter how crazy or far fetched they seem. She taught me to love without limits and worship whole heatedly. But there is one thing I could never thank her enough for. One day I went up to her and said I wanted to do big things; to be a world changer. After thinking about it, I realized I knew who I wanted to help, and I had found a way to do it. So I asked Diana if we could start a ministry together. We could help teenagers who struggled with self harm, depression, and eating disorders; and we could run a website and have an email address so kids could tell us their stories. (I’m a huge believer in the power of hearing and sharing stories.) We prayed about it and it was clear that this was what God wanted. In January of 2013 we launched our website. In a few months we were on Facebook and eventually we got onto Twitter as well and then before we knew it we were discussing outreach nights and going to college so we could run a recovery house in the future. This was all able to happen because Diana was willing to listen to my life story and she accepted me. I had found someone who had the same mindset that I did. I had always thought I was alone in how my mind worked. But she got me. I couldn’t even begin to tell you those ways; we’re so weird.
Then once our ministry launched, we got even closer. Our spiritual lives were connected. We grew in the Lord together and learned what the bible meant when it said “As iron sharpens iron, so does one man sharpen another.” I don’t know how to put it all into words. They don’t seem to do any justice. I know that people can clearly see that Diana and I are close, but they can’t feel what I feel. I didn’t know it was possible to love another person this much. She taught me what the real meaning of friendship is. In the Lord Of The Rings, Sam is alone after he thinks Frodo has been killed by Shelob. He decides to go and rescue him whether he be alive or dead; and he’s able to find the strength in him to do so because of his love for Frodo. That was the only thing keeping him going. I know how he feels now. I can’t imagine how hard these next few months are going to be for me, but I know that my love for my best friend is going to keep me going. She’s the Sam to my Frodo.
I hope that one day each and every one of you find a person that makes your life seem significantly brighter; someone who makes you smile when you feel like you’re about to cry, and someone who loves you for who you are and doesn’t demand any more or any less of you. Diana did those things for me. My brother told me once that he believes God has someone for everyone; that He will never allow someone to be alone. However, we tend to think of that person as a boyfriend/girlfriend. God might allow us to be “single” forever, but He won’t let us be alone. I have found this to be true. I’ve never had a boyfriend, but I’ve also never been alone. The companionship that I have with my best friend is remarkable. She’s really reflected Jesus to me. I wonder if this was how Jesus was with His disciples. Countless times did He talk about love; and it feels like this is exactly what He meant. He commands us to love one another just as He loved us. That means having unconditional love. Diana showed me unconditional love; because she didn’t stop loving me when I was being difficult and she didn’t stop treating me with respect even when I was less than respectful to her. She was mature when I acted like a child.
When you text someone at 10 o’clock at night because you’re running a fever and need to go to the hospital and she immediately catches a bus to come be with you and then stays awake with you in the ER all night, you know you’ve found a real friend. One time I felt so afraid and triggered and couldn’t sleep because I was afraid of being alone and having nightmares, so Diana stayed awake until well past 2am Skyping with me and telling me weird stories to keep my mind distracted. Another time I felt triggered she said she would walk over if it wasn’t raining. It was also 11 at night and she lives 3 miles away. She has been a selfless friend to me. But on a less serious note, I know I can be weird around her. We insult each other using Ben&Jerry’s ice cream flavors, make references to shows she doesn’t even watch, and speak in song lyrics. We call the people we meet through our ministry “our kids.” And we quote John Hughes films more than is considered normal. We play chess like Xavier and Erik from X-Men. We re-enact the poster for The Fault In Our Stars. She lets me cry on her shoulder and rant about my boy problems and other friend drama. She helps me sort out my thoughts when I can’t understand what my head is doing. She lets me fangirl like crazy over things she cares nothing about. She believed in me when I didn’t even believe in myself.
I could brag about my best friend for days and days and days. I’ll probably mention her a lot in the next 7 months. Everything reminds me of her. Its just borderline creepy actually. I’m going to miss her more than words can ever say. Its going to annoy everyone so much. I’m going to talk about her all the time, yet smack someone if they dare mention her. I apologize because the first person to say “I miss Diana” is gonna be punched. Because I miss her. I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel when the other half of my heart is across the world from me. I don’t plan on being a functional human this week after she leaves. And this is when I’m going to rely on my other friends. I’m going to feel so alone. I know I won’t be, but I’m going to feel so empty for a while. I know I won’t be okay for a long time; I’ll be okay eventually, but not right away. And I’m going to need people to understand that. Looking at this whole post, how do you function when that person is taken away from you? Its even worse when she’s going off on a missions trip; so I can’t possibly be mad at her for following God’s call across the world.