When I first met Debra, I didn’t like her. Seriously.
Her daughter and my son were in the same gymnastics class, and she and I met while waiting for them in the lobby. She homeschooled. We homeschooled. She asked what curriculum I used, and I answered, “Eclectic.” She then promptly told me the best curriculum for my family, where to find it, how to use it, ad infinitum. It worked for her family, so surely it was right for us as well.
People like that drive me crazy. They sort of grate on my nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard. I cannot get away fast enough.
When I got home, I told Rob about this annoying control freak woman I had met. I told him how she aggravated me. I told him how I dreaded seeing her again, and then, I told him, “Watch. God will make us best friends.”
Rob watched, and God did.
To truly explain our whole friendship would take far longer than my fingers can withstand typing or your eyes want to read. But, again, let me assure you God has a twisted sense of humor.
I guess, if I had to pick one real reason we became friends, it would be because my son got a haircut.
(Didn’t I tell you God has a weird sense of humor?)
Robert was letting his hair grow so he could donate it for a wig. Anna was growing hers as well, but it is different for her. First of all, girls have long hair, and second, hers lay down. Robert, however, was a boy, and that isn’t as acceptable, and his did not lie down. In fact, it stuck straight out in every possible direction. He looked like a reject from an 80s pop band. It was…noticeable.
It was also the source of much teasing and mocking.
It amazed me how cruel adults (not other children. Children didn’t care) could be to children. While I tried to deflect much of the snide and rude comments, many fell on the shoulders of my five-year old son. Still, he didn’t waiver. He was going to grow his hair so some child would not have to be bald. Unfortunately, his hair stopped growing, and he was stuck in an painfully spiky limbo.
After some research, I found out he could donate his hair for it to be sold. The money made would go toward the cost of making the wig.
I explained this to Robert. He immediately sat in a chair. “Cut it now.” And I did.
I relayed this explanation for the wild hair and much longed for haircut to Debra. She said that is when she decided she had to get to know the woman who could raise a son like that.
I wish I could tell you we became friends over coffee and a Beth Moore Bible study. We didn’t.
We became friends in the front seat of her truck as we prayed for her family and her marriage. We became friends via email while she recuperated from West Nile. We became friends at 2:00 am when her heart was racked in pain due to marital struggles.
For fourteen months, we stood together believing for a miracle, believing God cannot lie, believing He could and would keep His word of healing and restoration, believing for a season of addition and not subtraction.
We sat in church together, cried together, and laughed together. When one of us got discouraged, the other was right there with a hand up. When others questions, we stood shoulder to shoulder and refused to budge.
As we approached our second New Year’s as friends, the Lord said my word for that year was, “It’s time to take the land.” Debra started calling me Joshua. Not long after, the Lord told her she would take her mountain, that His promises didn’t fail, and time did not defeat Him. Just as Caleb took his mountain, she would take hers. Then one day I was praying because I knew she needed encouragement. The enemy had come in like a flood, and she needed encouragement. I asked for Him to give her something to assure her, and He laughed and said, “Do you think any of this shocks me? I knew this when I named her. That mountain is hers.”
At first, I was confused. Then it struck me. Debra Kay. Debra Kay-leb. She truly was Kay-leb. Tears and laughter. Only God…
Joshua and Kay-leb. Fellow warriors. Fellow promise believers. When no one else understood, they understood each other. That was us.
At least most of the time. Sometimes even visionaries have trouble seeing…
(Part 2 tomorrow)
Copyright 2009 Jerri Phillips