I first met my friend Edie online.
I didn’t have a blog yet.
It was just a far away dream.
I’d spend hours reading blogs and looking and sighing and hoping and wishing that one day I’d start a blog of my own.
And then right around Christmas several years ago, I read the most terrible news on Edie’s blog. Her house had burned to the ground.
I couldn’t believe it.
My heart almost broke in two when I saw this.
Her beautiful, wonderful, amazing incredible colorful house stood in ashes.
Burned and charred and an empty shell of its former self.
Later that week she wrote about the fire on her blog:
“at 4:30 in the morning, I awake to a terrifying amount of smoke. My husband miraculously crawls through the house to try to get to the kids. I am unable to follow him and jump out the nearest window and meet him at the front door. We stand screaming and sobbing and helpless,unable to get up the stairs to our kids. Caiti, my guardian angel daughter, who only by a miracle was even sleeping upstairs, was already awake and ushering the little girls out of harms’ way. She even has the forethought to have them cover their faces with their pillow. The image of my oldest daughter ushering her sisters through mortal danger to safety will forever be imprinted on my heart.
She’s the angel on the bridge.
My forever hero.”
Her story was so real.
Day after day I watched as she rebuilt her life from the ashes. I watched the new foundation and the new walls go up and the installation of the ceilings and the floors and the counter tops and the light fixtures.
Slowly and surely, a new chapter began.
Layer by layer by layer she bravely rebuilt her home.
And the best part?
In the face of all that adversity, she added color back to her life.
It shines through every nook and cranny of her home.
I was so happy for her.
From my tiny computer screen I laughed and applauded and embraced her faith journey and cheered her on every step of the way.
With her own struggles, with her own journey, she inspired me and encouraged me and made me feel like I was important and special and gave me courage during some challenging times in my own life.
The impact she made on me was immeasurable.
And then one day, I met her.
Like in-real-life-at-a-conference met her. We were both speaking and I went to her break-out room and looked around the corner. She was surrounded by people and there was a crowd circling around the room. I opened the door and waited. After a few minutes the crowds cleared and slowly, timidly, with my heart in my hands I approached her.
I told her everything. I told her how sorry I was about her house and how she had inspired me and how I had cried along with her and the difference that she had made in my life with her story and her faith.
And then something happened that I will never forget.
Something that made me cry.
Something that I will tell my children’s children about one day from the the rocking chair on my front porch.
She took my hands, with her feather earrings swinging over her shoulder and looked into my eyes….
….and told me we had to be friends.
She was right.
We did become friends.
We might seem like an unlikely pair, Edie with her feather earrings and me with my red lipstick. But the friendship has been priceless. We’ve laughed together and cried together and I’m forever grateful for the joy she has brought to my life with her example.
And her heart.
And her beautiful, wonderful, amazing home that laughs in colors. 🙂
PS Edie wrote about her journey in her new book All the Pretty Things.
I cannot recommend it enough. I couldn’t put it down. It’s about struggle and faith and a story that will make you believe in the impossible.
I’ll leave the book description to Edie.
She puts it so much better than I ever could:
“This is the story I never wanted to tell. It’s the story I’ve been trying to run from for forty years and the story I’ve been skirting around for nearly three. The words in these pages are all raw and fresh and hard-fought. What I don’t want to write about is the thing that scares me to death. What I don’t want you to know is that fatherlessness is my deepest ache, and being untethered and unspoken for my suffocating fear.”
I love you sweet friend. 🙂