Let me introduce you to an amazing friend in my life, Casey. She was fondly called CaseyMac in college due to her last name starting with “Mc.” I shortened her name to “Mac” so I may refer to her as both. You might want to remember that if you are keeping up with my blog, for I think she’ll be mentioned over and over again.
Last night I saw this facebook re-post and sent it to her because it describes her so well:
‘If you have a Bestfriend that will do everything for you, be there for you through thick n thin, love you unconditionally, even w/ all your faults, and be the first one there to pick you up when you fall; and give you a much needed kick in the … when necessary, then post this to your status. She will know who she is!! ♥'”
Our friendship began in second grade, evolving from see-saw partners on the playground, to ballet buddies at dance, to college roommates for 3 years, to the matron of honor at my wedding, to my “voice of reason” as I sort through these days since Tony left this earth. She has two adorable little people who I love so much – Chloe Melissa, my middle namesake, and Claire, and baby Kilgore on the way. Her husband is a mighty man of God, Kevin.
Mac was right beside me on my wedding day and right beside me on my 2 year anniversary too – not physically, but only a phone call away. She was the one I called in tears that morning and throughout that hard day.
I am so blessed to have such dear women as Casey and others (you know who you are) to speak Truth to me, love me as I am, and add such value to my life. Three of these women, Amanda, Karen, and Holly, served alongside me on my anniversary at City of Refuge. Amanda struck up a conversation with a lady sitting alone. I came over a few minutes later, then Holly and Karen. After telling us about her hard times that led to homelessness, she asked why we were there serving. I told her about Tony and our story and how my friends came to support me. She looked at my girlfriends and said to them, “wow, these are good friends. ” She went on to say, “I don’t have any friends. I’ve been stabbed in the back too many times and have decided that God is my only friend.”
In that moment, God reminded me of a night right before I left for college in 1998. I was crying out to God, scared to death of leaving my family to venture into life on my own for the first time. I begged Him to bring me friends, Godly friends, to come alongside me to be my family away from home. Boy, has He delivered over the last 12 years.
I told this lady at City of Refuge that I had prayed for these ladies long ago and that God answered my prayer. Tears began to stream down her face as she asked, “You can really ask God for friends?” Yes, dear sister, yes.
God gave Tony amazing friends too. Guess you really can’t refer to them as “boyfriends,” maybe “guyfriends.” So whatever you mighty men of valor are, you meant the world to Tony and mean the world to me.
One such man is Tony’s best friend, John. The first time I saw John after Tony’s death, the only words I could get out through my tears were “thank you for leading Tony to the Lord.” John did the greatest thing any friend could do, and I am forever grateful. I could write a book on John and Tony’s adventures…more on John, his beautiful wife and daughter, another day.