It was so good to see how all those girls have grown and to FaceTime with Elle over in Hawaii, buoyed up by many of the things that family had seeped into her heart over the years.
There was another family in England who also took Elle under their wing…as recommended by one of our family’s best friends. Teenage girls who helped Elle feel so much better so far from home. We’ve also stayed in touch with them through the years and two of them were in Utah this summer and got to go to lunch with Elle who is living there:
And then as luck would have it, they came here to the desert a couple times for some photography things the oldest is doing. I love how circles of friendship just keep going.
Also, in the spring I went to my nephew’s baptism. We settled into our little bench to listen to the talks and after the opening prayer I heard “Shawni???” whispered from behind me.
Turned out that one of my mission companions from Romania almost twenty-five years ago was sitting there, both of our jaws on the ground. She was there to support another little boy she teaches. What are the chances she and I would be in the same chapel at the same time sitting one row apart? She’s one I had totally lost touch with and it was SO great to reconnect.
Growing up at Bear Lake each summer we attended church in Dingle, Idaho (still do). As a shy young teenager I was so glad there was a girl my age in that congregation who eventually became one of my best friends. She would come sleep over at our cabin, we would pray for good waterskiing weather (ha!) and make my parents breakfast in bed. Her family taught me to ride a horse and oh the memories we share! We have kept tabs on each other through the years since we always go to Dingle for church and her parents still live there. But this last Sunday, sitting in the Dingle church building I was shocked to see that childhood friend of mine sitting on the stand ready to give a talk. She and her family had just moved back to Dingle:
Oh the catching up we had to do! Oh the stories we reminisced about! (We had her family come join us at the lake a couple days later so we could catch up…loved that we now have kids the ages we were way back then, and that they could get to know each other a little). I’m so grateful for her and how she shaped so much of my growing up.
Also at Bear Lake I got to have another childhood friend join us. This one is more like a sister than a friend…she spent countless hours with us up at the lake as well, but she also had my back all through school back at home. How lucky I am to count her as one of my best and most dear friends.
I don’t believe all these people were put in my path by chance.
I’m with C.S. Lewis: there is a “secret Master of Ceremonies” at work.
Good friends are golden.