Have you ever wondered how you are friends with someone? Or look back to the memories and photographs of how you met your friend(s)?
As the school year comes to a close, I have made it my goal to schedule meet-ups with those who have been close to me throughout my college career. Yesterday, I met up with two friends that I have known since freshman year.
When I was a freshman, I was desperate for friends. I was lonely and to me it seemed that everyone had their own niche and friend-group. I was not a partier (in fact made an oath to God that I would abstain from such activities), which limited my friendship pool. But I was determined to have friends who had similar values to me.
I randomly introduced myself and sat next to those who were eating alone in the dining halls. Looking back, it’s embarrassing how awkward and creepy I was in approaching people. With a few uncomfortable conversations and weird glares, I walked away victorious. Somehow I gained a new friend through this unusual method.
This new friend (non-Christian) was a year older than I and thus graduated before me. Now that I am graduating, I made it a priority to meet up with her one more time. Two years ago, I gave her a copy of Case for Faith by Lee Strobel and when I asked her how the book was when she finished (a year after), I received a discouraging review from her.
However, during our meet-up, it seemed that her attitude had changed about the book and even asked for another recommendation. I suggested my favorite Christian author: Charles Stanley’s The Wonderful Spirit-Filled Life.
Throughout these years, I have seen God softening her heart and working through her. Since I met her, I have been praying for her to draw closer to Him.
The second individual I met up with was a friend from Calculus, freshman year. Funny story is that I switched from one Calculus section to this one. We were sitting on the ground, outside the classroom. To me, she looked exactly like Taylor Swift… again, me being super awkward, I snapchatted a picture of her (with her total acknowledgement) and sent her to my friends.
I began talking to her and constantly cracked jokes in hopes that she would befriend me. She was naturally reserved and quiet but as I continued to talk to her I could sense her opening up to me. A few years ago, she admitted to me that if I had not talked to her first, we would not have been friends.
I was terrible at Calculus and found out that she was a genius. So I guess you could say that I partially used our friendship to my advantage. We swapped numbers and she so graciously spent time and energy teaching me. I can honestly say that if it was not for her, I would not have passed that class.
I have always told her how much of a genius she was. It was just yesterday that she told me about how she took Calc in high school. Because she scored a 2 on the AP Calc exam, she was unable to receive credits for SU. As a result, she had to retake Calculus. If it were not for this, we would not have met.
We spoke for a long time last night and completely surprised me with her honesty about what sounded like a rebellious “love life” (she broke up with her boyfriend at the end of last semester)– her casual hook-ups, her tinder dates, and her text messages to guys she met at the bar or a house party. She told me how she felt like she did better when was with someone and that these hook-ups with these “nice guys” gave her attention that made her feel loved. But she also admitted to me that even these hook-ups got old.
As she was telling me this, I could not help but think of how unsatisfying and incomplete the love she was talking about. It was evident that she was searching for love, but saw how it ultimately failed her.
I thought about Jesus and His love for us. How His love is unfailing and is the only one that would make me feel whole and completely satisfied.
Going home last night, I discretely left behind a pocket New Testament Bible for her to keep. Inside it I scribbled a note to her.
I can tell you’ve been searching for love. But that love has always been in front of you. Jesus has always loved you first. John 3:16.
The next morning, I received a snap from her saying, “I love you so much” and a photo of the Bible.
I have been praying for these two friends for the longest time. I cried out to the Lord of how I longed to see them come to Christ and experience His love and grace. I selfishly feel let down when my friends have not become Christians yet, especially the ones I pour my heart into. Have I not prayed earnestly enough? Do I lack faith? These are the honest questions and desires of my heart that I ask the Lord. Lord, give me faith.