2021 ended with incredibly happy memories and incredibly sad ones. The beginning of the year brought our family so much happiness when we welcomed our sweet Addleigh Elaine but a brief time after, I was walking through one of the hardest times I have ever faced with my faith.
If you know me well, you know my best friend, Kelli. She is the Thelma to my Louise, the salt to my pepper, the adventure to my cautious. We have experienced so much over the last nine years. I have always said Kelli is more like a sister than a friend. She is honest, funny, hardworking, the best aunt to my children, and the best friend I have ever had. There are so many good things I could say about her but this last year the best word I can use for her is courageous.
May 2021 started what would become one of the hardest walks of faith for me as a friend. Kelli’s precious momma had surgery that turned into a test of
faith. A surgery we prayed about for months in preparation for what was to come. Prayers for a smooth surgery, God’s hand on all the medical staff, and a quick recovery for our precious LeLe. For five months I watched Kelli fight fearlessly to save her mom.
What I did not know, was God had a huge lesson for me during this process. For five months, Kelli and I talked everyday (multiple times a day), researched, stayed up reading medical books, formed a prayer group, prayed, cried, fell to our knees, and begged God’s mercy. Alongside an army of support warriors, I saw God in every step of those five months.
The entire process I prayed to God for healing. Begged would be a better term. Psalm twenty-three became an especially important verse during this journey.
Kelli placed a Bible on her momma’s bed opened to this verse and constantly read it to her while she was in the hospital. I did not realize, when I drove to Emory October 5, that it would be the last time I would see Momma Leda.
For nine years Momma Leda loved my family like we were her own. She treated my babies like they were hers, supported me during tough times, celebrated any
victories I had, and prayed over my and Kelli’s friendship faithfully. Her demeanor was that of a saint. Soft spoken, loving, and always smiling. I will forever be grateful for October 5th. I got to love on her, tell her how much she meant to everyone, pray over her, and watch Kelli care for her. I watched my best friend become the most selfless person I had ever seen. I watched her find strength she did not know existed. There are no words to express how proud I am of the way Kelli walked through this experience. That night Mrs. Leda squeezed my hand and mouthed for me to take care of Kelli. The promise I made to her will be a promise I will never give up on. The importance of that
promise is something I will keep with me forever.
October 10th, God healed momma Leda. It was our prayer the entire time. The realization was God healed her, but not the way we wanted. Standing by my
aunt’s side as she was getting married, God healed her. God had me standing in a happy time and a sad time at the exact same time. With tears streaming down
my face, I realized, even in the storm, we have to give God the glory.
That is the thing about faith. We must keep our faith in God no matter the outcome. We must trust that His way is always the best way. Sometimes our prayers are answered, but it may not be on our terms or how we want them to be answered. Realizing heartache and pain are sometimes a part of the unforeseen path of our lives is a hard concept to accept.
Isaiah 43:2 says, ” When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.” I utterly understand the meaning of this verse after being on this walk with Kelli. I will forever be grateful God chose me to be by Kelli’s side
during this time. Not only was He teaching me a lesson, but He also drew me closer to Him, and taught me what it truly means to rely on His promises.