13 Sep

I have a friend named Amy.

The first time I ever saw her, she was sitting on the top bunk in the dorm room across the hall from mine. She looked confident and smart and had a beautiful smile. Somehow, I knew we were going to be good friends.

During our fun-filled years at college, Amy was my room-mate. After graduation, she stood up for me as my matron-of-honor when I married Dan. And years later, she was there for me when I found out I had breast cancer.

What are you supposed to do when your friend has breast cancer? The only thing you can do — you love her. And that’s exactly what Amy did.

One of the many ways Amy showed her love to me was by giving me a writing journal. The cover was made of brown leather and it was dotted with happy pink and yellow flowers. I loved it. You know how most people like to do fun things like riding roller coasters, traveling or playing baseball? Well, Amy knew that what I enjoyed the most was writing. And I really wanted to write in that journal. But I couldn’t. It seemed that cancer had taken away from me the one thing that I enjoyed most – writing.

Sometime later, I opened the journal and casually flipped through the first few pages. I was surprised to see that Amy had already written on them for me. She had copied down Bible verses – verses about courage and hope and comfort and love. I wondered if maybe this was something I could do.

In the next few days and weeks and months, I continued what Amy had started. In that journal I wrote down all the Bible verses and passages that had special meaning to me as I struggled to survive cancer — verses I discovered on my own, as well as verses others had shared with me. But I didn’t just write down the references. I wrote out the whole verse and even entire passages, word for word. There was something about seeing those words of God in my own hand-writing that made the message more personal and meaningful to me. I could have simply highlighted all of those verses in my Bible. But sometimes, many times, I felt too overwhelmed to page through the Bible in search of God’s words of comfort and strength. I needed those words to find me. Amy’s journal provided that for me in ways far beyond what she probably ever imagined.

Every once in a while, I still browse through the pages of that journal. The Bible verses written there remind me that God is faithful, His promises are true, and that His great love for us is endless.

Not even cancer can ever take that away.


4 Responses to “Amy”

  1. Amy September 13, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    OK… wow… I am speechless. I so needed that encouragement and reminder of looking to God’s promises in the midst of a struggle. I didn’t sleep much last night, maybe 2 or 3 hours (you know that is very unlike me!)… We have some very sick family members and some needy ones too, our son is struggling with a difficult relationship, and to top it off, there is a beehive in our tree. My heart was anxious, angry, sad and I was pleading to God to calm my heart… I wept as I read your words, I felt God sent them through you to remind me He is here – in His word. Thanks Jill, I love you!

    • writergirldreams September 13, 2010 at 11:21 pm #

      Whoa Jill, I needed to hear that tonight too. How beautifully you describe the love and faithfulness of your dear friend, and a reminder of God’s love and faithfulness for us. I needed to hear that tonight too Amy. Find me Lord, remind me I am your small child, pat me when I cry, carry me when I lose hope, and nudge me when I feel sorry for myself. Your Word is a Lamp unto my feet. Jill, your words were like a cooling balm for my aching feet and spirit. wgd

  2. Maria September 13, 2010 at 7:36 pm #

    I love your blog. You are a great writer.

  3. Debbie Clement September 15, 2010 at 7:58 pm #

    What a brilliant friend.
    What a brilliant idea.
    What a brilliant gift.
    What a brilliant telling of the tale.

    May we all reach out to our friends.

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