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Thursday, July 2, 2009


Fun fact about me: when I get really excited about something, I can't sleep. Ever. Dad's plane will touch down in Kansas City in about 14 hours and I have so much happy anticipation over it, I only got 2 hours of shut-eye.
It's ok.
So it's 3:06 am. I've been trying to go back to sleep for 2 hours, and I've given up.
Luckily, though, I have some touching entertainment to bring you. Think of it as a midnight snack. Three am brings facebook lurking to new dimensions. I just found this from April, 2007:

Michelle, bless you for having a senior recital and inviting me. This was the first picture tagged of me by anyone in Kansas City after I moved here. I can still remember sitting at my desk in that 3rd floor apartment on 107th, by the window that collected ice on the INSIDE of the pane, and blinking disbelievingly at my computer screen.

"Someone...someone tagged a picture of Kansas City? Does this mean I have...FRIENDS?"

Oh, how clearly I remember my schedule during that time.

Class 8 till 9 am. Work 10 till 5 pm. Class 6 till 9 pm. Collapse. I ran off fumes and fell asleep on the couch every night, trying to stay awake to have some chill time with Tiffany but failing each time.

This was a Wednesday, and I skipped Economics II because community was more vital to my life than a case-study of America's GDP in 1981. I arrived late because I got lost and sat in the back of the dark auditorium, quickly spotting the group of people I vaguely knew from church. I had been going faithfully for three months and had made a few casual acquaintances, but no real friends yet. I knew I wouldn't survive much longer in this snowy city without a pack to run with, and I was willing to work for it.

At intermission I fearfully walked over to their happy chattering group and inwardly begged someone to know me and invite me to sit down. Susannah did, and we started talking. Bless her too. She asked me if I knew the other people there.

"Not really..."

"Anna, Jason, Dan, Alissa, Julie, Rachel, Shibu, Sean, Jessica, Molly, Matt, Jon, Kathy, Stu, Amy, Stephanie, Beth..."

Some names registered, some didn't. I asked Suz if Jon and Alissa were brother and sister or husband and wife. They had the same last name but he was older and they looked alike...I couldn't tell. Suz smiled and didn't make a big deal about what a stupid question that was. "They're husband and wife."

What a difference two years makes. These people are my best friends now. This place is home. I am carried by my community. I am known. I know the streets of my town. I run into people I know all the time. As I was cleaning my room today I found the stack of encouragement letters my friends wrote to me before Ethiopia, there were TWELVE letters from friends who know my heart well enough to speak life-giving encouragement into it.

I remember Isaac giving a talk at the Gathering sometime that Spring and quoting Proverbs on how beautifully our God works: "He puts the lonely in families."

Praise Him for putting the lonely in families.


  1. you ARE known dear. and absolutely loved! have fun with dad!!!

  2. Bethany! I am crying. A, because my name is in that list, and B, because I felt this EXACT same thing after finding our friends after moving to Kansas City from our shared Southland.

    God bless that Chick-Fil-A opening night and the chance meeting of you, Jason, Shibu, and Dan. It is one of the greatest events in my life.

  3. anna: i remember connecting with you in the underground about china. except you were 'red' in my mind for a while until i got your name right :)

    amy: why do we make each other cry all the time?!! seriously...and it is most definitely one of the greatest events of my life too.

    oh how i love you friends.

  4. im proud to call you my sister and sooo needed to read all that. (and seeing me on a blog that i was randomly lead to tonight...didnt know you had one) well lets just say that God is good and it is soooo true about how He weaves people together. im so thankful He brought you here! :) love you lady!