I'm excited to invite a dear friend of mine, Tat, to the blog! Tat's an amazing girl who I'm beyond grateful for -- you may have read about her in one of my posts a few weeks ago. Tat lives in Peru with her missionary family, but she says her heart is spread all over the world: in Canada, Haiti, Peru, and Cuba. She's one of the kindest girls I know, and I'm so glad to welcome Tat here today...
In 2012 I had the amazing privilege of meeting a girl who would soon become one of my very best friends. I remember when I first met her -- I thought she was so beautiful. She was gorgeous, not only on the outside, but on the inside as well. She has this beautiful big smile, this awesome contagious laugh, and she is so funny.
You would never know she was hurting from just seeing her.
Those two weeks we spent together, I had the privilege of really getting to know her. It was a privilege because I don’t think many people really knew who she was.
A year passed and we only grew closer and closer. Texting all the time was a thing, and meeting up to hang out for the weekend was common.
The first weekend I spent at her house was a blistering, cold weekend in December. I was so nervous because I hadn’t met her parents yet nor had I been to her house. My mom dropped me off and walked me up to the door and there stood my best friend Katie, and her mom who would soon become one of the most beautiful and brave people I’ve ever known. Her mom, who I call Mama V, started to tell us about her story: how she had beaten cancer and was living in remission. I was so amazed. I admired this woman and this family for their incredible bravery.
Mama V was diagnosed with cancer two more times before she passed away a few weeks ago.
I remember one time last year when I spent another weekend at Katie’s house. Mama V was in the midst of chemo and had lost all of her hair. She told Katie to “warn” me before I saw her. She thought I would be shocked because her hair was gone. I was shocked, but not for the reason she thought. I was shocked because she was beautiful. Bravery and joy radiated from her -- despite everything that was happening -- and because of that she was so beautiful.
My best friend was brave through it all. I got to spend this summer by her side and it wasn’t easy, watching her have to work through this with her mom. But the whole time she was so brave. I’ve decided bravery isn’t always having it all together. Sometimes bravery is crying until you’ve got nothing left; bravery is being vulnerable; bravery is smiling and encouraging other people when you desperately need encouragement yourself; bravery is being terrified but trusting in Jesus the whole time. This kind of bravery just radiates from within you, making you beautiful.
I hope one day I can be like Mama V and Katie.
I hope I’ll be able to trust in Jesus despite what’s going on. I hope people will see the beauty of Jesus shining through me even if I’ve lost all my hair. I, along with so many other people, desperately miss Mama V but I’ll always remember her as the woman who was so beautiful because she radiated bravery.