On every other Tuesday you’ll find me making my way to my old stomping grounds of Willamina. Not only that, I’ll park right across the street from the church that taught me that memorizing God’s word is so important.
I step out of my van and enter the building that was once my highschool Sunday school room. I’m greeted with a chipper, “Good Morning” by my former highschool Sunday School teacher and youth leader. She’s been my ever present friend for over 20 years now. I’m older now than she was when we met. I remember telling her I loved the “Oldies” station on the radio. When I tuned it to that station she adamantly said, “Hey! Those aren’t oldies, that’s what I listened to when I was your age.” I remember looking at her and saying in a slightly confused tone, “Yes, that’s why they’re oldies.” Duh, didn’t she know that?
Teresa has been a good friend to me over the decades. As a teenager, she taught me to accept a compliment with a simple, “Thank you”. I learned that you can be a Christian AND have fun! Imagine that! It’s ok to drop a cheesecake, made from a box, on the floor and still serve it to the hungry teens in the next room. There was a time that I turned my back on God, but Teresa kept praying for me and loving me. When I finally turned my eyes back to Jesus she bought me the exact wide margin NKJV Bible that I wanted for my studies at the Great Commission School.
My new husband and I moved in with Teresa’s family when we were kicked out of our friends’ apartment in Salem for reasons I can’t remember now. She was super sick when she was pregnant, my only memory of her from that time is sitting on the couch or throwing up in the bathroom. She watched our rocky baby marriage grow and eventually dissolve.
It is so strange to think about this now. I really set out to write a blog about how I get massages on every other Tuesday from her and how much I like them. Then the memories come flooding back. More memories than I can recount here, and really, most of them wouldn’t be funny to you. We have one of those friendships where we can say one sentence and start laughing.
As a kid I thought she must have the perfect life. As an adult I can look at it and honestly say that she does have a good life, but it is by no means perfect. She has heart aches like the rest of us, but you know what’s different? She carries those things with grace. She keeps laughing and loving and serving. She is seeking God and hearing Him. I love to hear her stories.
So yes, I get to see her every other Tuesday for much needed massages that have revolutionized how my days progress. It used to be that I couldn’t get through a day without being in so much pain. That is changing. Days, sometimes nearly 2 weeks go by before I need to sit down due to back pain. You know what else, I come away happier. There have been days when I’m driving there and I’m really struggling and when I leave things seem much more aligned. Sometimes we chat the time away, other times I fall asleep where I drool and snore. It’s a beautiful site. Other times I just relax and pray.
Teresa, I’m going to make you read this. Okay, I can’t make you, but I can post a link to it on your wall!
I love you. Thank you for all you’ve been to me.
Mostly, thank you for taking me mall shopping and introducing me to Cinnabon!