I think we’ve covered that my personality type, (ENFJ), gears me to be highly relational. I NEED people like I need air, water, and cute shoes. So probably the scariest thing of all was when my husband, me and our 19 month old moved half way across the U.S., away from everything and everyone we’ve ever known, for a four-year stint in the U.S. Army at Ft. Lewis, WA.
We ran the numbers on what our pay would be and knew how much we could afford each month in bills. So we decided to get rid of both of our cars and go down to just one car. We planned to live on post so we figured it wouldn’t be a big deal.
However housing wasn’t available for several months. So we ended up living in a flea infested apartment in the ghetto of Puyallup, pronounced PEW-al-up. Jeremy would leave every morning around oh….4:30 am and be gone until dinner time most days. It was just me and Cooper, in a little apartment (with boxes everywhere…that’s another story) all.day.long. It was late winter/early spring too in Washington state, so it rained every.single.day. We couldn’t go outside and even if we did, what would we do? We were in the concrete jungle.
Additionally at this time, my best friend here in MO’s husband was deathly ill. She was going through her own private hell. I was trying to be a support to her but she just couldn’t be available to talk on the phone all day every day with sad and lonely little me.
By about the third week in this set up, I was certifiably crazy. I needed me some people! We had tried out the church on post (it was horrible) and gotten nowhere. Then, one day, we came home and there was something in our apartment door. A flyer for a church regarding their Easter service. (Easter was crazy early that year.) We eagerly went and visited the church that Sunday. We loved it! But even better, THEY HAD A MOMMY GROUP! It was called MOPS, or Mother’s of Preschoolers and it was meeting the next week.
I BEGGED Jeremy to find a way to juggle letting me have the car that day. We worked it out, I put on the cutest outfit I could think of and went to that mommy meeting DETERMINED to leave with a friend.
And that is where I met her; Crystal Metcalfe.
Can I tell you that I had been praying and praying and praying for a friend in WA? A real friend. Someone I would deeply connect with and grow with while we were there. Crystal was that person. We connected at MOPS that morning and something just clicked between us. Crystal’s best friend had just moved to New Zealand and she had been praying for a friend too. It was God’s perfect timing.
Our families had so much in common; we were married the same year just two months apart, our first-born (and at the time only) child was born a matter of weeks from one another and they were both boys, we liked the same things, both adored food and best of all we both LOVED to talk on the phone. I have joked on this blog about her many times and how we “dated” each other. We still crack ourselves up about how excited we were to meet and get to know each other.
Leaving Crystal in WA was up in that category of “hardest things I’ve had to do” in my life. I knew that a friendship as strong as ours could stand the test of a great distance. But I knew it would strain it, change it, and break both our hearts on a regular basis. And it did.
We still talk every day. Yes. I’m serious. We call each other daily. I think we occasionally don’t talk on the weekends just because of general craziness in our lives. But then we always talk extra long to make up for it. I could seriously sit and talk to that woman forever.
Which is why I am so FREAKIN EXCITED that she is coming into town TODAY! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Crystal and her son Brayden are coming into town for an almost 4-day trip. It won’t be a long enough visit. I’ll cry my brains out when she leaves. But it’ll be totally amazing. I’m so excited to see her and to drag her all around St. Louis to all the places I grew up and still live in.
If you hear from me on Monday, it’ll just be in picture form. We are going to have so much fun!