It’s strange, when you first meet someone and immediately know you’re going to be friends with them. I’ve met people before and have known in my heart that I’m supposed to pray for them, but it was an entirely different sort of knowing when I met Cass.
It was late winter, those months when the Earth is trying to decide if she wants to stay frozen or dive into spring. I had started a new job, and quite honestly, was frustrated about where my life was headed. By headed, I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere, and if I was going somewhere, I sure wasn’t getting there fast.
My plan was to get my novel published — which was proving to be more difficult than I thought. I was doing my best to be faithful, and I’m learning faithfulness often looks like taking a step forward. So I sucked in my pride and set my writing aside until evenings; I took a step forward and chose the logical thing: I got a job.
I was confused. I didn’t want to be working another minimum wage job.
I wanted my book to be published. I wanted to be writing and doing art full time. Didn’t God see my dreams and plans? Didn’t He understand what I wanted so desperately? I thought I had it all figured out: my career, my future . . . and yet there I was, feeling quite discouraged about how my life was seemingly going the opposite way I had planned.
Then I met Cass.
I had been working my new job for a week or so, and Cass had been away for a couple of days. But on that specific day we ended up working together. She came up to me and introduced herself. She was kind to me — a genuine kindness. Still, she was reserved, and for some reason I kept thinking I hope someday she trusts me. I couldn’t understand why I was thinking that when I didn’t even know who she was. We talked for a few moments, and throughout our conversation, something inside me shifted.
A peace covered me, but also an urgency, and I felt so clearly that she and I were supposed to be friends.
I started to pray for her, unsure as to what I should be praying about. I actually said out loud to Jesus, “I’d really like to be her friend, but is she going to think I’m too crazy?” I’m certain He laughed. When I think back, I laugh too. (Truth is, we’re all a little crazy.)
I almost missed out on a friendship that has become such an important thing in my life. I was so busy running around in my self-indulged fog, caught up in the mindset of thinking only about me and getting my book published. It saddens me to think about if I had stayed there, what I could have missed. I can’t tell you how grateful I am that I didn’t miss it.
Thankfully God had far better things in store for me than having me write full time. I smile when I think of how tenderly He arranged this friendship, plopping kind Cass in the middle of my tangled life. I don’t think she knows this yet, but she keeps teaching me so many things, especially kindness and grace.
When you think you have a plan for your life, I’ll bet God has a better one.
It may not make sense yet, especially when you want something so badly. But let me tell you what I am learning: often God gives you what you need before you even know you need it.
I thought I needed my book to be published. In truth, I needed my friend.