I’m laughing. You’ll see why in a second. Have you ever wondered what fellow LYWB.com blogger phendricks is like “in real life”? Well, I’ve been her roomie since September, so here’s a little peek . . .
Texts from me to Paula, starting at 9:09 p.m., December 12:
I’m outside, so cold
Forgot we carpooled
Paula’s like me in this area: we don’t like feeling “wired” to our iPhones all the time, so it’s a rare day if her phone’s ringer is on. And December 12 was not one of those rare days.
It was -2 degrees in the morning—about 13 degrees at night. I was (ever-practical! ever-prepared!) wearing snakeskin heels, a skirt, no hat, no gloves, and no scarf. In the snow. Yes, I was.
If you’re wondering why I was locked out of the office once I left, it’s because I broke my keys to the office the first week and kept forgetting to replace them. (They’re still broken, by the way.) If you’re wondering about the poor choice of shoes, it’s because they’re cute, and snow still makes zero sense to me. (Two days before this incident, I scraped my three-inch buried car clean . . . with a paper cup. I’m from California, you guys.)
Thankfully, I was eventually rescued by someone else. Still, I fully intend to memorialize this as The Day You Almost Let Me Die of Hypothermia in the Snow and remind Paula of it for years to come. (Even though it was technically also my oversight . . . ahem.) We cracked up about it when she finally came home and got my texts.
Paula and I have been sharing a house for three and a half months now, and it feels like much longer—in the best way. God has showed jaw-dropping kindness to me through this woman.
I’m missing her since I’m back in California for a little while, so I thought I’d share a few of my favorite things about her with you all. These are great qualities to look for in a friend—and to seek to cultivate in yourself!
Paula is a war-time friend. She’s with me in the trenches of messy spiritual warfare. When I moved in, I was wrestling with fear and hurting in a deep way. She was available with listening ears, helpful questions to draw me out, and humble wisdom. I’ve cried with her on many occasions, but she never makes me feel like I just need to “pull myself together.” Instead, she prays with me and for me—when I’m low, and also on the days when I’m rejoicing. Living with her means living with a spiritual comrade-in-arms. She has my back; I know I can trust her.
Paula is a courage-instilling friend. Her like-mindedness and her deliberate affirmation make me bolder. (See Hebrews 3:13 and 1 Thessalonians 5:11!) Over the span of the first few weeks, I found myself visibly becoming freer as a direct result of her life-giving speech. Her words of kindness and respect were used by God to restore my weary, beaten-up spirit. You know you’ve found a solid friend when you realize you’re stronger with them in your life than you are without them.
Paula’s real, and she’s friends with God. You know those rare individuals who nurture you spiritually without even really trying to, simply by living out their own relationship with the Lord? That’s Paula. She’s super-duper honest about her weaknesses and sins—there’s nothing fake or put-on-just-for-show with this girl (Matt. 6:1–18). You can’t have genuine fellowship with Jesus without it showing, and boy does it show in my friend. She prizes her time with Him and talks with Him like He’s actually with her all through the day. (Because He is!) He’s always teaching her something new, and as she seeks to get to know Him more deeply, she enjoys Him more deeply. Simply hanging out with her makes me hungry to enjoy Him more deeply, too.
Paula submits herself to God—over and over and over. I’ve been a witness to this in action on so many different occasions. When sin raises its head in her heart, she names it. She faces it. Then she sets her face to so seek Jesus, counseling her heart with His Words, feeding on truth, and letting His Word expose the lies of sin. Submitting to God like this isn’t a one-time thing; it’s a learned, ferocious habit that deepens over time (James 4:7). The result of her yielding to God over and over, with no end in sight? Her affections and desires end up twining closely with His. She fights to delight in Jesus—and He rewards her with more of Himself!
God really has provided exceedingly, abundantly above all that I asked, thought, or imagined (Eph. 3:20) when I prayed for a roommate. I’m so grateful!
Even if she does occasionally leave me to die in the snow.