When one veteran meets another veteran, there is always an immediate connection. So Jess and I have been friends since we met a few years ago, and realized we had both served. Army and Air Force veterans – I’d like to tease her that the only time the Air Force members run is when the mess hall opens. But since I’m the “chubby” one, I can’t really get away with that…..
We had already become friends at work. But one day, we both just happened to be in the same place, at the same time, with the same IMMEDIATE need for prayer. And that day, we chose to lean on each other – a God moment, for sure! By whatever means possible – We were going to make it our personal MISSION to not only stay in close touch every single day, but to be storming heaven together, and for each other, praying furiously. We shared our deepest needs, our biggest concerns, our joys, our heartaches. I prayed for Jess. Jess prayed for me. EVERY DAY! In a very, very short period of time, we came to know each other very well, and I decided I was keeping Jess as my friend forever and ever and ever – Whether she liked it or not. 😉
So, who is Jessica? Married to an incredible Man named Tim, she took on the role of step-mother to his 3 children – 2 girls and a boy. Jess and Tim also have a little son of their own, who, just might be the cutest little boy on planet earth. I point out that Jess is a step-mother for a reason. That word can sometimes have a negative connotation to it, and if anyone can change that, it’s my friend Jessica. She loves them as if they were her own, which is obvious to anyone who knows her, or has the privilege of observing her interaction with them. And the coolest part about that is – They love her too 😉
It can sometimes take a long time to get to know someone. But when you pray with a friend as often as Jess and I prayed – You HEAR their pleas to God. You HEAR their heart at the very deepest level. You see them for who they really and truly are. And that’s what happened, and that’s why I decided Jessica is – Well, she’s just the kind of friend you KEEP forever and ever and ever and ever.
I want to tell you about Jessica’s heart. It might be the sweetest and most tender heart I know. She LOVES, and I mean LOVES ALL of her children the same. She worries about ALL of them, and prays for each of them and their very individual needs. When Jess pours out her heart to God – Her concerns are NEVER about herself. She puts her children and her husband far, far before herself, and her #1 prayer for each one of them? That they would KNOW intimately the Savior of the world – Jesus. She prays that Christ would be the CENTER of her home, her family, her relationship with Tim, and with each one of the kids. She weeps when she prays that ALL of her children would KNOW, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are loved by God and by her and Tim – Even when they are apart. Everything she does revolves around them – EVERYTHING! And, Jessica also sweetly prays for the safety and well being of the kids’ mom, that her needs would be met, that she would find true joy and happiness, that she would enjoy her children, and that she would also know Christ! And she thanks God for her every day – as well as that she gets to share in the lives of her kids.
In a very short period of time, I became confident that my friend was standing in the gap for me when I didn’t know what else to pray. When I felt like I was “all prayed out,” Jessica jumped in and was already on her knees – FOR ME! She doesn’t know it, but her random prayer texts so accurately pour out my needs, that I KNOW the Holy Spirit is the 3rd person in our friendship. Not a day goes by that we don’t pray for each other. I am confident of that.
I watch her interact with her children, and I think to myself often how blessed those kids are to have her. She is a gem! I think about what peace of mind it must bring to Tim’s ex-wife when the kids are at Jessica’s home, and how nice that she must be able to rest at night, not only knowing that they are safe and cared for very, very well – but that they are LOVED!
Keep doing exactly what you are doing Jessica. You are an incredible Mom, and a very, very dear and cherished friend. I so, so, so appreciate you. (Oh, and I’m KEEPING you!)
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 27:17