My cousin Faith, is 16 years older than me, so we didn’t grow up running around together.
Of course, I’ve known her my whole life, but this past week actually represented the most time we’d ever spent together, when they opened their home to us for a family reunion. Her husband is a retired entrepreneur, so she and I shared stories about what that journey looks like, from both sides.
She shared wisdom from her journey and I shared my heart. We made such a beautiful connection. I trusted her advice.
I felt understood.
When it came time to leave on Saturday morning, I had a simple plan: to wake up, pack up and head home.
When I woke up, all I could think about was the terrible pain in my head. I had never felt such excruciating pain. I got myself out of bed, stumbled to the restroom and took some medicine. I made my way back to the bed. When I laid down, the pain also fell to the base of my neck and intensified to a level I simply could not bear.
I was really afraid.
I was alone with the boys out in the barn as Scott couldn’t make this trip and the rest of my family had already left. I started texting family, but it was 6:45 on a Saturday morning so answers came slow.
I was about to call 911 when Faith called, saying she was picking me up to take me to the hospital. She picked me up in the driveway and calmly drove me to the ER, where things got worse before they got better.
I was sick and in so much pain when I arrived, they took me back quickly. Faith sat patiently beside me while they took blood, hooked me up to an I.V., and administered an initial dose of pain medication.
That didn’t go so well.
The pain in my head increased, I started sweating, and feeling more intensely sick. I knew it wasn’t right, but I couldn’t find the words. As the tears were pouring down my cheeks, I heard Faith say, This is not normal. She’s not okay.
The nurse paid attention to that and they quickly switched things up.
After the CT scan, MRI and blood work all came back normal, the doctor was able to find a solution that made me feel better. So, we were able to head home.
As we were driving, I kept hearing Faith’s voice in my head saying, This is not normal. She’s not okay.
I didn’t say anything at the time, but those words were so comforting. She knew me, even if only by my childhood nickname, Crystal the Pistol. She knew my reaction wasn’t lining up, so she called it out. She might have saved me from something even worse happening.
All because she showed up and she knew me.
It’s easy for me to run through my life feeling capable and strong. As much as I talk about needing each other, I sometimes forget I do. But in that moment, when I was so weak that I couldn’t find my voice, I was reminded.
We all need friends who know us.
For the times you’re feeling strong and need a little sage wisdom about the path ahead, you need a friend who knows you.
When you’re too weak to even find your voice, you need a friend who knows you to speak up for you.
Take a lesson from me, no matter how capable you feel, the time will come when you need a friend who knows you.
Open up your heart. Lean in.
Take time to share life with trusted friends.
We need each other.
To more love,