• Jan Avellana

A Letter to My Friend

Dear Wonderful Friend,

Yes, I chose the word "wonderful" on purpose because that is what you are--not just to me in the friend that you are (even though you are!), but just in the woman and human being you are, completely separate from me or anyone else. "Wonderful" means: inspiring delight, pleasure, or admiration; extremely good; marvelous, and that my friend, describes. YOU.

I have been witness to some of the most painful, hurtful parts of your life, worsened by idiots who should have had your back, but didn't, victims of their own cowardice and ignorance. I have witnessed illness and physical limitations impair you to the point of despair, yet I have also seen you rise with resilience and a whole lot of damn feistiness that shouldn't be able to come from a frail body such as yours, yet it does. No wonder, because though your frame may be small, your spirit is a BEAST, fed continually by the One who always has your back--Jesus. And plus ice cream and crying spells and some really comfy sleepwear.

2020 has been such a year! Such a friggen year. And I know there is still lots of dark tunnel to travel through, and hat it's scary sometimes. It's ok to be afraid. It's ok to feel weary and downright depressed. You do what you gotta do to get through. You know the scripture that says, "They shall fly with wings like eagles, they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint"? Well, this is the crawling while crying part that got left out and no one tells you this, but truth be told, this is MOST of IMPORTANT bits of the journey. I know you must walk parts of these tunnels by yourself--I cannot hold your hand or be there with you physically. But like your truest friends, I am with you in spirit, cheering for you, pulling for you, and giving you our courage and prayers and love. And I know sometimes you'll be okay, and other times you'll be a crying mess, but in all of it, know this: I STILL LOVE YOU VERY, VERY MUCH.

I think this is why Jesus suffered alone in the wilderness. Why He hung on the cross in what his abuseres wanted to be his utter public shame. I think this is why God the Father often reminds us in His Word that "never will He leave us", "never will He forsake us" and that he walks through the valley of the shadow of death and that we can fear no evil even there, because even there he is with us--not taking the journey away from us, but taking the journey with us, as no person can. I think this is why too, when Jesus first came, they called him "Immanuel", a comforting reminder to us feeble ones that God would be with us.

God is with you now. In the dark, creepy places, in the lonely, in between spaces that stretch our for miles and eons and seem to have no end. God is with you when you recount your shame, poor choices made (that goes for EVERYONE alive), all the shit you've endured and put up with even though you swore you wouldn't. And God covers you with his cloak and calls you his precious, wonderful Daughter. Because you are.

And you are also my friend. And nothing in the world I've ever done or said has been deserving of your love and friendship, but there again is God's grace. I love you, my wonderful friend. My kind, fierce, resilent, wise, crazy, safe friend. The road ahead is hard and scary, and for sure lonely at times. But love accompanies you whereever you wander, as I do in my heart and soul forever.