11 years ago, we joined a little church. We've made most of our closest friends through that little church.
A couple of years after we joined, a woman started a small group for the young married ladies. She and I formed a one-on-one relationship. Through some intentional ministry and prayer on her husband's part, he and Todd formed a one on one relationship, too.
Her husband died about a year later. A couple of years after his death, his widow mentored me through my first miscarriage with the wisdom she learned in her own grief. We bonded in our grief and became close friends. Out of this friendship came the opportunity to help her with details for the wedding of her son and his high school sweetheart, who had just graduated college. I didn't really know bride and groom, because they were much younger than I was and had lived away at school for most of the time we'd been at the church, but was happy to help my friend.
Around the same time, we became close with Mike and his family. Mike became Todd's best friend, and to me, the older brother I never had. Mike died several years later.
Mike's wife remarried. She married the dad of the highschool sweetheart my mentor's son had married.
Those highschool sweethearts are now among our closest friends, and they are the parents of Matthew's best friend in the entire world. He says he will marry her one day, and that would be a-ok with me.
I love this intricately woven family of believers and how these relationships encourage us in Christ while also offering sweet memories of our past, and the hope we all have of reunion in Christ. I love that because of all the different inter-weavings of relationships, our kids get to be a part of each other's bigger story, bigger family, and we get to enjoy that too. The family of God is amazing.