I have a best friend named Lena. I met her four years ago when I was in sixth grade. I was at a 2 day a week private school, but decided that I wanted to switch to a new, but similar one, for reasons I won’t go into. So, to see what it would be like, I shadowed there for a day. That’s when I met Lena. She was the first person to really step up and get to know me, and we quickly found that we really enjoyed each other’s company. For the next two years, seventh and eighth grade, our friendship grew and flourished. We were constantly texting or FaceTiming each other, if we weren’t hanging out in person. We played our ukuleles together and made duets, we watched our favorite show, Doctor Who, we had photo shoots and made skits, and laughed a lot.
Not only was Lena so incredibly fun to hang out with, but she was an amazing listener and friend. When I was going through trials she was there for me every step of the way. She encouraged me with Bible verses and gave me hugs, brought me chocolate and did everything she could to cheer me up. She really was the best friend that anyone could ever ask for.
But then something happened. Lena was diagnosed with encephalitis. One day she was my best friend- we were texting each other as usual (I was on vacation, three thousand miles away). And then she had a seizure, and then she wasn’t ever the same. That was well over a year ago. I haven’t had a conversation with her since August 15, 2015.
She has nearly died too many times to count in the past year. She still can’t talk or laugh or walk or eat on her own. It’s such a difficult situation- she’s not dead, but she’s not totally here either.
Losing Lena has been the hardest experience I’ve ever gone through. There is only one comfort through all of it- God. He has shown me that even in all of this, He is in control. He has not let Lena slip away, when it looked like all hope was lost. He is still with her, comforting to her and ministering to her like nobody else can. And He’s comforting me, too.
God is still there. He is still for us and His plan will always prevail. I hope this encourages you.
“Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” -Isaiah 41:10
“I know, O Lord, that your laws are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me. Let your steadfast love comfort me, according to your promise to your servant.” -Psalm 119:75-76