Thursday, April 9, 2009

She Loved Me Enough to Punch Me

Everyone in the world needs a Cheri.

When I was 18 and attending college in Texas, I was homesick and overwhelmed by being 4 hours from my family. I would sit on my dorm bunk bed and bawl until I was empty. I couldn't believe I went to college so far away from everyone I loved.

I see the tenderness of God every time I think of Cheri. She was a leader at the church I attended in Texas, and she had 3 little girls, (one of which would cry every time I looked at her.) She approached me during Sunday school and asked if I would baby-sit every Thursday while she attended her leadership meeting. That baby-sitting job changed my life.

Not only did I fall in love with those 3 little girls, Cheri invited me into her life and took it on herself to "mother" me while I ached for family. She became my mentor, my friend, my example and my accountability. I didn't even mind that her girls were fascinated with bras and always asked to see mine.

After I graduated, I moved back to Oklahoma, but still stayed in touch. A few years ago when I felt like my world was crumbling, I started living recklessly and making decisions like I didn't have a lick of common sense. I'll spare you the details, but it was ugly.

Cheri put me on a plane to Virginia.

She let me weep, she let me explain, she let me pour my guts out and she bought me coffee.
Then, she slugged me. She followed that up with, "You know better than this! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!"

I'm certain that was the moment that I snapped out of it and turned my life in a different direction.

Yes indeed, everyone needs a Cheri. A friend that loves you enough to get in your face. A Christian that takes the time to invest in you and mentor you. A woman that looks at life with eyes full of faith.

I love you madly, Cheri, Cheri, Bo-Beri...wanna see my bra?

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