I met Jordan in junior high at the tender age of thirteen. She was the girl in the locker room with the biggest boobs. Later, we started talking at the bus stop and passing notes in class. A friendship was forged.
As it so often happens with these friendships of our youth, we lost touch a few years later. In the early autumn of 2011, I noticed that she was friends with a mutual Facebook friend, so I sent her a friend request. A few weeks after we became Facebook friends, she told me she had a ‘present’ for me and invited me to pick it up from her at her workplace, a local hotel where she worked overnights on the front desk.
So, I did. The ‘present’ was a beautiful portrait she had sketched of my infant daughter. I was in awe of her talent and touched that she spent the time to make something so beautiful for me, a near stranger. That night we spent several hours talking and laughing, reminiscing about the past and learning about each other’s lives now.
I love the photo below of Audrey and Jordan! Audrey was sooo excited about the chocolate cupcakes Jordan made. This was at a picnic in the park that we took our girls to earlier this month, October 2013.
It turned out that we had a lot in common. We were both married with baby girls; we both liked crafty stuff and cooking; we had a similar sense of humor and many of the same views on various aspects of life. However when religion came up and I learned she was pagan I was not sure what to think, being a praying, bible-believing, church-going Christian.
It is not that I am against people of other religions, gays, etc. I think there are many, many ‘Christians’ who give Christianity a bad name and I am ashamed of this. I am not, nor will I ever be, one of these ‘Christians.’ Instead of drawing people nearer to God, people who proclaim to be Christians and spew hatred and judgment only serve to push people further away from the belief system they are advocating and I fully understand this. Were it not for my personal relationship with my dear Jesus I would be put off by Christianity as a whole myself. If you are reading this and are a ‘Christian’, please do not represent us this way. If you are reading this and are not a Christian, please don’t believe that we are all hateful, evil mongrels. There are some of us who are sincere in our belief that God is love and try to show this same love to others.
Ahem. Perhaps that was off on a tangent a bit but it needed to be said. The reason that I was somewhat wary at first was not so much because of this major difference between Jordan and me, but ashamedly because of what others might think of me being friends with a pagan, and close friends at that.
My husband and various other people warned me that this relationship might be harmful to me by tempting me to stray from my faith under her influence. I was outright discouraged from being her friend by a few, and others told me to tread carefully.
I did not and do not think of her as a ‘bad’ influence. If I am being completely honest, I would love if she were a Christian. I am not saying that to put down her beliefs, but at the same time I think it is normal and natural to want others close to you believe that what you believe is the truth. However, despite our vastly different religious beliefs, our friendship has not only grown but flourished. We care deeply for each other as sisters, sharing information that does not go beyond our crazy little duo, sometimes laughing (and dancing…) late into the night as you can only with someone with whom you are supremely comfortable. We can talk to each other about anything and everything, and I always find her advice sound, her words caring and thoughtful. We encourage each other and I believe our relationship makes each of us better.
Recently we have enjoyed watching our girls, Audrey (mine) and Kaylee (hers) forge their own little friendship. It is so fun to watch them run around together, chase after each other, share snacks, hold hands. I think it would be wonderful if someday they became as close as their mommies.
As for the religion thing? We’ve agreed to disagree, and that’s OK. I’m not any closer to being pagan than I was in the autumn of 2011 nor is she a Christian. Pagan or not, I will always be proud to call this woman of character and strength my friend. She means so much to me, and I love her!