The best laid plans go awry. I had fantastic plans last night to get ready for bed as soon as Revenge was over at 10:00 last night in order to catch up on the sleep I missed the night before. And that was exactly what I did. That was why I had last night's epic blog post done so early - I wanted to make sure that was taken care of before 10:00. It was between 10:30 and 10:35 when I was walking toward my bed.
Just as I was laying down, the phone rang. Fantastic timing, right? It was Taylor. That kid will always be more important to me than sleep, so I sat down in my recliner (in the dark), and now I am SO glad I didn't tell him I wanted to sleep. We talked about a lot. We talked about the blog post. I couldn't wait to hear his reaction because he was one of the few people that I texted to keep me accountable, so I knew he had been praying about it for me in advance. To know that there is someone out there who rejoices in my triumphs and God's hand in my life as much as he does is an encouragement that I can't adequately describe. Talking about yesterday at church transitioned into reminiscing about the night at Sanctuary and my baptism. He told me this hilarious story about how when I went up to him that night to ask him where to go for the baptistery, he didn't figure out what I was doing; he thought I was trying to get the "full touristy experience." Then, we started talking about just the work God is doing in my life in general, and I got to hear a lot about his testimony that I had never heard before.
I don't even remember at this point what else we talked about. All I know is that it was midnight when I finally hung up the phone, and I went to bed with a smile on my face despite a pounding migraine. As much as my relationships with all four of The Vespers has been a surprise to me, my friendship with Taylor has been the biggest one of all. He's known for a while that I consider him and Bruno my brothers, and that he is one of my best friends, so that wasn't a shock when I said it in the conversation last night. What was a surprise to me, and apparently to him as well, was when he said I'm one of his best friends, too.
I've been thinking about our conversation pretty much all day today and the impact that it had. This is why I stopped apologizing for being me. This is why I'm not sorry for the heart that I have for people. Because as big of a pain in the butt as my intensity can be sometimes, there are people in my life who see it, who know some of my darkest places, and love me, anyway. These are the people who love me through all the screw-ups, who see past all the times I fail them. These are the people who love me when I'm at my worst and keep me in check when I'm at my best. They let me know that I don't have to change to please them, and remind me that I should only change to please God.
Taylor is the perfect example of this. He knows more about my heart, my story, and my past than just about anyone, save for Matt and Ryann, and he doesn't judge it. He's not afraid to tell me anything, even confronting me in Christian love when he sees a mistake I'm making. Our personalities are so similar that I feel like we understand each other better than most people can. I meant what I said in this post - he's the kind of man I want to marry one day. I see his heart, his humility, his passion for people, and all of that challenges me to learn more about Christ and seek what He can do in my life. It's so hard to believe that he and I are as close as we are now, but I can't even begin to explain how grateful I am that we are.
It's people like Taylor who cause me to regularly admire the love that God has for me. That's the love that I really can't understand. God loved me so much that He gave up His child to suffer all the pain and humiliation that I deserve for my sins. And I see His love for me when I look at people like Taylor. God has put His love on earth within reach in people that teach me through their presence in my life as yet another gift to me.
This is why I will go to the ends of the earth to fight for friends like Taylor. It's because he has been there through so much and never wavered. He has let me pour my heart out and been so patient. And even better, he doesn't do it so I can write a blog post about what a blessing he is, he just does it because he loves people and he loves me. To put it simply, God has used him to change my life.
The thing that blows my mind the most, though? He's not the only person I have like this in my life. He's just been on my heart a lot as of late, and because of what a blessing that conversation last night was, I had to get these words out somewhere. So there you go.
Reflecting on all of this makes me pretty certain I'm going to go to bed smiling again. :)