I got an email a few months ago that surprised me completely. It was an email from a reader asking for my address—she wanted to send me an invitation to her wedding.
I was honored by her request, but even more honored by the reason she was asking.
“You and Carl have been such good friends to my fiancé and I throughout our engagement.”
But the thing is that we don’t even know her.
We haven’t had coffee or gone for drinks. We haven’t gone on a double date or compared battle stories from attempting to shrink our wedding guest lists.
But Lauren and her fiancé have invited us into their lives, even from so far away. And we’re so happy to be there.
“We read so we don’t feel alone,” she quoted. Saying that our shared experiences soothed her, making her feel validated and normal.
And that’s what this is all about.
I write because I want us all to feel the comfort of knowing that we’re not alone. That connectedness and friendship isn’t limited to proximity. Lauren’s invitation is proof.
I’m so grateful to have been invited into Lauren’s life, and I’m so grateful to have been invited into yours.
You’ve let me into your lives and your relationships and your breakups. We’ve talked about first days of college, how to be a Christian in a sorority, and if we’re going to be single forever.
We’ve talked about best friends and crazy dreams and leaving it all behind on a whim.
We’ve talked about Jesus and how much we love him and how sometimes it’s hard.
Lauren sent me a physical invitation (a gorgeous one by the way — where did you get those printed??) but each one of you sends me an invitation every time you open your inbox, every time you type “The Lipstick Gospel” into your search bar.
And that’s not something I take lightly.
I’m not a councilor, or a professional, and I don’t have 40 years of life under my belt. I’m not a pastor, or a teacher, or any sort of life coach.
I can’t promise you perfection, or even good writing on some days, but I can promise you this:
I will be the best friend to you that I possibly can.
I will cheer you on when you’re feeling less than, and remind you that you’re beautiful when you just don’t feel like it. I will challenge you when you’re not living up to who you want to be, and I’ll remind you who you are when you start to forget.
I will tell you the truth when you ask for my opinion, and I’ll tell you that God is good even when it doesn’t feel like it.
And that’s my promise to you.
I will go to coffee with you—whether in real life, or in our little corner of the internet— and I’ll always be real with you. I’ll always tell you bits of my story. We are in this together.
And so here’s my prayer for you, Lauren, on your wedding day, in your marriage, and for all of you every single day of your lives:
I pray that you feel beautiful.
I pray that you don’t have to look in the mirror to know that you’re positively glowing. I pray that every thought in your head towards yourself is kind, and gracious, and loving.
I pray the people around you support you well, that you feel snuggled in their unconditional love— knowing you couldn’t ever lose it even if you tried.
I pray that you have big eyes to see the beautiful things: to see the gifts that are waiting around each corner, to feel the sun warm your hair, and the slight breeze tickle your face.
I pray that you have the courage to live out the dreams you were created for—that you leap when you can’t see a net and go for it when you’re pretty sure it’s impossible.
I pray that you love so much that it hurts, and that even after the messiest of fights you can laugh and snuggle and sincerely apologize.
I pray that in every single moment, you remember that the God who designed the oceans knows your name, that you are important because he loves you, and that he’ll never leave you no matter what.
Lauren, I pray for you and Daniel as you become husband and wife—that you can look at each other every day of your lives and say, “I love you more today than I ever have before.”
Lauren, thank you for inviting Carl and I into your relationship and into your wedding. We are honored beyond words, and I sincerely wish we could come.
Know on that day, we will be praying for you both.
Your friend and sister,