There are certain people in your life that you know will always be there no matter what. Relationships that have had their ups and downs through life... but no matter what, you know they will always be there for you and you will always be there for them. Thing may not have always been perfect, but as you grow and mature, you find these relationships in your life to be more valuable and more life-giving then you ever thought they could be.
I'm lucky to have a few people in my life like this. People who love me for who I am and constantly cheer me on no matter the cost. People who think I'm an important part of their life and that I, too am able to speak life into their life as well. People who see my heart for what it is; whether I'm coming to them as a jumbled emotional mess for help, or whether it's them asking for my advice or counsel. Not that these relationships are ever perfect. We are all human and we tend to fail one another, but... there are those relationship that can last and you know you'll always have that person in your life.
Today, my boys and I are heading up to to Rhode Island for a few days to see one of these people. A woman who astounds me and makes me so proud to be able to call her family. A woman who for so long looked up to me to be her older and wiser cousin; I am now finding myself looking up to her in all she has done to become the best wife, mother and woman of God.
Our relationship has never been perfect. We've had our ups and downs for sure. We didn't always see eye to eye and because we are both so emotional we would tend to hurt one another very easily. We grew up in very different environments, but something that was always taught to both of us is that communication is key. If there was ever a fight our moms would make us sit down and talk about it. I know that sounds weird... but that's how it was done and I think we liked it that way.
We've been through a lot together and have learned along the way. We have matured together and seen the Lord work in our lives together. We have failed each other many times and have left one another questioning why on several occasions. However more so than not, we have been each others' shoulder to cry on.
To this day she still tells me how much she looks up to me, but it's really me who looks up to her. She is the strongest woman I know. I watched her heart break when she miscarried her daughter at 18 weeks and then had to give birth to her. I have seen her fight for her husband and marriage even when all things seemed to be against her. Most recently I have seen her follow God's calling to uproot her family and move hundreds of miles away from the people she loves and cares about, to do what the Lord has called her family to do.
The woman I am spending a few days with this week is not just my cousin. She is my sister in Christ, my friend, MY role model and someone who will always be here. She is an amazing woman of faith and has more wisdom than people give her credit for. Her heart is so pure and so real. She will be the first to say she is wrong when she is wrong. Her pride is hardly ever something that will get in the way, which is more than I can say for myself. She is a woman of strength and endurance and more than ever it is her that I look up to.
I'm looking forward to seeing her and her family this week, and catching up on all the things she can now teach me.