I have a friend named Pam.
I met her in the most unusual way. Do you know what's funny? She doesn't remember this story. But I do. Want me to tell you? Okay.
It was September 1991. I just graduated High School that June, said goodbye to my h.s. sweetheart Scott, and moved into my teeny college all girls dorm. When my parents drove off I literally thought I would die from homesickness. Let's just say that again. Yes, I literally thought I would die from homesickness.
After a few days at college I called home from the pay phone in the hallway.
Me: Dad, can I come home? I can live at home and commute to Central University?
Dad: You'll be okay. (very sweet and sympathetic) Just make it until Thanksgiving. If you still hate it you can move home.
Me: (deep breath) Okay, but can you come and take me home just for this weekend. I'll come right back.
Dad: Sure. I'll be there right after school.
My Mom must have been doing some serious praying after that because sometime in September I was walking down the hall in our dorm with tears in my eyes. I ached for home, for Scott, for my parents. I tried to hold it in but this adorable blonde must have seen I was about to burst.
Pam: Hey, how are you?
Me: ummmm, not so good.
Pam: Want to pop into my room and hang out a bit?
Pam: Do you want to pray together?
Me: ummmm, okay.
And the floodgates opened. I sobbed. We sat on her dorm room carpet and she prayed for me. I will never ever ever ever forget what that felt like.
Now either Pam would hope I'd quickly leave and would run in the opposite direction every time she saw me or we'd be instant friends.
Guess what? Instant friends.
And guess what else? She had other friends (Christine and Betsy... love you girls)
I can honestly say that I don't know what I would have done without Pam, Christine and Betsy. They, along with Father Bob (he's here) (and here) changed my life.
Pam read the Bible. Like all the time. She had a journal and she wrote prayers and Bible verses she liked. Like all the time. So did Christine. (not so much me and Betsy) But anyway, she was my role model. My Bible friend. My praying friend. My life line that first year. She introduced me to Christian music like Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W Smith. See? Changed my life.
Some Freshman drink beer and learn how to navigate through classes half asleep from partying too much. I fell in love with the Bible, Christian music, and my Catholic faith (love you Father Bob), adoration, and Mass.
Sure, I ended up with a degree in Elementary Education. That was great. But when I look back at my college days I know that it was four years of faith building days. And I am grateful.
Thank you Pam for that first interaction. Thank you for taking me under your wing. Thank you for praying. I am grateful.
Pam lives in Florida but she came in my neck of the woods this summer. I went to see her and brought my camera.
This is Pam and her adorable husband.
Her handsome son.
And their daughter.
Did I say grateful yet? I am.