Quite a while ago, Randie Garrick listened to me rambling on about my writing and how much help I needed. She suggested that I ask Abby for help. As someone who is OCD protective of my work and wary of meeting new people I rather shyly caught up with her outside of church that very day (yes, that day, I’m weird like that) and asked her if she would read three of my chapters. She agreed instantly and even asked me a week later for it. I brought her the handwritten chapters and her advice and editing was truly amazing.
Abby continued to assist me with my writing, coming at least once a month to hang out with us for several hours and give me kind advice, given in such a way so as to not discourage me. She suffered through some 3 or 4 books of mine, all handwritten and at a early stage of the editing process.
Abby is a true friend. Not only do we share love for so many fandoms, be it war/action movies, books or heavy metal, just to name a few of our favorite things, but her help in my storytelling has been incredible. She started a writers group which has continued to provide me with the advice and suggestions I need in my writing. Even though she is the not there currently, her spirit is and that means more to me than she could know. She is giving, she is brave, she is quirky and cool. She has greatly influenced by creation of good female characters because of this.
I asked her last January to write a graduation speech for me and I have it to this day, reading it often for encouragement. I want to share some of the things that she said because I think it really shows what an incredible woman Abby is:
You stand at the end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood with adventures, battles, sufferings, and great joy ahead of you.
One of your favorite quotes is the well-known line from Robert Frost: I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: two roads diverged in a wood an I – I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference.
So, what do I say as a woman with a few more milestones under her belt, to you a woman about to face them? What do I say about the ‘road less traveled’?
The true road less traveled, and more important than any career, friends, dreams, aspirations, life goals or your family is your church. All around you the world is screaming to at you to pursue happiness, pursue your dreams, live life, get out there and be a roaring woman.
What you need to do is invest yourself in your church. Look, listen, pay attention, and figure out how you can serve your body. Value the preaching of the Word. Make this your life’s priority and you will be on the narrow, less traveled road.
This is more important than a boyfriend, romance, true love, getting married, having kids, your sisters and your parents. Your church is your first thing. Not second. Not third. First.
After that and only after that comes everything else.
You have faced trials already—health issues, relationship issues, life issues—and, I hate to tell you, you will face many more. Life here on earth is a constant battle, constant hand-to-hand combat between our remaining sin, the sinful world, and following Christ. But God, who is rich in mercy, is working all things for our good. Each trial, each bit of stress, each battle is working to make us more like Christ. More battles are coming in your life. Cling to Christ and his word.
I hope and pray that as you end one stage of your life and sort through what you want the next stage to be that you’ll be a faithful church member, feed on the preaching of the word, and grow in wisdom and grace.
She is such an inspiration to me in my life. Her writing is stunning and I love whenever she shares some of them with me, at times asking me to edit them, as if I could somehow help her even though she’s a far better writer than I could hope to be. Her faith has been used as an awesome means leading me through many a valley. I am so happy to spend whatever time I can with her, be it watching a movie or letting me sit with her during Sunday school which I know must be a little trying to have me there every week!
Such a role model and I’m happy to have met her and to have her in my life. Abby, if you’re reading this, thank you for being an amazing, funny, smart and truly awesome friend. You really are supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Yes, I finally got to use that in a sentence!