On Black Friday, the first day of the “official” Christmas season, a Christmas Miracle happened to me.
It began when I decided I wanted to go Black Friday shopping.
If you know me, you are probably wondering why on earth I wanted to go Black Friday shopping. I just do not enjoy shopping, or crowds, or stores that are not thrift stores. Spending money gives me anxiety. I like to go on anti-consumerism rants. In fact, I probably haven’t gone Black Friday shopping in over ten years.
But for some reason I felt nostalgic for being 16 and thinking shopping at malls was fun and exciting. I wanted to be surrounded by the gentle hug of Christmas decor and music and frantic shoppers. Both of my sisters refused to come, but my friend Shanea agreed to indulge me.
I didn’t even know where to go, except I thought it might be fun to go to Bath and Body Works and buy a candle. In the end, I didn’t buy a candle, but I did sniff lots of candles and have fun.
As Shanea and I were leaving the store, I heard someone say “Emily!”
I looked up, and there was my friend Yasmeen.
Yasmeen! I couldn’t believe my eyes. I thought she was out of the country. I thought I might never see her again.
“I messaged you and messaged you!” I said, wrapping her in the hugest of hugs.
“My Facebook Messenger wasn’t working,” she said. “I didn’t know what to do. I don’t have your phone number or your email address.”
You guys have no idea how much I’d prayed about this. Yasmeen and I were such close friends this last year of college, and then we’d both graduated on June 17. No worries. She was going to be in Corvallis for a couple months yet, and I was already talking about visiting her in whatever country grad school or internships took her. We’d hang out.
Only, we didn’t. Suddenly my Facebook messages were met with cold silence. Was she okay? What was going on? I had no idea.
I prayed. My mom prayed. I asked my Sunday School class to pray. I didn’t have her phone number, her email address, anything. Just Facebook. I was so scared that this was the end of our friendship.
And then, over five months later…
When I was sure she’d already left the country…
I got the strangest urge to go Black Friday shopping.
And there she was.