Ella Kayson is a girl who tried her best to see the bright side of things, and it all started when her best friend, Aaron, showed her Jesus. She moved away from his when she was seven and she hasn't seen him since. Several years later, she has her first boyfriend, a new best friend, she brought her family to church, and they all strengthened their relationship with God together. Sounds like a perfect story. But, their life takes a sharp turn down a road of hardship, pain, and sorrow. They do the
When I was seven years old, my best friend was a boy named Aaron. He taught me a lot when I lived next door to him. Each day after school, I would run to his backyard where he would be waiting for me. He would have his Bible in his right hand and a notebook in his left. We would sit under the huge oak tree near his fence and read our favorite book for hours. We took notes on our favorite verses, and talked about what the words meant.
Aaron was my age, but he acted so much older. He had gone to church ever since he was old enough to stay in the nursery. I, on the other hand, had never been a day in my life. I had asked my mom to take me to church, but she said no, because my dad was very busy with his job.
My dad was a personal financial assistant who worked in the city. He did a lot of work at home, but rarely got away from his desk in the study upstairs. He worked constantly, and I hardly ever got to see him.
Since I didn't get to go to church, I had Aaron teach me all he knew. He talked about how Jesus died, because he loved me. I thought that was a very hard thing to wrap my little seven-year-old brain around. He told me that we sin every single day, and God hates it when we sin. But I didn't quite understand why. I asked a lot of questions, and Aaron was able to answer almost all of them. There was one that I asked, that he didn't know how to respond.
"You said if we accept Jesus, then we get to live forever. What do you have to do to accept him? I want to live forever and ever!"
So we went inside and talked to his mom, who is a very strong Christian. A smiled lit up her face when Aaron told her that we wanted to accept Jesus in order to live forever. She helped us to pray to God and ask for His forgiveness. I was so excited when we were done, but a little sad, because I didn't have my own Bible to continue to read about His word. Aaron's mom disappeared up the stairs for a minute, and came back down with one in her hand. She gave me a beautiful, brown, leather Bible with a little pink flower on front. She said it was an extra she wanted me to have.
From that day onward, I brought my own Bible whenever I went to Aaron's house. But, that all changed a couple months before my eighth birthday. I came home from school one day to drop off my backpack before I went over to Aaron’s house. My mom was sitting on the couch right by the front door. She stopped me before I left.
“Sweetie,” she said to me. “Come sit with me. We need to talk.”
At first, I thought I was in trouble, but then I noticed a hint of sadness in her voice. I wondered what she wanted to talk about.
“You know how hard your daddy works, and how you don’t get to see him much.”
I nodded my head.
“Well, his hard work has paid off. He just got a job offer for a better job, with less hours and more money.”
My face lit up, and I smiled. I would get to see my daddy more. I was so excited.
But, then she said, “That means we have to move.”
That six word sentence dropped like a twenty pound weight on my toe. My nose stung as the tears formed in my eyes.
“Well, Aaron gets to come, too, right?”
My bottom lip started to quiver as my mom looked at me apologetically.
“I’m sorry sweetie. I know how close you two are. You’ll get to make lots of new friends in Virginia.”
Virginia? I didn’t even know where that was. I had lived in South Carolina all seven years of my life. It just sounded like it was going to be so far away.
“But, what if I don’t want to make new friends?” I asked, trying to hold back sobs. I may have been young, but leaving Aaron would be like leaving behind a sibling. He was practically my brother.
“You will just have to try your best.”
My heart ached and I couldn’t hold back my tears any longer. They ran hot and fresh down my face, and my breathing turned to gasping as I sobbed. My mom tried to hold me, but I jumped off the couch and ran out the door.
I went to Aaron’s yard, and sat under his tree and cried. He eventually came out and saw my with my knees drawn to my chest and tear stains down my face.
“What’s wrong, Ella?”
“I’m moving, to Virginia. I might not ever get to see you again.”
He stood stock still. His arms went rigid and he clenched his jaw. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, and then his tenseness was gone. He knelt beside me and gave me a big hug.
“We’ll write letters,” he suggested. “And I’ll visit you over the summer!”
His suggestions calmed me for a while. We sat in silence for an hour or so, and then I went home.
My dad sat at the dinner table with my mom as we ate our meatloaf. I pushed it around with my fork for a few minutes, then I excused myself and ran up to my room. I sat on my bed as new tears ran down my face. In the midst of my sadness, I saw my Bible sitting on my dresser. I opened it up, and I immediately felt like everything would be okay. God will take care of everything for me.
A few weeks later, school was out, and our house was completely empty. I didn’t cry when I said goodbye to Aaron, but he did. For the first time, I gave him some spiritual advice.
“God will let us see each other again. I just know it!”
He smiled and gave me a hug. I waved goodbye from the car as we drove away from my house forever.