featured image

Karen Estep shares a story of friendship that has God’s providence in every detail.

Almost 20 years ago I met one of my best friends, which seems impossible because I don’t feel like college was that long ago. However, it was, and Allison and I have been best friends since our sophomore year of college. She is the Lucy to my Ethel, my sister from another mister, the person I get “in trouble” with the most, and we have big plans to be big pains in the nursing home. 2022 was an extremely pivotal year for us that made us both realize that when we met in 2005 God’s plan was bigger than even we would know.

Allison and I were both elementary education majors at our college. We had a ton of classes together. We had a lot of fun in college and we actually did get in some trouble. Allison and I were constantly late to our music class and we also really struggled in the same math class … twice. … We tried new makeup trends together; we helped each other over breakups, breakdowns, and all the fun that college brings.

In 2005 there was no way we could know what 2022 would bring Allison but when we both reflected on our friendship after Allison’s daughter, Molly, was born, we realized God’s divine plan is so much greater than us just being best friends.




To know the full story though, I need to take you back to when I was 10 years old. When I was 10, my nephew was born. I was incredibly excited to be an aunt. However, Zachy was born 2 months early. That brought on a whole set of complications in itself, and then we found out that Zachy had been born with Down Syndrome, which was very unexpected. As a 10-year-old, I had no idea what any of this meant and was just hoping to be the best aunt for him!

Zachy is more like my little brother than nephew in a lot of ways. My husband, kids, and I see him almost every Saturday. Our Saturday night routine is going to get tacos with Zachy and my parents. Zachy is such a big part of my life that most of my friends have met him (including Allison) and every person that meets Zachy loves him.




Fast forward to 2021, Allison had just suffered a miscarriage that was even more painful due to the fact that it had taken her almost a year to get pregnant. Her friends were there to help Allison through it by spending time with her and praying for her. Although Allison is not Catholic, she allowed me to ask for intercession from St. Anne. Allison was pregnant again after a few months and everyone was overjoyed!

Allison and her husband found out the gender of the baby, and Allison named the precious baby in her womb Molly. Molly (while in the womb) and Allison even supported my husband and I when we were confirmed and took our first communion by sitting through the Easter Vigil with us. We celebrated Molly with a very cute baby shower and made sure that Molly had every bow, hair accessory, nursery item, and then we waited for Molly’s arrival.

Molly was born on September 1, 2022 with very few complications. However, Allison and her husband's world was rocked that night when the doctors sat them both down and shared that they had suspicions that Molly might have Down Syndrome. This was very unexpected for Allison and her husband because they had done the non-invasive genetic testing with everything coming back negative. So, now not only would they have to navigate a new baby, plus their other daughter who is 5, but also a new diagnosis that was not what they had planned.




I remember getting Allison’s lengthy text that night and knowing the pain, grief, stress, and also tremendous amount of joy that was about to come their way. I immediately sent her resources and groups to look into contacting. I gave her some questions to ask the doctors and let her know that I was always going to be there for her, Molly, her husband, and their older daughter. I am Molly’s aunt too now and nothing was going to stop me from helping as much as I could.

A few days after Molly was born, I went to visit both Allison and Molly in the hospital. Allison and I broke down and held each other. At that moment we realized that God’s providence had made us friends and kept us friends for almost 20 years for this reason. Allison and her family have been given a road to navigate that I had been helping my own family navigate since I was 10.

Now, as you can imagine, Molly has her Auntie Karen wrapped around her little bitty hands, so similar to Zachy having me wrapped around his hands too. I can’t wait to see how she will bless this world because I have seen how Zachy has—and it’s truly amazing!




Click to tweet:
We realized God’s divine plan is so much greater than us just being best friends. #CatholicMom

Allison and I may not be running late to classes anymore or trying not to fail our math classes, but we will forever be sisters of the heart. We know that God has given both Molly and Zachy to us, our families, and to the world, so that they can shine their light for everyone.



Copyright 2023 Karen Estep
Images: copyright 2023 Karen Estep