I love my friend Sarah for a lot of reasons but especially because, in her words, she’s “on the look out for extraordinary relationships in a sometimes too ordinary world.” She wrote a post the other day with a fun opportunity to join in on a Great Big Friendship Blog. I decided to take the opportunity to brag on my friends because I don’t do it enough.
I’m bending the rules because I can’t pick just one. So, my friends, here’s to you…
To my “friend family” as I call them: Luke, Stephen, Nick, Christian, Angee, & Ariel. When I call them family I mean it with every bit of me. There aren’t 6 other people in the world with whom I can be more myself & rest with. Our worlds were connected long before we knew it & I love the story of how we all became a “group.” They are my favorite people to sit around a fire discussing life with & around a table laughing with as we play Phase 10. And when we’re scattered across the country as work has us on the road, 2 hours group text conversations keep us together. Ask me about any of them & an instant smile will spread across my face, I just can’t help it. :)
To Emily, one of my longest friends. We met as freshmen in college volunteering together at a youth program at church. I’ll be completely honest, we butted heads for a long time. I was the “responsible get it done by the book” person & she was the “carefree, it’ll all work out, just have fun with the kids” person. But something changed after we graduated & she moved across the world to China. She’s now one of my dearest friends & I appreciate that she has known me through so many seasons of life & seen me at my worst much more than most. She has endured a month of traveling in China with me & and our friendship has survived different time zones, countries, & states. Emily is one of my favorite people to do nothing with…simply be…because she values that & it makes me value it when I’m with her.
To Matt, another one of my long friends. I’ve known Matt since we were enemies as freshmen in high school. We quite literally had yelling matches & said very unkind things to each other. I don’t quite remember how we ended up becoming friends, but we did. My favorite memories are Sunday nights regularly spent eating pie at Perkins & blonde highlights at home gone bad. He’s the one friend I always make a point to visit when I’m back in Minnesota. He too has seen me at my worst much more than most & I appreciate that about him…honestly I’ve probably had to apologize more to him than most people :) There is something valuable about people who can reflect for you the changes you’ve been through & the ways in which you’ve grown.
To J & Carl, and the rest of the crew that gathers on Sunday nights, who love better than perhaps anyone I’ve ever met. Truly, the way they love people challenges me. They’re some of my newer friends, but I love them still the same. It’s been incredible to watch the community that organically grows around them simply because they live who they are & they aren’t afraid to climb into the mud with people.
The list of friends I would love to brag about could go on for days. They are the most diverse, craziest cast of characters I could’ve never dreamed up. And when I stop to think about the people whose paths I’ve been blessed to cross I’m quickly overwhelmed with the deepest gratitude because they are grace with skin, they make God’s love tangible in ways I could never imagine. And maybe, at the end of the day, that’s what friendship is ultimately about: a way for us to understand just how much God loves us…for us to see ourselves, through our friends’ eyes, as He does.
Join the fun & tell us about a friend who has helped to make you who you are.