I posted several weeks ago about a new Bible study I was working through called Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg. For anyone wondering, I am still loving it, and I would definitely recommend it for anyone out there looking for a study to do. In the study, Margaret highlights six areas of wonder in our lives: the wonder of divine expectation, the wonder of God's presence, the wonder of rest, the wonder of prayer, the wonder of friendship, and the wonder of forgiveness. This past week I completed the homework portion on the wonder of friendship. God has blessed me with so many beautiful friendships throughout my life, and I wanted to take today to talk about just a few of these sweet women. Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list of all my friends, but these five women have stuck around and been my friends for a very long time, and I can't thank God enough for them.
First, there's Amy. If I remember correctly, Amy was the first girl my age I met when I moved to Florida at the fresh age of seven years old. From the moment we met, we were bosom buddies and if you ask any of the members who attended Faith Baptist Church when we were children, they'd tell you they rarely saw one of us without the other. We've been friends for over 20 years now, and Amy is one of the most loyal women I know. When I spent six months in Johannesburg, South Africa, Amy wrote me letters every week without fail. Amy, I love you with all my heart and I look forward to the next 20 years of friendship we'll share.
Next is Erin. I also met Erin when I was seven years old right after moving to Florida. Erin is probably one of the most steady people I know. I have said on different occasions that Erin has probably been the most consistent friend I have ever had, and that remains true today. Even though she has been living in Arizona for the last several years (which is killing me, Erin. get your butt back to Florida!), I never feel as if our friendship has stopped or even lagged. Whether it's a phone call or a visit, I enjoy spending time with her, and I know I can trust her with anything. I love you, Erin, and your friendship is a treasure to me.
Lyndsey is another one of my lifers who is now my sister-in-law. That's right. I married her brother. Over the past 20 years, we have gone through times where we haven't seen each other as much as other times. In those times, we never missed each other's birthday parties, talked on the phone for hours, and wrote each other real, send-it-in-the-mail-with-a-stamp letters. Lyndsey and I can't tell each other a story without one of us stopping to ask, "Wait, what were you wearing? What time was it? Was it before or after such-and-such?" We have to know every single detail about each others' lives, and I wouldn't change that for anything. Now we have been sisters for three years and she'll never be able to get rid of me even if she wanted to! Lynds, I love you to the stars, and I'm so glad you've always been my sister....even before I married Cody.
Christina and I met during our turbulent middle school years and instantly became BFFs. Nearly 15 years later, we can't go for a week without at least texting each other, and I can't imagine my life without her in it. From countless sleepovers where absolutely no sleeping occurred, to our shared love of music and singing together (come on, Shania), to our Ben & Jerry's chic flic therapy, to our appreciation for and strict enforcement of correct grammar, to our blogging endeavors, to our love for Christ and our desire to walk closer with Him; she is my girl and she's always got my back. Christina, I love you forever.
Danette has been my friend for almost a decade now, and I can't even begin to talk about how much joy and fun she has brought into my life. Even over this past weekend when I was deep in a pit, she brought me out of it just by being available to spend time with me talking, laughing, and shopping. And then following all of that up with a trip to the beach! Whether it's wearing green wigs to a wedding, lathering each other up with sunscreen, broadening our horizons by sharing books and movies together, exaggerating merely for the sake of exaggerating, or frequenting one of the many fine eateries in the greater Winter Haven area, I would pick Danette every time. Danette, I love you, buddy, and count on me frequenting all of the fine eateries in the greater Talla-assee area with you in the future!
Henry Ford said, "My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me." You five women bring out the best in me, and I thank God for each and every one of you.
I am wonderstruck by my friends.