You are one of my oldest and dearest friends.
We have been friends for a LONG time, and our friendship has weathered a lot of ups and downs. With most of my friendships, I have stayed close with them because we seem to always have something in common. I have stayed friends with you, though, simply because we are friends. Because despite the fact that we have so little in common, our connection still remains. And I think that it always will.
It all started in our 10th grade year, when we first met. And we didn’t actually really like each other. Until we realized that we actually did like each other. And from there, we were pretty much inseparable.
By our senior year, you were at my house pretty much as frequently as I was, and you have always felt like a sister to me. I mean…you fit in 100% with my family.
One of the most incredible things we ever did together was our Spring Break trip to Ghana. I don’t think I will ever forget it! That will be one of the stories that we tell over and over and over again in our nursing homes one day.
There is always so much laughter. So much fun. So much enjoyment in just being together.
We chose to go to different colleges, you and I. That was hard. And although the miles are long, we have managed to see each other every few months. We have written, texted, talked and driven all those miles just to keep on encouraging and loving on each other.
We could never stay far apart, and I loved the summers we worked together at camp!
You, my dear, are the most emphatic, personal, and servant-minded person that I know. I have seen you time and time again be in physical pain for someone else’s pain. I have seen you go so far out of your way just to serve someone, even when it meant you got nothing in return. I have heard you wrestle and talk through so many issues: from relationship issues to social justice issues to biblical mandates and everything in between. We have had countless evenings chatting about life and love and worship and everything in between, and of course all those conversations involve not only tears but also giggles and full-out laughter.
One thing I have always loved and admired about you is how you are able to express yourself so well through art. You are so incredibly creative and when you put pen to paper or marker to lines or paint to canvas, it always comes out beautifully. You have used this gift so well, too, and I’m so proud of you for that. I have so many things hanging in my home that you have made with your hands!
Because you have such a sensitive soul, you never seem to miss an opportunity to encourage and uplift me and those around you. You have come through time and again when I have been sitting in my house just going through a hard time. You don’t let the miles or the differences stop you, instead you chose to encourage and uplift and be there.
And now here we are…all grown up. You have traveled the world and learned so much and this year, in less than two short months you will give vow your life to be united as one with your man, Vince. You will be married and while there are so many words of advice I could throw out at you, that is not what this is about. Besides, I know you’ll ask me when the time comes…because that is what friends are for. Your marriage will be beautiful and painful and you two will be striving daily to bring to glory to God. Some days you will feel remarkably successful in that endeavor, and some days you will wonder how you can fall so far from your goals and dreams. One thing I do know to be true is this: Satan already hates your marriage and wants it to fail. But you will not let that be the case. Because you will fight for the right things.
I cannot wait to see where the future takes us. I cannot wait to see how God uses you and Vince in so many lives. I cannot wait to see your gorgeous biracial babies!! I love you and I’m so proud of you. I’m so, so grateful to be your friend.