Thursday, February 8, 2007

Best Friends

I met my best friend Sandy, when I was twenty, working at a summer youth camp. I was a camp counselor, she worked on the kitchen staff. We hit it off pretty quickly, although our friendship deepened over the next few years. We continued to write back and forth through college (before e-mail became so wildly popular!) and managed to spend time together each summer, either working at a camp or going on vacation.

A few years after I graduated from college, we found ourselves living 30 miles away from each other. She was living with her folks here inCrawfordsville, while I was working and living in Lafayette. It was so great to be able to hang out all the time, going to the movies, staying up late giggling and talking about what we hoped our lives would be like. One day, she brought this incredibly handsome man to my apartment. She introduced us and a year later I married him. Now, that's an awesome friend!

The thing I love about my best friend is that she loves me the way I am but encourages me to allow God to change me. When I look back over our almost 15 year friendship, I see how I was such a young girl when we met, full of aspirations and passions but very little knowledge or experience. Now, I'm a grown woman with a family. I have definitely gained some wisdom and experienced victory and defeat in my walk with the Lord. But, Sandy still sees me as that young girl while at the same time rejoicing in my spiritual growth.

When we get together, we still act like girls. We giggle over the same inside jokes and reminisce about our shared experiences. Even if it has been months and months, we pick up right where we left off, comfortable and familiar. Sandy, her husband Don and her mother-in-law, Andrea, visited over Christmas. We had a couple of opportunities to do "girly" things together and just sit and talk. It was such a blessing and I found myself continually thanking the Lord for her friendship and her witness in my life.

Just before the Super Bowl, I received a package in the mail from her--a Colts t-shirt. She knows I love football and my beloved Colts and, although I know she doesn't share my fanaticism, she supports my enthusiasm. When I opened the package, I started laughing and laughing. Emma and Ruthie started laughing, too, and then Emma stopped and said, "Why are we laughing?" I told her that "Aunt" Sandy was the best best friend in the world. She said, "Well, I hope I have a best friend like that someday, too. You know, someone who will make me laugh like that. You look like a little girl, Mommy!"

I hope she has a friend like that, too.

Thank You, Lord, for Sandy. Bless her today in whatever she is doing. I praise You for the way she is wonderfully made. Thank You for allowing me the privilege to call her my friend. Thank You for showing us what it means to truly be a friend, to lay down our lives for one another. Thank You for giving me a sister to walk with. In Jesus' name, Amen.