My sweet dear friends...Jenny, Shannon, and Liza
Funny enough, this is the most recent picture I have of my 3 best friends...in 5 years! The last picture we took together was 5 years ago at our sweet friend Angie Nole's baby shower for her son Dax.
The Lord has more than blessed me with covenant friendship with these women.
I first met Jenny on New Year's Eve 2003, she was a newly engaged bride-to-be and was student teaching. Later that year, she would courageously be a pillar of strength for her mom who went to be with Jesus the following May. Jenny, your strength and faith in our Father is more than inspiring to me. My husband says we were separated at birth! I love you dearly, what a dream come true to live down the street from a best friend!
I first met Shannon when Chris and I were dating, I practically lived with her and her husband for months. Since then, we have met for coffee almost every week. We laugh at how we used to sit at Panera talking for hours...and then we had children! Love you Shannon, love our long talks, love hearing your heart and gaining the wisdom of heaven from your words.
I first met Liza when Chris and I were dating. We went line dancing at the Arbuckle Ballroom after some tasty Mexican food...(that later came back up!). You were and still are the funniest, sweetest person I know! When Jesus talks about His JOY and loving others well, I can't help but think of my sweet friend. I know you're only 40 minutes away, but Norman isn't the same without you and you are greatly missed!
Dear friends, the past 5 years have brought us closer together. We have been there to celebrate marriages, the births of our children, we've been there to hold each other through loss, through death. We have celebrated life and the Lord's blessings together. I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for us in the next 5 years!
I will close with my favorite story thus far in our journey together...
Last December, on the 23rd, Chris was driving me to the church to bury my dad. Anyone who has lost a parent knows it's a saddening, surreal experience. As we pulled into the parking lot, I could see the hearse. It was a cold, snowy, cloudy, and bitter day...not that sunshine would have helped, but the weather sure didn't make it easier. Chris and I got out of the car and began to walk in the parking lot, towards the entrance, towards the hearse. I remember saying aloud to him, "I don't think I can do this" as I looked at the black car. Let me say I have experienced the Lord's nearness and comfort in my life, but nothing like the moment to follow. I felt His arms, His warmth and comfort surround me when all of the sudden, a light blue Pacifica pulled in front of the hearse, blocking my view of the dark car. All of the doors opened and out you all came. You immediately surrounded me with hugs and tears. I was overwhelmed in His comfort and embrace. He had used my 3 best friends to show me His nearness to the broken hearted.
This moment will be one I never forget and will always remain grateful to the Lord for His perfect timing and for the incredible friends you are to me.
Love you, love you, love you.