May 4, 2015

...For Life...

MUSH alert!  You've been warned.

As I embark on the process of moving across the Midwest, I am reflecting... a lot.  These next few months while I impatiently try to save every penny, look for places to live and places to work I get to be very much alone with the thought of "good-byes".  While the idea of getting to start over and move on with my life is so wonderful and exciting, there's the very real fact that the town I've known for 11 years will no longer really be a part of my life, as well as many of the people I know here.  It's a little gut-wrenching.  You see, I'm one of those that does not take relationships lightly.  I attach myself to people and even places very deeply.   I place a lot of value on the relationships that I build.  Losing a friend or feeling like I no longer matter to someone really messes me up on the inside. 

It also got me thinking about the people that will always be there, no matter what.  The people that make me a better person.  The people that I sometimes ache to spend time with because time, life, distance gets in the way.  The people that make me glad I'm alive.  The people that I never have to question if I mean to them as much as they mean to me.  These are the people that I can't picture my life without.

Colleen is the girl I met when we were twelve.  She was my canoe partner on our seventh grade outdoor ed. trip.  She's the girl I played countless orchestra concerts and ensembles with.  She's the one that stuck by me and fought for us through the ridiculous and dramatic adolescent years.  Colleen's the girl that makes me feel beautiful, worthy, and treasured.  She is the one I can be honest with no matter what and trust to be honest with me.  She's lovely and grateful and the one who will always bring me back to feeling like I'm 16 in the best ways possible.  She makes me want to be better and helps me to always believe that I can be.

Emilie is the girl I met when I was three.  She lived across the street and was the girl I supposedly convinced to eat dirt.  Supposedly.  ;)  She's the one I said goodbye to at age nine and then rediscovered our friendship at 18.  She's the one I spent countless hours with in the dorms, at retreats for our campus ministry, and the one that survived living with me during the year my parents divorced and I had my heart broken.  She's the one that not only loves how weird I am, but celebrates it.  Emilie is the one I can completely be myself around and never fear judgment.  She's accepting, loving, patient, and has one of the biggest hearts I know. 

Rebecca, I met in my early twenties.  The day she walked into our small group I knew she and I were meant to be friends.  We were and are such different people but it has NEVER mattered.  We were drawn together in the midst of the hardest periods of our lives and our friendship was cemented as a result.  She was there for me and I was there for her.  She's the one that thousands of miles can't take from me.  She's my kindred spirit and the one that I never have to explain things to.  Rebecca is the one who cries with me, understands, and encourages me without fault.  She helps me to see the beauty and hope in everything.  She is beautiful, enduring, and loyal always.

Ineke, I also met in my twenties.  I moved into her apartment as she moved upstairs in our building.  We became friends because of the season of life we were in.  She is the one teaches me.  She teaches me the value of family, to be adventurous, to trust God, and to never accept a life you aren't happy with.  She gets me out of my comfort zone, challenges me, and gives me the motivation to make things happen.  She is the one that allows me to see hope for the future.  She is one of the catalysts in me falling in love with Michigan.  Ineke is the adventurer and the one that makes me want to do big things.

Though I will have to say good-bye to more people than I'd like in a few months, I also know that I do have friendships that have and will stand through whatever changes happen.  I am so thankful.  I'm so, so thankful that God took the time to put these women in my life and to use them to keep me grounded through so much.  And you know what?  These four are not even it!  There are others.  So many others that I know I will be friends with forever.  People that mean so much to me. 

And you know what else?  I'll soon get to do it all over again!!

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