I don’t believe in Best Friends. Maybe if I had lived in one city with one group of friends my entire life I would believe in them. I just don’t see how one person knows me so well that they can say they know me better than someone else did at a certain time in my life. Hannah has been the friend I’ve known the longest. We have known each other since we were three. She’s seen me through the ups and downs of my life, yet leaving Chicago at aged 14, she wasn’t in my day to day life past that. I still consider her one of my nearest and dearest friends.
Heather and I became close friends in high school. We bonded over our love of books and not drinking unlike the majority of our high school. After a brief falling out, we stayed in touch throughout college and being 5 states away. We both ended up back in the Springs and continue to be extremely close. To this day, she has been the most compelling picture of what the love of Jesus looks like and feels like.
Then there’s Kelly. My sweet KP was my freshman year roommate. We were together ALLLLLL the time that year and joined at the hip. She’s a tiny 5’2″ brunette who is feisty for days. We were quite the contrast in personality and looks. After freshman year we both decided we needed breaks. She was dating a close guy friend of mine and it just got weird for me. As fate would have it, we were together in a horrible class senior year. I sat next to her and after a few weeks I said, “Can we be friends again? ‘Cause I think we can.” and she said, “yes, we can be friends again.” We picked up where we left off two years prior. Kelly has been a rock for me in the midst of so much. I’ve LOVED doing life with her even now as she’s married and living on the otherside of the country. Incidentally enough I was the one who helped her elope late one April night.
Krystin came into my life next and defined what my Nashville community was. I can’t imagine my time in Nashville without her. There are too many things to count – roadtrips, late night Sunset grill nachos, Jacksons, shows, hospital visits, and the boys. Oh was there boy drama. I know that if I needed her, she’d get on a plane and be here in two seconds because well, she’s done it before. On Valentine’s Day a few years ago, my heart was FALLING apart. It was shattered and I didn’t know how I was going to pick up the pieces. She drove 17 hours to Nashville to give me a hug and make me laugh. She’s the most fiercely loyal person I have ever met and I want to be just like her when I grow up.
Sweet and sassy Dallas Dawn. How my eyes were opened to life by this woman. I think my journey of understanding God’s Grace began with my friendship with her. She is unabashedly in love with the Lord. She understands Grace better than anyone I’ve met. For the first time in my life, I saw a woman who was walking with sweet Jesus in a way that didn’t involve legalism or religion. She also helped me mature from a girl to a woman. She exposed me to the world – from my love of good food to the precious time spent journaling over coffee. I learned I had curly hair because of her! If I ever need an outside perspective that usually makes me mad but is right, I turn to her.
Moving to back to Colorado set me up with some pretty high expectations. Stephanie Shivers far exceeded any standards I had for friends. My goodness, I don’t even know where to begin with that girl. She literally is the person I call in the middle of the night when my world is crumbling and I can’t remember my favorite color. She knows my love language and is constantly finding ways to fill my love tank. We have tough conversations with each other and we laugh ALOT. “I love us!”
For some reason, God decided I needed two Stephanies so He brought Stephanie Kallemeyn into my life too. We met at a time when I was desperately looking for friends and she was in a rough spot. I think our mutual brokenness is what bonded us. We ran a 5k together in Pagosa Springs for my birthday, she patiently waited for me while I tried to hike the incline, she comes in and files for me (the WORST part of my job) and has been such a treat to know. She’s allowed me into her story and lets me ask tough questions. She does the same to me and I adore spending time with her. Stephanie continues to surprise and amaze me.
Jenn was pretty much my first friend here. She was newly single when I finally ventured into the friend world, we bonded over a love of all things Nashville and Southern, reality TV, and Wingstop. Jenn was a lifesaver to me those first few months, and I mean that in every sense of the word because she sat in Urgent Care with me while I was writhing in pain trying to figure out what we now know was a faulty gall bladder. As I continued to get to know her I was astounded by her maturity and intuition. She has this very self-assured presence and she knows who she is in the Lord. I always admired that about her. When she met a boy who lived in TN and fell in love, I knew my season with her was coming to a close. The day she left was bittersweet. I couldn’t even see her in person to say goodbye because my heart was breaking.
Then there is sweet Courtney. A co-worker of mine made a comment one time, “Oh my goodness, you are JUST LIKE MY WIFE!!!” and from that moment I knew we needed to be besties. Courtney is a few years and life stages ahead of me and yet completely understands where I am. She has the wisdom that comes with being a little removed from the midst of singleness but can cry with me in the pain of loneliness. I have LOVED watching her be an amazing mother to two wonderful boys and an amazing wife to her husband. Courtney is everything I want to be if I ever get to be at that stage in life. She is soft, sensitive, fun, and has God-given wisdom and insight.
While I don’t believe in one best friend, I do believe these women (and several others I didn’t mention) have shaped me into the woman I’ve become. They have all inspired and challenged me in ways I never thought possible. My deepest wounds have been caused by women. My worthlessness and ideas about myself have primarily come from words women have spoken. These women as well as many others, helped redeem the wounds inflicted and restore my faith in having close female friends. I truly don’t think I would be who I am if it wasn’t for these incredible ladies who love the Lord – deeply, passionately, authentically, and imperfectly. So ladies, this one is to you. I adore each of you and don’t want to know life without you!
“I thank my God every time I think of you.” Philippians 1:3