Pegs, Kathryn, Jenna, Blake, MC, Bethie, Christa, Carly, & Danni,
Was it really just 9 months ago that we looked at each other and said, “Ok. You’re in my life. Now what?”
Discipleship is this weird, churchy word for, “I’m older and lets hang out and maybe you will get something of Jesus out of us walking together.”
I thought I would wade into your life slowly and carefully. You were hurting and sad about the move of our beloved Jeff and Sara and so was I. Loss was one of those weird things that bonded us, and in retrospect, it was fitting. We bonded over love. You embraced me without hesitation. Where was the slow, wading in that was supposed to happen?
From day 1 you showed up and I’m not just talking about physically. YOU showed up. You were hungry and struggling. All of you in different ways had your own load you were carrying and when your load became a burden, you learned to share it. You told your secrets and wondered if there was anything lovely inside because you felt your behavior wasn’t. You wrestled with the age old question that plagues every woman at some point in her life, “What is wrong with me?” (To which I wanted to scream, “NOTHING!!!!”)
You felt insecure and other times you were so sure and anchored. You prayed for one another and never tired of hearing repeated struggles when one of your sisters was self-conscious about sharing “again.” You moved towards one another with compassion, truth, love, and fierceness that comes from knowing and being known. You’ve moved
from timidity to confidence and strength. You will disagree and that’s ok, but I’m older and bossier and wiser so you have to listen to what I say. You think tears and struggle means weakness, but dear one, it is exactly what makes you strong……your weakness and honesty about it.
You loved one another WELL. You walked a road of courage and at times, loneliness that no one could “fix.” You had conflict and didn’t avoid. You learned to listen to Jesus for yourself and not for conformity. You ran marathons and worked hard jobs. You risked what was expected to walk a path less traveled. You stepped out and led when you were afraid and you stepped out of leadership roles when you felt it had become an identity. You prayed for strangers, stood by your sisters through family agony, and rejoiced when one fell in love.
Almost every year that I’ve been on staff I’ve had a group of girls that I’ve invested in and each year I say the same thing because I mean it. YOU ARE MY FAVORITE. Whoever God has placed in my life is my favorite and remains my favorite. It’s just expanded by 9 more this year.
Pegs, Danni, Carly, Jenna, Kathryn, Christa, Blake, MC, Bethie, truly you have CAPTURED my heart. We have laughed hysterically, danced, cried, written songs, cooked countless meals, walked through loss, spa’d it up, eaten our weight in chocolate, prank called, and fallen more in love with Jesus in the process.
Words can’t quite capture what a band of misfits we are, but somehow it works and just when I think there’s no more room for my heart to grow before bursting, another one of you comes along and hops in (don’t leave us, Danni). Truly, you have changed my life and it is strange that I cannot remember (nor do I want to) what life was like before you invaded every space in my house and heart. 🙂 Thank you, God that I still have another year with you. Cue Friends are friends forever.