Since senior year of high school, my best friends have shared Christmas together every year on December 23rd. Every year, it is the only time that we’re all together. It is a precious day. This year, I’m spending Christmas in Jamaica, and as excited as I am to be on this trip, I am heartbroken to be away from my best friends. In honor of BFF Christmas, I want to share the letter I wrote last year. It’s been a year since I’ve written this, but every single word holds true. I love you girls more than you will ever know, and I hope you have the most wonderful Christmas celebration tonight.
To My Best Friends, My Sisters, My Partners in Crime,
As we all know, my go-to Christmas present involves a picture or two, some scrapbook paper, and maybe an artsy frame. Over the past couple years, the number of pictures together have dwindled. But I have my words, and sometimes, I think those are more powerful than a photo.
Three Christmases past high school graduation, and here we are. So much has changed, and yet so much remains the same. Life has been a whirlwind. A whirlwind of adventures, marriages, engagements, heartbreaks, growth, disappointment, excitement- life and life to the full. Some of us remain ten minutes away, some of us share houses and apartments with each other, and yet some of us are separated by state borders and rivers and mountains and a train mysteriously named the L.
Part of me wants to go back. Back to senior year, back to living at Jenna’s house and going to Polar Bear together. Back to laying on the lawn at Crooked Creek, back to running the halls of Bowie. Back to camping at Pace Bend and crying over our heartaches and knowing the ins and outs of each of your days. Back to campaigners at Galaxy and helplessly spilling every trouble in my life to Emily. Back to assumed sleepovers and s’mores in the kitchen and dreaming about who would be the first to be married. Part of me wants to go back.
And part of me says that being where we are, being apart, is the most valuable place we can be. Away from you girls, I am reminded of your true value. I am reminded to never take you for granted, because friendships like these are once in a lifetime. Relationships like these aren’t freely given out, and we are the exception to the rule. High school friendships falter, they bust, they end, because they were founded on the weaknesses and insecurities of being 16. But being apart from you, I know that what we have is different. It is more, it is stronger, and it is growing me day in and day out.
I don’t know the ins and outs of your days. I don’t know Rachel’s grade on her geometry test, or why Jenna is having a really hard week. I’m not there for every moment of it. But I cherish each one of you more because of it. Because I realize that you are irreplaceable, and in my life forever. You have changed me, you have grown me, you have encouraged me, and you have inspired me. You have reminded me that life is precious, that friendships are precious, and that God is always doing something extravagantly good.
Looking back over the past three years, I am amazed at Jesus’ faithfulness. God has blessed us with friendships founded on more than ourselves, more than our feelings and our likes and dislikes- He has bound us together in sisterhood, and I have felt that sisterhood every day since May 2011. There is not a single step that I have walked without the security of knowing that I have eleven girls willing to give up everything for me. And I pray that each of you have felt that; that each of you know how dearly I love you, how deeply you are cherished, and how thankful I am for you. We have been blessed beyond measure.
Whether together or apart, on a mountain in the majesty of Colorado, or in the boondocks of Abilene, we are knit together. Intricately intertwined, hearts beating together, fingers interlocked from across state lines. You are my best friends, my sisters, my gifts from above. And I treasure you.