Last month I flew to Colorado to visit one of my oldest and dearest friends, Sarah. We’ve known each other since Kindergarten and have gotten closer each year since. After we graduated high school, I stayed in Austin to go to UT, and Sarah moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, to study nutrition at CSU. I’ve gone to see her every year since.
My long weekends in Fort Collins are always so beautiful. They are treasured, treasured memories for me. Sarah’s friendship is easy and natural and life-giving. It’s the kind where we can sit down with the intention of studying or finishing a paper, and somehow we end up talking for hours about Jesus and ministry and marriage. I treasure all of my friendships, but I treasure Sarah’s friendship especially.
I treasure our friendship not because it’s easy, but because it’s real. There are no boundaries, no restrictions. She’s known me for years and years, and I have no secrets. She knows me pre-Jesus and she knows me post-Jesus. She knows the hardest parts of my life because she has walked through them with me. She corrects me when I tell a story wrong, and explanation of “the way I used to be” is never necessary. Nothing needs a back story, no history needs to be explained. She knows me and she knows me deeply, inside and out. She calls my bullshit and pushes me towards Jesus.
Friendships like these are rare. And I treasure them.
That weekend was my last weekend in Fort Collins with Sarah. In three days, Sarah is getting married. She is marrying a wonderful man, one I could not approve more of. Her life will change, and our friendship will change. Life changes and moves on and we grow and evolve into the people we are meant to be. But I’m not afraid of the changes. Friendships built on the strength and foundation of Christ, friendships that have weathered years and climbed mountains, these friendships change and evolve right alongside us. Friendships like these don’t pass easily by, and they’re not easily abandoned. They are malleable and brave, willing to evolve and grow.
In three days, I will stand next to Sarah as she says “I do.” I will cry like a baby and praise Jesus as the couple I have loved and supported for eight years begins their life together.
There is a beauty to friends who know you at your best. Friends who have only looked at you with the thought, “wow, she really has her sh*t together.” Friends who have no recollection of who you were at your worst. They see you as you are now, and hear stories of how you used to be. Those friendships are important. Truly. But we can’t forget to treasure the ones who have seen us in diapers, and seen us with braces, and seen us bent over a toilet after a series of bad choices at prom. The ones who can look us in the eye and call our bullshit. The ones who know us through and through. Friends like these are to be treasured, and I praise Jesus for this one.
Sarah and Chris, I wish you the absolute best on your wedding day, and for the rest of your lives together. I pray that you will grow together and push each other towards Jesus. I pray that you will treasure each other and treasure the gift of life Christ has given you. I pray that you will see each other at your best and remember each other at your worst. I pray that you would grow closer to Jesus each day. That you would call each other’s bullshit. That you will look your children in the eye and tell of them of the value of a dear friend, that you would point them towards deep and meaningful friendships, remembering the value of yours. And I pray that you would invite me over for dinner very, very often.