We grew close and promised each other to be bridesmaids in each other's weddings, but what did we know? I think even then, as a young teenager, I was doubtful that we would keep our promise. I knew from observation and from being told before that you don't always keep your friendships into adulthood. I didn't know why at the time--it didn't seem that hard--but I understood that it didn't happen for whatever reason.
But then we got into our high school years. We found that a truly unbiased observer, one who knew none of the parties involved, was more valuable than we had realized. We began to depend on each other as a sounding board, as a venting partner, as a confidant.
High school turned into college and the bonds were even stronger. And then my family planned a trip to the East Coast.
"I'm way too close to you not to see you," I remember telling her in an email. "I HAVE to see you."
She met me at the train station. Her car pulled up to the curb, and I was surprised to find that I recognized her as soon as she approached. I climbed into the front seat of her car, we hugged, and then she pulled out of the parking lot. We started chatting, and all of the sudden, it was like we'd be friends forever...because, well, we had.
A few months later, I told her, "I have to see you again." So she flew out that summer and spent a week at my house. Spending a longer amount of time together was even better. Those little things you learn from watching someone in the moment...I began to notice them. It was like now I could see the whole Liz. Before, I only got to see bits and pieces. Now, the picture was being filled in. I learned things that most girlfriends know about each other: likes and dislikes, oft used phrases, mannerisms, etc.
And then my then-boyfriend proposed and I was engaged. There was no question at this point. She was being in my wedding.
With the emphasis on romantic relationships in our society, we often forget that friendships can be as exciting and as important as a marriage. The bond you create with your "BFF" is unique and special. It is to be protected. They say most people don't have many truly good friends in a lifetime. Strong friendships are rare and should be cherished. I guess that is why I'm writing this post. It is not only a dedication to one of the most unique friendships in my life, but also as a reminder that all friendships, whether with someone across the country or across the town, should be nurtured and protected.
And I am happy to announce that only 8 months after I was married, Liz was also married. I flew out for her wedding, got to meet her husband-to-be, and participate in such a sacred life event.
This journey has been most special to me, and I might sound sappy writing this entire post. However, I feel like it should be recorded and shared. I am thankful to God for His Providence for this sister in Christ has helped me become the person that I am.