It started 20 years ago. And I did not see it coming. But it would change my life.
A friendship. Of epic proportions.
With 3 other girls.
I started college in a teensy little Bible School in Wisconsin in August 1994. We were required to sit in alphabetical order in class. Since my last (maiden) name started with a W, it made sense that the people I got to know the quickest had the last names of White and Warren. I don’t remember meeting them. I don’t remember the friendship in the developing phase. What I do remember is that I hardly have a single memory of those two years that does not include these two girls, plus one more who came a semester after us.
Cora, Amy and Corrie. The sisters that grew into my heart and have stayed there these past twenty years.
If you have followed my sporadic blog at all, you might recall a post from….2011?…..when I talked briefly about these friendships. These….lifeships. They have been more than friends…we have shared life.
Here is an insert from what I said about them in that post a few years ago:
There are 4 of us girls who all met in college (A little shout-out here to New Tribes Bible Institute!), became true sisters of the soul and have continued this unbelievable friendship over the past 17 years. (yes, we are old now). There have been trials and struggles, joys and triumphs in all of our lives. We live in different, far apart places and see each other in person only every few years. But the distance has never changed the depth of our friendship. We have walked through the valley of the shadow of death together and we have sung on the highest mountain together. We have mourned together and we have laughed. Oh, believe me, we have laughed. Corrie, Amy and Cora are sisters of my heart.
Well, I spent the last week in Maine with Amy and Cora (and Amy’s husband and 6 – yes SIX – children). We did the normal thrift-store hopping, eating, talking, crying, and yes, laughing. Even as we close in on 40 years old (I am the closest to that….), we can still pick right up where we left off as if no time has passed.
Sometimes our talks are fun and light-hearted. Other times, the issues we are facing are deep and personal and raw. No matter what kind of talk we are having, my friends are honest. HONEST. It is not everyone that can speak that way to another. This kind of honesty, spoken out of love, even when it is hard to hear…that kind of raw, sometimes painful honesty can only come from a lifetime of friendship and knowing.
These girls know me in ways that others cannot know me. They have seen me at my best and at my worst. And they have spoken words of life and truth. And they make me better because of this.
Sometimes I wish that our issues in life were as sweet and innocent as they were 20 years ago in the carefree days of college and flannel shirts and Spring Breaks. But I am thankful that life changes – and our friendships grow with us.
There are really no words to adequately describe the depth of love that I have for these girls. I am forever grateful for this week that I could spend with Amy and Cora. Two of the other pieces of my heart.
As I write about these dear friends, I am recalling a handful of other friendships that have formed and shaped who I am, so stay tuned….it seems that I will be blogging more about friendships….