I can't exactly figure out why I am feeling so sentimental this afternnoon, but I feel called to share how incredibly blessed I am by the friendships in my life. This might be a little cheesy so I apologize. I'm not normally this gushing over in emotions...except for during Disney animated films, but that's not what this blog is about.
I've been fortunate enough to have the same core group of friends for the past nine years or so. I met this wonderful group of girls when I started attending my middle school youth group and our group grew once we reached high school. I think what made this group so unique is that very few of us went to the same school, but we still remained close throughout all of those years. And even now we are sprinkled across California and even across continents, but I still consider them my closest confidants and influences over my life. I heard it said one that you are the average of the five people you hang out with. It really makes you think twice about who you are asssociating with. Not only are you the average of those people, but it's important to realize that outsiders will perceive you this way as well. I look at these girls and I am so grateful that they are the women I have become an average of. We have all grown up together. Grown up in every sense of the word: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. If everything about my character is an average of these girls, I am especially grateful for their faith. These girls challenge me, inspire me, and hold me accountable. I feel so blessed to be a part of this intimate little community we have created.
I realize how much I have in these girls when I compare this lifestyle to my sister's. I'm not sure if it is just happenstance or the drastic differences in our personalities, but my sister though she has always had a multitude of friends, has always lacked a close intimate group of best friends (or just the singular version of that). Growing up, it seemed that every summer or school year she would be hanging out with a different group of friends. I could hardly keep track of it because as soon as one girls face and name would become familiar to me she would be replaced with another a few months later. When I was in middle school, at the beginning of my relationship with Sarah, Tarrah, and Marissa, I remember my sister just being in adoration of me and my friends. I think what impressed my sister the most was that these same girls would be coming in and out of our house year after year. And despite my sister and I growing apart as we entered high school and middle school respectively, I could always tell that she somewhat envied my consistent relationship with these girls. She eventually became too cool to want to hang out with us, and she shut herself away from me and my parents. Even though she became incredibly difficult to get along with I could always sense this distant sense of desire to have friends like mine. Alli is still a little bit difficult to get along with, but I think the distance of me moving out has made it easier for me to connect with her. It's definitely a relationship in my life that is not perfect and I definitely need to be more intentional with her, but I can see the beginnings of her chipping away her hard outer shell. I think it touches her to see that even though I live 400 miles away, every time I come home those same girls she looked at with adoring eight year old eyes are still present in my life. I long to be an example of community, accountability, and love in my sister's life, but if nothing else this makes me so incredibly grateful for the wonderful relationships in my life.
I am just so impressed by these women in my life. Two of us are devoting our lives to ministry, one of us is going to be a pilot, one of us is studying abroad to be a teacher, and one of us has a heart for the physically dehabilitated and is studying to help out with that. But most impressive of all is their inspiring walks with Jesus. These girls are my inspirations of faith. We can spend hours in deep and meaningful conversation or hours throwing around ridiculous meaningless inside jokes. We drive by this hill in Loomis all the time when I'm back home and we have this joke that we are all going to buy the five houses in a row on top. Our "plan" is to knock out the fences and have a giant Midwestern style backyard between us. Natually babysitting roations would be set up among us etc. My mom overheard part of this conversation and sounding concerned, asked me if we were starting a commune. So yes. We are starting a commune in Loomis.
All joking aside, I just can't even express how grateful I am for these girls. I am also expecially excited as I begin connecting with the Life Groups in the high school group. I desire so much to encourage younger girls to go after these sorts of friendships with other girls. I hope I can mirror the example of my own friends in their lives. I am so grateful for my wonderful core five. I am so blessed to be considered the average of such an impressive group of ladies.