Tag Archives: Friendship

It Takes a Village

This past weekend, I moved from my first “adult” apartment of two years into a new one. It’s a bit closer to my work, and it’s a fresh start. This week has been a lot of unpacking, donating, rearranging things to fit into a slightly smaller space, breaking down boxes, all while battling a stuffy nose.

There was a moment during the moving process when I sat in a half-circle with my friends, all of us with beers cracked open in our hands, when I realized these are my people–this is my village.

It takes a village to do anything well. “Well” is my operative definition. I will be the first to tell you, that we can do a lot of things on our own. We can shop by ourselves, and eat by ourselves (which is healthy independence). We can move homes by ourselves and refuse to ask for help. We can keep our own secrets, and we can keep our pain to ourselves (not so healthy). Ultimately, we, as humans, can survive on our own–but we are not living well.

But there is such a beautiful grace in vulnerability and asking for help.  I will also be the first to admit that asking for a helping hand is really hard. It reminds me of my shortcomings, and makes me realize that while I am a good survivor, I am still learning the art of living well. And the importance of creating a village is a topic I will probably write about later, but for now, the focus of this is recognizing your village.

This past weekend I had to move, and I had to ask for help. I had to trust that my friends would come to my aid when I asked–and they did. They came (one of them even showed up after three margaritas), and they drove (the one who drank didn’t drive), and they loaded and unloaded. They opened my bottle of beer, and sat and laughed with me and encouraged me when I felt the anxiety of relocating.

And that’s when I realized–when I took a moment to look up from survival mode to life-savoring mode–I had my village. My village of imperfect people, doing wonderful things.

village

I say imperfect because, ultimately, that’s what people are: imperfect. I can tell you some of the moments these people have hurt my feelings with their words, and in the same breath, I can tell you the moments their words made me feel like I could be irrevocably brave–and that’s what it is to have your village. Your village is the ones who are with you, growing you to be a better person and loving you each step of the way, even when it’s difficult.

Your village will be imperfect. They will be people full of faults, just like you. And they will be the people who will love you and help you when you give them a chance by giving yourself a chance to be vulnerable and asking for help.

It takes a village to do anything well. When you’re stressed, your village will hold you up, and when they’re stressed, maybe they’ll know they can turn to you, too.

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Filed under Mental Health, Relational, Uncategorized

Mess Is Mine

table

There have been two important times in my life when I was invited “to the table”.

The first time was when I was still in San Diego, and the college group I attended launched the idea of “The Open Table”. It was a place for college kids to meet and hang out with other college kids who loved Jesus (and eat food). Even if a person didn’t love Jesus and was simply searching for something to believe in or something to be a part of, the heart of the Open Table was this: that’s okay, come as you are. We want you here.

The second time I was invited to the table was during my year as a resident assistant during my undergraduate years. A few days before the housing residents arrived, I sat under the shade of a large tree in the Pacific Northwest amongst other resident assistants. It was there that our Resident Director read to us from a book that would quickly become among my favorite books. She quoted from Shauna Niequist’s book Bread & Wine (Shameless plug: If you haven’t read this book, please do!). 


“We don’t come to the table to fight or defend…We come to the table because our hunger brings us there. We come with need, with fragility, with an admission of our humility. The table is the great equalizer, the level playing field that many of us have been looking everywhere for. The table is the place where the doing stops, the trying stops, the masks are removed, and we allow ourselves to be nourished, like children. We allow someone else to meet our need. In a world that prides people on not having needs, on going longer and faster, on going without, on powering through, the table is a place of safety and rest and humanity, where we are allowed to be as fragile as we feel.
Come to the table.”

Reflecting on these two significant moments, especially after Bread & Wine, I realized that living a life of inviting people to the table, and being part of a table, is exactly how I want to live my life–I never had the words to convey such emotions and desires until recently.

In recent days, I’m seeing a great divide in the world around me in big and small ways. Christians are becoming divided over issues to the point of slandering a certain population. Countries are at war amongst each other because differences are seemingly too great to overcome. Religions, and lack thereof, contend each other for who is right and who is wrong. Friends and family refuse to speak to each other over hurts. The list goes on. Many people seem to be in this mindset of “fend for yourself”. Overall, the act of living is extremely messy and when things get rough, we have the tendency of shutting down to everything around us, not being the open tables we need to be.

I will admit that at times I have not been the table I needed to be. There have been times when I’ve been so incredibly messy that I believed I had nothing but crumbs to offer to the people around me. Some days, that is still very true, but more often than not, it’s an excuse to keep from opening my heart to the needs around me as well as recognizing my own needs.

I’ve always been excited for Autumn, as this season has always represented new beginnings to me. As this Autumn slowly rolls around, I will be starting internship in a couple weeks. My second year (and last year) of grad school will consume my life, and I am entering this season with a heart that feels like such a mess. I am tired–working and studying within the helping profession leaves me drained in ways I never thought possible. I am navigating the waters with a friend I’ve been in a long-standing  stubborn squabble with. I’m learning to push through my natural inclination to shut down after a strange situation with an even stranger boy that abruptly ended. Finally, I am figuring out how to let the “real me” come through when all I feel is a deliberating sense of anxiety and low moods around the people I come in contact with–friends, family, and new people alike. And in spite all of my silly mess, I want to offer grace.

In spite of it all, I know I have a table to offer. At my table, I will not hide my mess and offer others the sacred safety and room to do the same. Regardless of the divides I see in the world in me, I want offer grace to allow people to come as they are and be nourished. I want to be a place where pretending doesn’t have to happen, trust can be built, and a place where both the people I love and the people I encounter can come to receive nourishment without judgement.

I strongly believe that the act of living involves messiness, and among the most wonderful things about living is that we never have to carry our messes on our own. Coming to the table should mean coming to a place of grace in which we carry each others burdens and receive nourishment for weary hearts regardless of backgrounds.

Come to the table.

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On Trust & Scars

After being away from the ocean for nearly half a year, I dipped my toes in the cool blue Atlantic ocean, and I was centered. Although it wasn’t the Pacific ocean that I grew up with, being among the waves was inexplicably cathartic. Around me, waves jaggedly broke across brown sand, and the sounds of laughter and voices calling from the group I was with filled my ears on a hot, Dominican day.

Carefully, I stepped over thousands of tiny rocks, going deeper into the Atlantic, pausing to hop over a wave as it crashed into me. Quickly though, I stopped wading into the water because of one ridiculous reason alone: I can’t swim. You’d think between growing up in Southern California and my insatiable love of the water, a girl like me would be part mermaid, but nope. I don’t know what happened there. It’s quite tragic.

So I stopped in the worst place possible–the place where the waves grow before they crash. Even so, every thing within me longed to go out further where my friends were–to the space beyond the waves, a place I’ve never ventured out to due to my inability to swim.

At one point, two friends swam back and offered their hands. First, they offered their hands reminding me that I was stupidly standing in a danger zone (but not dangerous for individuals who can swim), and secondly, they offered me their hands to take me to the space beyond the waves–to uncharted territory.

To these two friends, I don’t think they quite realized the gravity of their actions. To them, perhaps it was pity for a friend who couldn’t swim. But for me, it was a trust fall.

I don’t trust people very easily. More often than not, I don’t trust individuals–even those that have been in my life for years. It’s an issue I’ll be working on with my therapist, I’m sure, but for now, it is what it is. And in that moment, when those two friends came back from me, it was a do or die moment.

Standing in the middle of the Atlantic, beneath the Dominican sun, with two hands offered to me to take, what looked like a few passing seconds was agonizingly long for me internally. In that moment, my heart pounded as I hesitated, watching them carefully. My heart pounded as my mind raged, telling me it wasn’t a good idea to trust these people. My mind screamed that they would let me go, that if something bad happened, they wouldn’t help me. My mind screamed that it’s safer to go back to the shore than let these two people whom I haven’t known for a long time take me to where I want to go. But my heart whispered otherwise.

My heart whispered, “do or die. It’s now or never.” My heart grew bolder and said, “you’re going to have to trust some time. Trust them. If you want to change, start here.” And so I did, tentatively placing my hands–my life— in their hands. And I didn’t get very far. I might have ventured out a few more feet, but fear won over and I let go, deciding I didn’t need to die in the Dominican Republic. Even so, what matters to me are the few more feet I went deeper, and these friends didn’t let go.

And I think, that’s what trust is. Trust is, not knowing what will happen, but taking the outstretched hands that want you, trusting that they will take care of you as you would do for them.

Somehow, the waves that were breaking at chest height became bigger, and eventually too big for me to handle. Before I could make it safely to shore, there was a wave that was as tall as I was, if not taller, and it took my under. Realizing what was happening, I swore and held my breath hoping for the best. The force of the wave knocked me back to the shore, but I was lost in a swirl of blue saltwater, unable to regain my footing. As I was tossed back to shore, my legs and feet roughly kissed the thousands of small sharp rocks. Ouch. As quick pain pricked my legs, I inhaled a large gulp of water, still couldn’t gain my footing, and my legs scraped again.


(Excuse the bloated feet. My feet decided they needed to be bloated after traveling -__-)

Eventually I was able to get up and make it safely back to shore, away from the tiny rocks of death that also managed to attack other people who were taken by the wave.

Above is a picture of my scraped up legs and bloated traveling feet. Since then, my scabs are starting to fall off and I can see my ankles again, but I think I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience. 1. I need to learn how to swim and be a mermaid. 2. Trusting people may result in scars, but those scars will sometimes be worth it. 

Perhaps, if it wasn’t for the two friends that came back for me, I might not have put my legs through the trauma. As terrifying as it all was for me in those few minutes, the terror, today, gives way to monumental forward action.

I think I’ll be grateful for a very long time to the two who came back for me. To them, it might have been a small action, but for someone like me, in that moment, it was everything. Today, it gives me the courage to continuously say “now or never, do or die”.

My inability to trust others is incredibly painful, as I know that it not only hurts me, but others around me as well. The decision to put my hand in another’s, allowing them to walk beside me in spite of fearful uncertainties, is among the lightest feelings in the world. Sometimes trusting people will result in scars and pain, and you may cry from it, but it shouldn’t harden your heart. In fact, it should only make you wiser about whose hand you take, and the pain shouldn’t deter you forever.

As for me, I have a long way to go, but this is the first step. The next time I’m in the ocean, I’m likely to go into the water again–and hopefully I’ll be able to float beyond the waves. And the next time someone offers me their hand, hopefully I’ll take it in spite of the uncertainties ahead, as there are far better things ahead than the ones that hold me back.

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Filed under Personal, Relational

Regardless

Regardless (adverb): despite the prevailing circumstances.

One of the most beautiful words I know to date is the word “regardless”. Beauty is not found in the letters that make up the word, but rather what the word stands for. “Despite the prevailing circumstances“.

I’ve recently come to love the quote “it’s a bad day, not a bad life”. When working in the mental health field, I have really come to believe this not only for myself but for my patients. It’s okay to have bad days. It’s okay to have those heartbreakingly bad days where you don’t want to try anymore, where sleeping until the world ends feels like the best possible answer, and it’s hard to motivate yourself to do the little things you love.

I strongly believe it’s okay to have those days. Having these days doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It doesn’t mean you’re weak or a waste of space.* It means you’re feeling. It means you’re absolutely human and you’re having a tough time. And I want to make it abundantly clear for everyone to know it’s okay to have these kinds of days; God knows I’ve had many of them quite recently. However, it’s just as crucial to remember the importance of rising again, regardless of how painful your situation is, and know who your “regardless” people are.

Regardless people are the ones who remain in spite of the circumstances. They are the ones who see your bad days and love you unconditionally. They are the people who have seen you at your very worst by circumstances of chance or circumstances that you’ve put yourself into and decide to stay, regardless of the circumstances.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have many of these people, but the ones I do have mean the world to me. On days in which I feel like I might literally break, the reminder that I have people who love me, regardless of my situation, are enough to keep me pushing forward with hopes that I too can be a regardless person in return.

*While I strongly believe it’s okay to have bad days, I encourage you to evaluate your days. If you find you are chronically having feelings of deep, lingering sadness and lack of energy to do the things you usually love, seek professional help. If you are experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide there is still hope yet. Please call 1 (800) 273-8255 any time you feel as if you need help. 

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Filed under Mental Health, Relational

Tick Tock

Tick tock.

Tick tock.

Tick

tock.

Time has moved so terribly fast this year, and there are many things I could write about, but the most impactful was this:

Tick

Tick (Aug 2013)

Sitting in a room full of acquaintances and strangers, not knowing what to say. Looking around and wondering if anyone else felt the same doubt and silent fears as you. Am I good enough? Do I really have what it takes to be an RA? What if they made a mistake in choosing me?

Tick.

Then you break into a smaller group. This little group of 9 faces, little do you know, will suddenly become the world to you. They will be the people pushing you to do your best. They will be the ones loving you even when you don’t want to be loved, and loving you through your mistakes. For the next 9 months, outside of your residents, your res life team becomes your family.

Your #GPCfamily.

Over the course of 9 months you find your walls breaking down with each fond memory and each picture taken. You find yourself laughing, and crying, and praying and simply being, with the nine people you suddenly can’t imagine life without.

Then one day, all the time you thought you had is gone.

Suddenly, you’re sitting in a room full of people who are your family. You watch with tears in your eyes as each of your beloved family members if affirmed for things you have come to love about them. You feel your breath hitching and your pulse racing as you begin to plead with God and you don’t even care that you look like a hot mess. It can’t be over, God. Please, no, it’s not enough time. I need more time. Fear grips your chest, and you realize you’re scared as hell for whatever comes next.

But you know. Somewhere, beneath your surface selfishness that a family will always be a family, and it is better to watch your beloved #GPCFamily disperse into 9 different paths. While you want to keep them to yourself, you’re happy knowing someone else will get to experience the same joy and love you did.

That blasted clock is still ticking. Your heart is still breaking. And yet, you are smiling. You are smiling because your heart had loved much. Your heart has expanded and grown in ways that you never would have dreamed, and you are still scared as hell, but you excited for whatever comes next.

Tock.

Tock (May 2014)

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Filed under College Years, Relational, Res Life, School

Strawberries & Chocolate

#GPCFamily 2013-2014

#GPCFamily 2013-2014

For Lent this year I decided to give up sweets.  It was a spur of the moment decision (probably not the best way to do it), and sweets were the first thing I decided to give up.  It was stupid.  I love ice cream.  Tonight, I broke Lent.  Before I dive into why I gave it up, let me tell you what I learned about myself in these last few weeks:

  • I mindlessly eat sweets too much
  • My life without sweets isn’t that bad; it’s the knowing that I cannot have them which is the worst.
  • Lent, for me, had become a legalistic practice.

I have never participated in Lent before, and I wanted to do it just once.  However, somewhere between resisting a muffin and taking my first bite of delicious “Jesus-moment” chocolate, I realized Lent had become a legalistic practice for me–I was completing this more out of religious pride than reverence and remembrance of Jesus.

So tonight I broke Lent.  I ate wonderful, sweet, juicy strawberries (fruit didn’t count as “giving up sweets”) and a square of delightful milk chocolate. As I ate the chocolate, I looked around the room. I was surrounded by the sweet faces of my res life team–the people that have become so dear and familiar to me this past year.  These people, these friendships, these moments…all of these moments will be held dear to me for the rest of my life.

I saw their faces, enjoying the fine sweets before us, being totally present in the moment and laughing together.  In that moment, I felt Jesus.  He was in the faces of His followers that sat around me.

In that moment of breaking Lent I was reminded more of Jesus than I ever was during the weeks of Lent I participated in.  I don’t know if I’ll ever try to do Lent again, and if I do, I hope it will be for all the right reasons.  But I do know I want more moments like I had tonight.  Moments in which I will look around the room, breaking bread (or eating strawberries and chocolate) with the people I love so much, laughing, living, loving, and seeing Jesus.

chocolate

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Filed under Christian Life, Christianity, College Years, Food, Personal, Res Life, School

To Love and Be Loved

To loved and be loved is a vulnerable thing.

To loved and be loved is a vulnerable thing.

Last week, my res life team celebrated my half-birthday.  My AC LOVES to celebrate, so it’s only natural that birthdays (and half-birthdays for those that are summer babies) are appreciated.  Per tradition, we are to wear Mickey Mouse’s wizard hat and have the res life team bless us.

On the night that it was my turn to allow my team to bless me, I sat on the floor, wishing I could disappear into the strange hat, and trying to melt away into the ground, making myself as small as possible.  My arms were wrapped around my legs, protecting myself as the words of my dear, sweet team started flowing over me.  As their words came to me–calling me loving, sweet, genuine, sincere, quirky, courageous–I found myself lost in my tears.

Their words rolled over and around me, like a crashing wave, and my tears fell, blinding me as I sat paralyzed in my spot, I realized the full extent of how hard it is for me to believe I am loved.  I know that I deeply love others, but I can’t allow myself to be as deeply loved–because it hurts.  Because it requires letting people see me, and I’m afraid they might not like what they see and leave me.  Because I don’t give myself permission to love me.

I don’t give myself permission to love me.

That’s the weirdest thought. I need permission to love me? What?

I know that God loves me.  The Bible says it. He has told me.  Pastors, counselors, mentors, friends, family, etc…they’ve all told me.  You can tell a person something a million times, but when does it finally hit home and become real?

It became real the other night.  The other night when I sat across from someone I often feel the need to prove myself to.  I found myself hunching over, hiding myself, making myself smaller because I felt so unworthy–and he hadn’t said anything.  Then somewhere it clicked.  A still, small voice echoed in my mind.

The voice called out from the dark place I was heading to, “Why are you doing this? Why are you hiding? Sit up straight because you have confidence, you’re not the same girl you used to be.  You have authority, and you are just as worthy as anyone else in the room.  You don’t need someone’s permission to love yourself.  Give yourself the permission to love yourself.”

I wish I could say that in that moment, I was healed of every last insecurity in my heart, but I know I’m not. I know I still have a long way to go–and I give myself permission to say that’s okay.

I don’t know if there’s another girl (or guy) reading this, thinking the same thing–believing in your “unworthiness” and refusing to let others love you.  I wish I could give you three simple steps in loving yourself, but I can’t because I’m still figuring out this journey. I can suggest this:

Look in a mirror.

Look yourself in the eyes.

Remember the love others have for you.

Remember the love God has for you.

Finally, let yourself love yourself.

Give yourself permission to be loved.

Love yourself the way you love people–wholly, with everything, unashamedly.  Allow yourself to be seen through the eyes of God–as someone worthy.

To love and be loved is a vulnerable thing, but it is well worth the effort.

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Filed under Christian Life, College Years, Personal, Res Life

Tangled Lights

lights

I once read a quote that read: “you can tell a lot about a person by how they react to tangled Christmas lights and sudden rain”.  This is one of the truest quotes I have ever read.  What if we applied the same idea to people?

Earlier today I got to have one-on-one time in a loud Mexican restaurant with a friend I don’t get to see very often.  I don’t get to spend time with him because I’m in school and he’s busy being innovative.  So in the time I’m back in California, he’s one of the people I often try to spend time with at least once.

During our conversation, he said something that got my wheels thinking unseasonably about tangled Christmas lights.  He mentioned how at one time, people forgot to ask him “how are you”, and because of this, he forgot to ask himself how he was.

Do you ever find yourself hurrying along on a busy day and you pass someone you know.  You both nod at each other and say “hey, how are you”, and that person says “I’m well”.  As soon as the answer is out of their mouth you quickly respond “that’s great, have a good day!” and hurry along on your way?

I admit I’m guilty of this as I walk to and from class, to meetings, and from class to the quiet peace of my room behind a closed door.  In these passings, I am only thinking about myself and what I have to do.  In these instances I am missing the words that are unsaid and overlooking the emotions that clearly say that someone is feeling anything but “well”.

I know that life is busy and we can’t always stop and spend hours with a person delving into their life story.  But life is also messy, and there are minutes in a day that we are free to ask someone how they’re doing and really mean it.

When it comes to tangled Christmas lights, I go into the task of untangling them with dedication and determination.  After two minutes I give up and throw them away and wait for someone else to do it.

I clearly remember doing this last year in my apartment with my 3 roommates.  The stupid lights would not untangle and I got so frustrated that I left them on our living room floor and caught up on episodes of Downton Abbey instead.  My roommate came home and I told her my frustration.  After she put her stuff away she came to the living room the right the mess I had made.

I watched her as she patiently considered the lights before gently unworking the tangles without complaint.  Slowly but surely she got them done.

“I hate untangling lights,” she said as she carefully laid them to the side so we could decorate the tree later.

I hate untangling lights too, but what set my roommate and I apart were our levels of patience.  While I cursed in anger, she worked in silence only sighing in annoyance a few times.

People are a lot like tangled strands of lights, poetically speaking.  We are all a bunch of messy and jumbled hearts filled with knots that require patience to unravel. I know I am, and I know you probably are too.  And when someone takes the time to unravel us, to patiently regard us despite all of our twists, we are allowed to glow in the most beautiful of ways.

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Filed under Christian Life, Relational

Cherish Every Moment

 

cherish

With every step through my darkened hall, it’s as though every decoration begins to fade and the ghosts of loud laughter follow me as I check on empty rooms, eerily taking me back to the end of summer when I first arrived on Guy 300. Time has flown too fast.  One minute I was applying to be an RA, the next I walked the empty halls during hot summer afternoons putting up decorations, and the next I’m taking down the Christmas decorations, prepping for next semester before I leave for Winter Holiday.  I know that come January these rooms will be filled again and I’ll be walking up and down reminding these girls to be quiet (they don’t listen, haha!)

Buy Guy 300 will not be the same.

While the majority of my girls will be returning next semester, there are a couple that won’t be coming back to the floor.  Two of them are international students from Korea, and they are the sweetest girls anyone will ever meet.  It’s incredibly difficult saying goodbye to people that I’ve lived with for the past 4 months, and while I want to remain optimistic and say “I’ll see you later”, I can’t make promises I don’t know if I can keep.  While it would be a dream to visit them, I’m afraid of letting the dream become something to hope in, especially if it doesn’t happen.

Instead, I have memories.  Memories from laughing. Sweet memories and sweet pictures of beautiful people that I hope to never forget. With my first semester of being an RA coming to a close, I say this:

Cherish every moment. Be SO incredibly present with the people you are with.  That doesn’t always mean being with them all the time, but it means that in the time you have them within reach, cherish that person.  Love them as hard and as wholly as you possibly can. If you’re anything like me, you’re going to get caught up in the “shoulds woulds and coulds” (I should have…I would have…I could have…), and they are terrible reminders that we are only human and we cannot fully satisfy others’ needs sometimes.  While it is painful to get caught up in that spiral, remember that no matter how great or how small, no matter if you see or not, you’ve made a different.

In some significant and not necessarily visible, my life has been changed.  I hope I’ve changed lives along the way too.  Whether it be a memory of someone who simply offered a sweet smile, or a strong memory of a dear friend, the impact that has been placed our very souls are are real.

Every moment has value, from the most grand moments to the minute details…cherish it.

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Filed under College Years, Res Life, School

Still-Frames of Growing Up

I wish I had a photographic memory. Not only would exams for my classes become easier, but maybe then I would be less likely to forget the memories I make throughout the years in photograph form.  I know photographic memory doesn’t really work like that, but for now I’d like to pretend that it does.

This weekend, I had the privilege of watching another one of my really good friends marry the love of his life.  At last minute, I was asked to control the music for the ceremony and reception.  Even though my job was to simply press buttons, I was nervous because I feared I would press the wrong button for the wrong song and everyone would die (because that’s how weddings work, right?).  Even so, it was a classy event, and one I’m sure I will remember for a few years.

The music was kept in a little back corner in a side room where my friend and the preacher waited for the precessional of parents and grandparents to go by.  Before that begun, I looked at my friend to notice him fidgeting with his tie, his collar, and his suit jacket.  He was obviously nervous. I smiled at my friend and patted his arm reassuringly, reminding him that it was going to go great.

The pastor then clapped my friend on the shoulder and suggested one more prayer before my friend would go to the front head of the aisle and await his lovely bride.  My friend nodded in agreement.  The pastor then asked if I would like to join them, and I immediately said yes.  I was surprised when the pastor closed his eyes and bowed his head, and there were a few seconds of silence. I then realized that he wanted me to pray.

I don’t remember the words that I said during the prayer, and soon I will forget the sound of the camera clicking as the photographer captured the moment, but I will never forget the honor of praying for my friend before the wedding–one of his last prayers before he became a married man.

I will forget the moment when my friend walked to the head of the aisle as the wedding party began to walk down and my friend looked at me in the corner of the room and shared a smile with me.  It was in that moment that I flashed back to our 3 years of friendship. The time when we walked around late at night because one of us needed a friend in that moment.  The time when we both realized we were broken people and promised to hold each other accountable.  The time he told me that Jesus has changed his life.  The time he told me he was ready to be a man to lead his woman.  The time he told me I was both his little and big sister all at once.  The time he told me he would jump into freezing water to save me if I fell in. So many other moments in-between that I swore I would never forget, but I have.

I will forget that I cried during the entire event as I watched Austin and Kayla grin from ear to ear as they became man and wife. I will forget the food they served.  I will forget the way my feet hurt from being on heels for a few hours.  I will forget how cold I was that October afternoon as the wedding guests sent Austin and Kayla off. I will forget the music that was played during their wedding.

I wish I had photographic memory to capture all these moments.  I’m sure the photographer did a superb job at capturing the joy and laughter at this event that celebrated these two lives becoming one, but I wish that somewhere in the moments that can’t be captured by film, I would be able to remember the tiny memories like still-frames.

The way Austin played nervously with his new ring.  The way he stood straighter and smiled wider with Kayla at his side. The way Kayla never stopped radiating. The time after the wedding when my friend and I put all the presents into Austin’s and Kayla’s new apartment. The way we laughed as we decorated Kayla’s car so the world will know the newly wedded couple.  The way it felt to watch someone who is like your brother take a giant leap closer to being a mature man of God.

These are moments I hope I never forget, but I know time will deteriorate the memory and they won’t be as potent as they are now.

Getting older and hitting milestones with friends is such a surreal thing, but it’s an honor to do life with the people you really love. I cannot wait to be part of more celebrations with my other close friends. I’m excited to live the moments that will become great memories.

Remington

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Filed under College Years, Relational