Today is her twenty-third birthday and today's post is in honor of her.
Amanda Vivian Stephens changed the way that I understand a friendship can be.
To put words to our friendship does not do it justice, but I'll try nonetheless. We are the friends that have only lived together for two summers, but understand one another in ways that do not make sense. We are the friends that will make the twelve hour drive to see one another because sometimes it's just necessary. We are the friends who escape the swamp for coffee and chai for doses of best friend sanity. We are the friends who hop on planes to surprise one another. We are the friends who when both have to drive somewhere, Sushi will offer to drive one of the cars so we can ride together. We are the friends who answer the phone at all times of the day when the other one is calling. We are the friends who have the difficult conversations. We are the friends who fight for one another and wipe one another's tears. We are the friends that will one day convince our future husbands that it is best for us to live next door to one another. Yes, we are those friends.
And here is what our friendship has taught me about life and about friendships:
1- Long distance best friendships are more than possible. They can be some of the most intentional and rewarding relationships.
2- Best friends are there to speak truth into the hard places in your life and are there to point you back to Jesus every single time.
3- A twelve hour road trip to see a best friend is worth it. Every. Single. Time. And so are last minute plane tickets.
4- A best friend can see past the "it's okay" and the "I'm fine" and can insist that you actually tell the truth, the whole truth on how you feel.
5- Some mornings require calling your best friend twice before 8:00am, because that's just how life goes.
6- Growth happens when you believe the best in one another and challenge one another to know the Lord more.
7- Play dates in northern Michigan with your best friend might just possibly be the best thing in the entire world.
8- Extending one another grace when one falls short is not only necessary, but it is also life-giving.
9- Some thoughts can just be communicated through a simple laugh or smile or raise of the eyebrows, because you just know what the other is thinking.
10- No matter where in the world two people are and no matter how far apart they are, the Lord can create connections between two friends that make bonds that go far deeper than you ever thought possible.