I have had a bunch of best friends in my life.
Let's see if I can name them all.....
E -- first BFF ever. Her daddy was a missionary with my daddy. And we played stuff like hopscotch and hide-n-seek. And we picked on her little brother. And we bugged my big sister.
And we probably had matching knee socks and lace high-neck dresses. Because it was the early '80s. And our moms dressed us weird.
S -- 4th grade. She introduced me to the world of Cabbage Patch and Pound Puppies. And she had the most awesome bike with a basket and streamers. And her house had a pool table. Which was the bomb.
H -- 5th grade. She was from Vietnam and had contraband rock-n-roll music stolen from her older sister's tape deck. She was so cool.
A -- 6th grade. We lived overseas and her dad was in the army. So they got to shop at the American commissary. Which meant they had Campbell's soup at their house. And she ordered her clothes from the JC Penney catalog. Whoa, Nelly.
N -- 6th grade. She was Indian, and she had Nintendo at her house. She also introduced me to the fabulous world of cucumbers in lemon juice. I will be eternally grateful.
R -- 6th grade. She was from Australia, and her family ate Vegimite. Me no likey the Vegimite.
P -- 6th grade. She was from Samoa, and had the coolest hair. And her apartment building had the gnarliest pool in Bangkok. Rockin'.
D -- 7th and 8th grade. Shared everything. Really thought we'd stay friends forever. Now I can't find her. Even on FaceBook....shocking.
J -- highschool. Went to church together. Had poofy bangs together. Slurped Pineapple Dr. Peppers from Sonic together. Wore matching outfits. And spent the night at eachother's houses more times than we stayed at our own.
N -- Sr. Year of highschool. A whole other category of best friend. "Inseparable" isn't even close enough to describe us. And then a boy came between us. A boy I happened to marry. He was worth it, although that whole situation still makes me sad.
R -- college. She "got" me. Still friends. Still love her. Still thankful every single day that God blessed me with her.
(I DID IT!! I named them all!! I'm so proud of me.)
And now I'm a grown-up. And I've traveled through periods in my grown-up life where I've moved between stages of feeling like I had no one except my husband in my corner and periods that I have felt so overwhelmed with various relationships that I felt like I was drowning.
But, I can honestly say, that this period of my life....right now....is the happiest for me. I am surrounded with not only one best girl friend, but many. And I feel so blessed.
I was speaking with one of those besties just this morning about this very thing. About having several different "best" friends. And how that concept is so misunderstood. That if you have a "BEST" friend, then that word in itself denotes that there is only ONE of them. That of all the friends....that ONE is the BEST. But, not so for me.
I have lots of BESTS.
Because they each fill a special place and need for me.
I have a BEST friend that is the most generous and loving person I know. I envy her ability to give and give and give of her time and talents. She has more hospitality and love for people in her pinkie toe than I have in my entire body. She is the only person that I 100% know would genuinely drop everything that she was doing to come and help me if I needed her, and she wouldn't even think twice or whisper ugly things about me under her breath. She is just that amazing. LOVE HER.
I have a BEST friend that is so stinkin' smart. I envy her thinky-ness. And I love her ability to make me think. She challenges me in ways that I have never been challenged before. And I've learned so much from her. I adore spending time with her. Because she is fun. And we both appreciate eachother's need for ice cream. LOVE HER.
I have a BEST friend that is crazy funny. She and I could giggle more together than 593 tweens at a Jonas Brothers concert. We appreciate eachother's clumsiness. And eachother's stupidity. And if I need to laugh, I know exactly where to go. Because she and I only have to look at eachother and we start laughing....whether it be about money or cupcakes or lunges. LOVE HER.
I have a BEST friend that lives in my computer. And as crazy as that seems to people who don't understand this whole blogosphere thing, it is a legitimate and very real relationship. Secrets and confidences and our everyday lives are shared. We can finish eachother's sentences. We eat the same foods. Dress the same way. And sing the same songs. And the only thing frustrating about our friendship is that she is too many miles away from me. LOVE HER.
I have a BEST friend that has been my BEST friend longer than I've ever kept a BEST friend before. She's the most soft-spoken wonderful woman I've ever met. I want to be like her when I grow up, because she is the picture of grace and beauty to me. She and I have seen eachother through some of the darkest valleys that we both have ever walked through, and we have danced with eachother over mountain tops. We "get" eachother because we have done it all together. I trust her to pray for me and my family, and she trusts me to pray for her and hers. Different life stages usually separate people; whereas our differences only tend to bring us closer. LOVE HER.
I have a BEST friend that is super-cliche but actually for real. My sister isn't my best friend because she has to be. She's my best friend because I want her to be. I'm pretty sure we are twins somehow, because we do that whole twin thing in getting sick when the other one is sick. And crying when the other one cries. And breaking out in hives when the other one is nervous. And finishing eachother's sentences. And knowing when something is going on. She knows me probably better than any other woman in my life, and that fact doesn't scare me in the least. LOVE HER.
There are other women in my life that impact me every day. The women I work with. The women I go to church with. The women I interact with through this screen everyday. The women that I stop and chat with in the ketchup aisle at WalMart.
And I can't imagine my life without any of them.
Because to have to choose one of these women over another couldn't happen. Ever. Because they all hold very equal but very different places in my heart.
I understand that some women connect with one and only woman in this very intimate way. That one best friend is enough for them.
But not me.
I feel so honored that God chose to hardwire me differently.
And I feel so honored that God chose all my besties just for me!
Because He knew I needed them.
Each and every one of them.
To my besties.....I love you all like crazy. You have no idea the joy that you bring me. You are truly a gift.
I have had a bunch of best friends in my life.