Today I feel blessed. My heart is full. Why? I am fortunate to have not one...not two -- but four best friends. Friends who I can laugh with, cry with, share with and just be with.
You'll have to pardon me if I get a bit sappy here. I'm feeling the need to voice my thoughts about each of these 4 remarkable women who I am blessed to call best friends. They are each from different parts of my life; two whom I have known for several years, and two whose friendships are slightly newer. I'll start with whom I have known the longest.
Andrea: I have refered to her before as 'my other half', or 'the other part of Andrea squared.' We first became friends when we were roommates together with two other wonderful girls, about a decade ago. Something drew us together, and we just clicked right from the get-go. We shared a small bedroom and spent many nights talking until long after we should've been asleep. Our friendship has carried through us getting married (not to each other!) and having 5 kids between the two of us. When I was on my maternity leave with Joelle, and Andrea was (and still is) also a stay-at-home-mom, we started our special phone tradition that continues to this day. Both of us have the invisible answering machines and with that we have the capability to send each other phone messages without actually ringing the other person's line. So throughout the day we send messages to each other -- some just chatting about any little thing, from what household chores we are doing, to if we excercised that day, to what we are making for supper -- and other messages are filled with venting about stresses in our lives, sharing about things that have caused us hurt, and rejoicing over wonderful happenings. With Andrea I know that she will listen to absolutely a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g I have to say, even if it would bore anybody else to tears!
Jackie: I first became friends with Jackie probably around 8 or 9 years ago. We attended the same church at the time and were both youth leaders. We also lived on the same street and as we got to know each other better, the time we spent together in each other's homes increased more and more. Jackie and I have been friends through our dating and engagement experiences (again, not with each other!) and combined, we have welcomed 4 daughters into our lives -- the latest addition happened only 3 weeks ago. This amazing woman has played a h-u-g-e role in getting me through some severe emotional difficulties over the past few years. She helped me when I was having nursing issues in the first couple of weeks of Joelle's life, and she was incredibly supportive when I made the decision to give it up when it just was not working. She also was my ROCK when I was suffering through my post-pardum depression after Malia was born. I don't know how many times I called her just to sob over the phone until I had no more tears left to shed. Jackie knows me like nobody else does.
Rochelle: It took several months of Rochelle and her husband coming to our church before we finally said more than "hi" to each other. But in early spring of last year, we finally struck up that first real conversation and we have been great friends ever since. It was amazing to me how much Rochelle trusted me just shortly after our newfound friendship, and within the last year we have both opened up and shared so much with each other. There is a vulnerability with us that we aren't afraid of showing each other. We have cried, hugged and prayed for each other and I know without a doubt that anything I confide in her will stay with her and that she will do whatever she can to help me through a trial.
Jenn: You have all read about Jenn quite a bit in the last couple of months. Jenn is my newest friend; she is my next-door-neighbour. She was a direct answer to prayer, and I know that God brought her to this town, to this neighbourhood and to this house for a reason. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to have a best friend living right next door. We are in contact with each other in some form or another every day (usually multiple times). We helped each other through a rough winter and over the course of a few short months have managed to become quite close. We have a weekly Monday morning 'date' with our youngest kids while our older girls -- who are inseperable, I might add -- are in pre-school. We get together for an ocasional games night and of course we drink a lot of Pepsi together! She takes the time to ask me questions and really get to know me. In fact, I think she's starting to know me too well -- she says things like, "That looks like something you would like", or "That sounds like something you would say"...and the scary thing is...she's always right!
So, as you can tell from the above several paragraphs -- God has seen it fit to fill my heart with wonderful, close friendships. Words of Affirmation is my love language, and having these 4 friends always ready to build me up, support me and encourage me is God's way of speaking my love language.
My cup truly runneth over.