Lessons From My 20s: Friends Are Friends Forever (cue cheesy song)

On December 2nd I will turn 30 years old. In honor of this momentous occasion, I am blogging daily in November a lesson I have learned in my twenties. Today's lesson : Friends Are Family.

These are some of my nearest & dearest. Can't imagine life without them...

Last night I actually started crying when I thought about celebrating my 30th birthday without all of my closest friends. I was thinking about what I wanted to do for my birthday party and realized that many (certainly not all) of my close friends live somewhere else. And then the tears flowed.
I am sentimental about random things. I did in fact take a photo of the doorknob in my house in Russia. Strange, I know. My 30th birthday isn't that odd of an event though. And, if you knew my friends you would know why I wish I could be with all of them on my birthday. They are truly incredible.
My friends love me well. A few reasons why I love them back:
  • I have roamed the streets of various countries and they are fabulous co-adventurers. In fact, Kristin & I met in Paris.
  • They have celebrated the birth of my kids & sat by my side when I had a miscarriage. Ashley driving all the way from Portland.
  • We have watched each other fall in love. Sometimes ending in happy marriages and for others broken hearts.
  • Several of them have graciously followed me as I clumsily learned how to lead.
  • They have helped me pack/move more times than I can count! 
  • I can call them at 1 am and they will call me back. Believe me, I have done this a few times. 
  • Some of the most constructive criticism I have received has been from my closest friends. Thankful they believe in me enough to be honest.
  • Several have dyed my hair for me...sometimes a win & sometimes a fail...but, I won't name any names.
  • I go from silly to feisty in 2 seconds. They put up with it.
  • They patiently listen to me as I lecture them about the importance of skin care and daily SPF use.
  • They disciple me in the ways they obey God no matter what He says.
  • I have seen them walk through some significant valleys - depression, a few who have chronic illness, the death of a mom, disappointment when they put it all on the line and risked big...and they walked through it with honesty, hope and loving God more in the end.
I could go on & on... My friends are like family. My friend Sarah has been a bestie since 1st grade and others as recent as a few years ago... I have learned not to take them for granted. I have learned that friends like these don't come around all the time. Now I make time for phone calls to catch up.  A depth of relationship that multiplies with each year we know each other. My gratidute abounds.