A little over a month ago, P. Sawyer informed me that she and Teesh would be stealing me away the Friday night after my birthday for a special surprise. I had no idea what it could be, and I tried my very best (very often, might I add) to get Teesh to crack and tell me. Now, don't get me wrong, because I love surprises. I really, really do. But a month is a looooooong time though! Wouldn't you agree? Okay, back to the story...so they told me they had something planned, but wouldn't tell me what. That Friday night finally arrived, and Teesh got me all fancied up to meet P. Sawyer at her house. We jumped in the car with her (after David greeted us in true David fashion, of course) and made the short trek from her house to downtown Greer. Let me assure you before you continue: the month of waiting was totally worth it!
We'd been wanting to try a local restaurant called Bin 112 for several months now, so it didn't surprise me that we walked up to their front door to have a nice dinner. What did surprise me, however, was the table in the back filled with seven of my best friends (minus Teesh and P. Sawyer, who were responsible for all this extra spoiling I received) waiting for my arrival. Can you say FREAK OUT!? Because that's exactly what I did. I'm even a little giddy thinking about it even now, to be honest! Courtney, Melanie, Katie, Ellen, Caitlin, Emilie, and Whitney drove in from all over just to be with me as I celebrated another year of this beautiful life. Can you believe how blessed I am to have friends who care so much about me? And as if them simply being there wasn't already enough, they all pitched in and bought me a gift certificate to Urban Nirvana for a little royal treatment at the spa. Seriously? Every time I try to become a better friend, they do something like this and blow all my efforts out of the water. Jesus spoils me every single day just by allowing me to be surrounded by these precious people, and I am constantly being given more reasons to thank him for each of them. Those eight girls and that one boy are all one-of-a-kind, and I honestly have no idea what they see in me that's worth so many miles and so much sincerity.
Dinner was perfect, but lucky for me, it didn't end there. Everyone who was able came back to our house and finished the night off with a slumber party in true girl style. EEEEEK! It. Was. Perfect. Perfectly perfect doesn't even begin to describe it, really. We stayed up late talking and laughing and just being together, which is something we don't get to do as often now that we're growing up. I think my favorite thing about this group of girls is how we all come from so many different places, but everyone just kind of fits. Not one of them are exactly like another, and we all bring so many unique elements to this special friendship that we get to call ours. I never thought in a million years that I would be growing older with the best people the Lord ever created, but I promise you that it is the biggest blessing and honor to be the common thread between all of these gals. I think that the bond we've all formed is such an overwhelming portrayal of the Lord's faithfulness and compassion. Only he could bring us all together, and I know there will never be a day when I don't thank him for doing just that.
My friends make me want to give more and love harder and forgive before hearing an apology and smile bigger and hug tighter and speak gracefully and believe in good and hope for better tomorrows than todays and really live in every moment. That's what friends do, though. They help you become more like the person you were created to be. At least mine do. May I never forget to remember what a precious gift they are, and may I do more than remember--may I tell them and show them and never make them wonder how much more love I have in my heart simply because they love me.
"Say what you want about aging, it's still the only way to have old friends."