I met a girl named Emilie when I was a student at Western Carolina University back in 2007. It wasn't until a year later after I had transferred to Clemson University (go Tigers!) that we became more than acquaintances, and now I consider our friendship more like a sisterhood than anything else. She's one of my dearest and best friends, my personal photographer who is constantly so generous with her time and talent with my family, my encourager who somehow always seems to know when to speak and when to listen, and so much more. Her beauty, both inward and outward, is brilliantly unique.
Five years ago, she stood by my side as I walked through a short season of preparing to be a wife and was next to me in her pretty blue bridesmaid dress as I became one, and now it's my turn to do the same for her. This past Saturday, her friends and family gathered in Chapel Hill, NC to celebrate her upcoming wedding (only a little over three months to go!). Antique tea cups that have been in their family for many years were stuffed with beautiful flowers and used as decor, her out-of-this-world parents provided all of the food for the shower (which tasted just as WONDERFUL as it looked), and the bridal party (formally known as Charlie and his Angels) did anything we could to make sure everything was as perfect as she'd always dreamed it would be. We all agreed that it was so special to be able to do this for Emilie, the very person who is relentless in going above and beyond for us.
Instead of receiving gifts in a traditional way, she requested that all guests bring donations for a local crisis center as a way to give back to the community that she and Bryan love so much. Because of everyone's generosity, over $1,200 was donated to the center, along with other items and supplies that guests brought in! Although I wasn't there to see her hand-deliver all of the resources to OCRCC, I imagine that she was beaming with pride and gratefulness at the opportunity to give to those who are in need. She's got a heart of gold, and it's such a blessing to have an up-close look into just how pure it is.
Soon, she will be standing at the altar only moments away from being Mrs. Kay, and I will be standing by her side wearing a blue dress as she once did for me. Being a friend is much more foundational than having one, because the better friend you are, the better friends you'll have. Emilie's that better friend, no doubt about it, and it's an honor to call her mine.
"The next time you have the chance to have all the attention on you, choose to use it to make the world a better place."
Emilie Carol Uphoff