“So no one told you life was gonna be this way. Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s D.O.A. It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear, when it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year. But I’ll be there for you. When the rain starts to pour, I’ll be there for you. Like I’ve been there before, I’ll be there for you, ’cause you’re there for me tooooooo.”
I’ll Be There For You – The Rembrandts
In college, I had the best group of friends. THE BEST. There was a group of 10 to 20 of us that were super connected. We had a lot of fun together, but more than that, we found out who we were together.
I call the college years spiritual puberty. These are the years where you find out who you are and what you believe, and you seek out the thing you are made to do. So that is what we did. We took a few random road trips, we watched Friends (hence the blog title), we watched The Office, we played a lot of music, we watched more of The Office, we laughed a lot, we carried each other’s burdens, and we did a ton of ministry. Maybe more ministry than school. We lived out the Rembrandts’ song lyrics. We were committed to each other, and I love this group of people probably more than anyone on the face of the planet.
Five years later, we meet for weddings and reunions, and vacations occasionally, and we always pick up right where we left off. We never skip a beat and are overjoyed to see each other. I only dreamed about relationships like this as a child and high school student, and God so graciously gave me these pretty rad people. They bring out the best in me. Still.
This is my theory on why. When you are seeking your identity, the people around you always contribute to that identity. So as I desperately tried to figure out who I was made to be, what I was made to do, and how I was supposed to go about doing it, I had the best people on the planet adding to my Identity. They taught me how to love Jesus, laugh, take risks, be spontaneous, love music, and think of others first. They showed me how to invest in wisdom and knowledge and God’s kingdom. They believed in me so much that I started believing in myself, and now I am slightly arrogant. And then they totally wrecked my dating world, but that’s another blog.
When I am around them, the parts I love most about myself come out so easily because those are the things that are part of them as well. They make it easy to be the best version of myself. I am allowed to be honest, vulnerable, and real, and I believe that regardless of my mess, they will still love me unconditionally. Yup. They are pretty amazing.
While I was in college, I thought our experience was normal, that everyone had friends like I did. The farther away I get, the more I realize that our time together was anything but ordinary, and it has allowed me to do extraordinary things.
I believed we would change the world because that is what people were created to do. Now I know my friends do it because they are unique and gifted, and weird, and anything but ordinary. So I want to say thanks to my beautiful group of college friends! You know who you are and what you did! I wouldn’t be me without you. You helped me find my way, you stuck out the hard stuff, and you continue to pursue God’s kingdom in your families, communities, and workplaces. You are world changers, and I will be forever grateful that God gave you to me.
Here is a short video from The Office that sums up how I feel about my friends.
“There is a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point.”
First, I’m not crying. You are crying. Second, I really did cry the first few times I watched that clip. So many of the moments they conveyed summed up the last seven years of my life with these amazing people. Our lives may seem ordinary to those around us, but our friendships have been full of beauty. I will never ever ever be able to actually articulate what these people have meant to me. But I can share some pictures with you so you can get a little glimpse into what has been the best season of my life.
What about you? Do you have friends like mine?
If you do, maybe today would be a great day to tell them thanks. Share your stories. I would love to hear them.
In Reckless Pursuit,