Fancy friends…

This past weekend, we joined a small group of friends and family to celebrate a new beginning. My friend’s handsome son walked her down the aisle to a man whose love for her was evident across the room. From the 33rd floor of a beautiful building in downtown Boston, we enjoyed stunning views. We could see the city splayed out before us as the light gave way to evening. We watched the trees light up below. We danced like no one was watching. We toasted to new beginnings and true love. We laughed in the face of their joy. It was a night I won’t soon forget.

On Facebook the next morning, there was a picture of the bride and three friends. The sight of it brought tears to my eyes. The four of us have walked a long way together. To see this friendship and this moment of joy captured so beautifully was a gift. I will frame this picture to honor and celebrate these friendships.

We are an unlikely group. We are a nurse, a decorator, a teacher, and a counselor. But we knew each other before we were many of these things. We’ve been married and divorced. We’ve weathered storms, have blown apart, and back together. We have a shorthand that few others would understand. We know each other’s stories. We share a history that is ours alone.

Individually, we each share single bonds of friendship born over empty coffee cups, Easter cantatas, small groups, and the simple fact of sharing life in a small church over many years. We’ve been there for each other’s moments of great drama and the simple sweetness of living in community. But this isn’t what brought us together last Saturday night.

There are many people I have loved over the years who I’ve lost touch with. These are people who matter, people whose influence and impact in my life have shaped me in meaningful ways. There are folks I spoke with daily that I haven’t spoken to in years. Not because of a lack of love, but because we just stopped making it a priority. Life moved on.

A few years ago, the four of us decided to prioritize this bond. We went to lunch together. We decided to celebrate birthdays and milestones. We popped corks for graduations (ours and our children’s). We planned day trips to the beach, art museums, broadway shows, and local theater. We showed up for celebrations big and small. Along with our outings, we shared text messages for prayer, asked for help, and showed up for each other in all the ways we could.

I call them my fancy friends. On the outside, it is easy to see why. What isn’t quite as obvious is their depth, their grit, and their fierce faith. These ladies have walked through fire that could have destroyed them. Each one has a story of heartbreak, of sacrifice, and of great love. Each one is showing up, taking responsibility, and living their lives to the fullest.

I hope you have friends you are making time for regularly. Please don’t think that it’s always easy. It can be a hassle. Someone has to make the reservations. Juggling the schedules can be tricky at best. Sometimes you just don’t want to go do that thing you committed to… until you get there. Today, I am grateful for friends who have shown up in my life and who have made time together a priority. I hope you make time for some friends who add some sparkle to your ordinary life.

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