Looks like this change thing is going to be a constant theme... I might as well enjoy the ride, right?

Last weekend I traveled to PA to the wedding of one of my best friends. The wedding was on a Sunday, but at her request, I traveled down on Saturday. The plan was to help with decorating the hall and then have one last slumber party that night. Nothing went according to plan and by the time she got back to the house the rest of us had fallen asleep after waiting for her for hours... That was kind of the tone of the process leading up to the wedding.

I suppose I should give a little back story here... There is a group of 4 of us who formed a friendship about 8 years ago... no friendship doesn't really do it justice. We are covenant sisters. Covenant implies more than friendship because a friendship you can walk away from at will whereas a covenant is God ordained, a commitment. Carla hates this reference, but I often call us 'wet booger friends' because try as you might, and at some point we all tried, you can't shake them off. I'm still amazed at how God took 4 distinctly different personalities and glued them together. There is Carla N - actually now she's Carla M, Tia J, Shawna P, and me. Four women, each strong in her own way. I remember when I first met Carla. I had just moved to PA and was new to the church. She sang on the worship team and seemed approachable. I'm pretty shy, but still I mustered up my nerve to go say hello to her and tell her I appreciated the ministry... Her response led me to conclude that she was way too heavenly minded to be any earthly good and that I had wasted my "nerve" on the wrong one. Was I ever wrong! Carla is the baby of the group, but she's wise beyond her years. She's also our comic relief! Shawna and I hit it off instantly. She's just that type that makes you feel like you're old friends from the word "go." It's a quality many people don't have and it's one of the things makes her special. I wish more people recognized it. Tia I watched for a while, first, which is my usual MO. I wasn't sure about her, but figured is she was ok with Shawna, then she could be ok with me. I came to learn that she has the biggest heart in the universe and will move heaven and earth to see that the people around her are taken care of - she's like Jesus that way!

So there we were the four of us seeing one another through the ups, the downs, the good and the bad. We've seen one another at our very best and at our absolute worst. We know each other so well it's scary. Sometimes we don't even have to talk. Between my relationship with these women and my parents' example, I feel ready to honor a marriage commitment. Because of them, I feel ready to handle someone speaking truth into my life and not just what I want to hear. Because of them, am I ever equipped to deal with and resolve conflict, which is a HUGE deal because I used to avoid conflict at all costs! Basically, outside of my family, they have been the personification of unconditional love in my life. Whether I was right or dead wrong, they let me be me and they loved me ANYWAY. I trust I've done the same for them.

Having been as close as we've been, it was only natural to assume that we would be involved in the wedding process. We knew that Carla has blood sisters who were going to be in the wedding, and for the most part that wasn't an issue, but we wanted to help so she didn't have to do everything by herself. Instead of the wonderful memories we hoped for we found ourselves shut out of the process until the last minute. There were hurt feelings and such, but it wasn't the first time and it won't be that last. What amazed me was even with that "bump" in the process, we pulled together and had her back when it mattered. Maybe that's why I burst into tears when she walked down the aisle...(well that and the fact that I'm a waterhead who cries at the drop of a hat anyway!) because I know that no matter what we are there for one another. Also Carla is the first in our group to get married so I have to admit that one or two of those tears were in mourning for what was. Like I said, it looks like this change thing is going to be a constant theme. Dare I say I can't wait to see what happens next?!