Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Friends are Friends Forever

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.”   ~C.S. Lewis

One thing that has made this journey bearable for me has been the presence of friends and family. For those of you who don't know me that well, I was a pretty dorky kid in high school. I never really felt like I fit in and I desperately longed for friendships that just never happened. However, when God brought me to Milligan College, I found so many forever friends. Since then, I have acquired quite an amazing group of people all over the place that I call friend and could count on in any situation. This journey with cancer has only affirmed what I already knew. I am blessed.

Today I'd like to highlight my Milligan friends for a moment.

Meredith, Jessica, and Ross came to visit me on Saturday. It was SO wonderful to see them and spend the day together. They brought with them this sweet blanket that Jessica and her mom made out of t-shirts and fabric from my college/ Johnson City friends! What an amazing gift!

I wanted to share with you all the squares that make up this quilt and a little about the people that made them because I am so blessed by each and every one of them!

 This square comes from my friend Hannah Beth! HB and I were both chosen to be resident chaplains for 3rd Floor Hart (Holla!) which brought us together. We are pretty opposite in a lot of ways, but we do share a love for music, the city of Atlanta, the mountains of East Tennessee, and a heart for ministry. HB has been such a great friend to me over the years and I love how confident she is and how earnestly she seeks the Lord. I wish we lived closer to one another!

This square comes from the one and only Meredith McKinney! (it has a pocket because Mer LOVES practical and useful!) One of my closest and dearest! I love this girl with my whole heart! Meredith and I sang in choir together and became very close during my Milligan years. Meredith's sweet family became sort of my surrogate family. They introduced me to Grandview church and always opened up their home to me and many other Milligan students. I respect them so much. Meredith as a heart for travel and missions and will be going to Scotland soon! I will miss her so much but am extremely proud of her for following God's call! You can read about her journey here.
This square comes from an incredibly wonderful family, the Baders! They all have touched me in so many ways. I first met Ross during my brief bout with musical theater in Oklahoma! (yow!) We have a ton in common and he quickly became one of my favorite people. He has been such a tried and true friend for me over the years and is extremely gifted in music. His mother, Tempa, let me live with her one summer when I interned at Grandview. Words cannot express the true compassion and strength found in this woman. She is loved by many and rightly so! I am so blessed to know her. I got to know Ross's brother, Ryan, sister-in-law, Beth, and nieces and nephew during my time at Grandview. What a wonderful, giving family! Ryan was one of the first people in my life to encourage me to pursue ministry and was always such an encouragement to me. Beth's sweet spirit and creativity has always inspired me, and their kids are the cutest!

This little square is from my Shanna. Shanna and I met at matriculation our very first day at Milligan college. She was wearing a dress with cherries on it and I complimented her on it. The rest was history! We became roommates by winter of freshman year and lived together the rest of my time there. Shanna is hilarious and has such a gift for encouraging others. I know that I can count on her no matter what, and I don't know what I would do without her!

I love this square from the Lawsons! I became friends with Heather and John during my junior year of college. They are so funny and welcoming! I have watched them endure such hardship and they remain faithful. Truly an amazing family! You can't really see it in the picture, but sweet little Jude contributed a drawing as well! Love it!

This square is from Tori. I love this girl! She has always been a source of wisdom for me. Not only is she crazy and fun to be around, she truly invests in people and gives really helpful advice. I am so blessed to know her. She and her husband Jeremy are in the process of adopting and I am so excited for them. You can follow their story here.

Ahhh my friend Erin. Such a wonderfully kind person! Erin and I became fast friends early on in my Milligan years. She is truly one of the most level-headed people I know! I had the honor of being a bridesmaid in her wedding. She now has an adorable little girl and works as a nurse! Erin has a servant's heart through and through. Even though we don't see each other much anymore, I know I can count on her.

My friend Jessica, otherwise known as Jcarv, made this square. Jessica and I were roommates during junior and senior year. She is so kind and generous. She is an encourager and loyal to the end. Plus she didn't mind that our room was messy most of the time! :-) This girl is as genuine as they come and has a way of making everyone feel comfortable. I love you Jess!

The brightest bright orange square has to belong to Sarah McMurtrie! This is so true to her personality. She is so bright, cheerful and full of life! Sarah is truly beautiful inside and out. I can't wait for her wedding this Fall, and I hope all of her dreams come true!

Crystele is my far away friend! She may seem quiet and reserved, but once you get to know her, Crystele is the life of the party! She is truly hilarious and has one of the gentlest spirits I've ever seen. She is vet too which is completely cool!

Ok don't mind my foot in this one....The Robersons! Crystal and I became friends during my junior year at Milligan. She is so outgoing and wonderful! I spent so many hours at her apartment talking, laughing, eating trail mix....I could go on and on. Crystal is someone who "got" me so to speak and we were inseparable for a while. Now she lives in Indiana with her husband and two beautiful girls, plus another on the way! If you don't know this girl, you want to. :-)

 Kate, such a sweet friend. Kate would literallaly give you the shirt off her back. She is so upbeat and positive and extremely generous! She always has a way of making you feel great about yourself! She has taught me a lot about being a good friend.

This one is hard to see, but it's from Haley, my other roommate! Haley holds such a special place in my heart. I spent so much time laughing with her! She is so smart and so cute! What a great friend to have!

Steven Anliker....apparently has mad ninja skills! I love this kid so much! He always knows how to make me laugh! He lives in Nashville now and saves lives as a nurse. I'm have so many funny memories that involve him!

And last but not least my friend Meghan! Meghan and I joke about being two people that earned one degree. We literally had all of the same education classes together and even did our student teaching in the same school. We spent many hours together studying and working on projects and papers. I don't think I would have made it through without her! She and her husband, Craig, are headed to the Phillippines to do mission work! You can follow their story here.

Sorry this post got so long! I could seriously go on forever about these friends and many more in my life! God has truly blessed me!

When people hear my story and read my blog, they are often amazed by how well I'm handling everyting and how much faith I have through this journey. Let me just tell you, it really has very little to do with me. I have been blessed to have so many people invest in my life that this thing has not been hard at all. I have amazing examples of Godly people all around me as well as unending support.

Thank you, all of you, from the bottom of my heart.

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