true friendship - shelby from "it is what it is"

shelby is a dear (online) friend of mine. we have never met in person (one day, hopefully sooner rather than later!), although we went to rival high schools about 10 miles apart and know a lot of the same people. she is a dear, dear friend. always a cheerleader filled with kindness and faith, her testimony and her writing/experiences strengthen my resolve to be a better person on a regular basis. shelby and i both will be doing this series during february; check out her blog for more love, more posts!

As someone who loves words, I have a lot of favorite quotations, and I'm finding more every day. However, one has always reigned supreme as my all time favorite collection of words in a sentence, and it's this: "True friendship helps give meaning to life. It is an anchor for the soul. Based on the pure love of Christ, it is security and trust between two individuals and is stronger than the cords of death because it transcends this mortal existence."

I believe in that true friendship. I believe that kind of love is something that extends beyond what happens here -- beyond our nine to five jobs or college degrees or cars or houses or even life or death. It just is. I believe because I have experienced it. My husband was my best friend long before he was my boyfriend or my fiance or my husband. Even at eighteen, some part of our hearts knew we would end up together and end up being something that transcended this mortal existence, because we felt that pure love. We felt that anchor. We felt that connection, regardless of distance, contact, regardless of time gone by. We felt something that extends beyond being eighteen, or going on dates, or getting attention from someone who has a nice face. (Ha!) We felt pure, unfailing friendship. I believe the friends I share that feeling with will ALWAYS be my friends, regardless of our respective states, stages of life, or amount of contact. I believe that because I believe the strongest love is the love we choose. You are born with your family -- that is integral. That love is eternal and always. But you build on that love by growing up and becoming friends with your family. That's part of this life. That way, not only did God choose them for you, but you chose them. That part of connecting is a little more obvious, but equally important. But oh, how joyful it is to find other family,more; friends so dear with whom you share a love so pure that the word "friend" doesn't feel to be enough. The friends you choose to share that kind of familial, eternal, always love with, the friends who choose to share it with you, they are hugely part of your purpose. 

We are here to make connections. We are here to love with the love of Christ. To give meaning to this mortality, to anchor one another, to create a trust and a safety so strong that we forge a friendship that becomes something deeper. We are here to meet people and make something. Something eternal. A thing of peace, a thing of constancy, despite all the changes life will bring. I believe in that. I believe the pure love and friendship we cultivate here, with our family and friends, are our inheritance in the eternities.

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