To My Best Friends

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.” -William Shakespeare

I love Shakespeare’s understanding of friendship. Having one friend that knows you fully, accepts your faults, and pushes you forward is a rarity. I have several, and I got to spend last weekend with the two very best ones. Our quality time was very special. Anderson turned 20, and I made the five-hour trek down to Clemson to celebrate. Elizabeth also came up from Charleston. I barely made it in time. Despite skipping a few classes and being at least an hour ahead of schedule, the gps on my phone decided to stop working, so I made it past the Georgia border before I realized I had probably missed an exit. The crew planned a Japanese Steak House and Ice-Skating outing in Greenville, leaving promptly at 5:45. Speeding along Clemson Boulevard, I pulled into the Wyatt Apartments at 6:00. 

A side note – this is the typical life of Jessica Compton. When I got my driver’s license, I had already spent sixteen years with people who unintentionally, without fail, arrived fashionably late. Though I don’t live with them anymore, I’m pretty sure they still do. It drove me crazy. I swore to myself that I would be the opposite of my family. Nope. I’m just like them. Sigh.

Back to Clemson… I bear hugged these two people that mean so much to me. They overflow with love and humor and talent and confidence. We spent all Saturday antiquing and exploring the small upstate town of Pendleton. Sorry I didn’t get in touch with you other Clemson friends. I just couldn’t get enought of these girls. Though Lizzy and Anderson go way back to diapers, they each graciously befriended me along the way. I’m reminded that triangles are the strongest shapes in nature, and I think that’s pretty representative of what we’ve got going. Our similarities: Jesus, Charleston, awesome families, being outside. We’re all pretty genuine people – what you see is what you get. That’s all I can think of. It basically stops there. Commonalities between them: they’ll just pick something up to try, and then become amazingly good at it. They care about school, but don’t obsess over it they way I do. They We are so very different, but that is one beautiful thing about this friendship. We can be a threesome, or couple off. Anderson-Lizzy, Jessica-Anderson, Jessica-Lizzy. There’s always unconditional, and we fill each other up in different ways.

Anderson. Lizzy. They are awesome.

If I met these girls tomorrow and I wasn’t already best friends with them (lucky me!), I would learn about them and think, “Dang. These are some cool cats.” Then I would tell them I want to be their friend.

The first encounter I remember with Anderson was at the end of seventh grade in art class. She was wearing baby blue crocs before anyone knew what crocs were, working away at a huge colored pencil drawing of a colorful frog. She’s got some tomboy roots, but the main thing about Anderson is that she is confident in who she is, and she does what she wants. She always has, and that is one of the smaller reasons that I love her. She’s really good at looking out for other people. She doesn’t back down from a challenge, and everything she does intrigues me. She’s not super loud, but her presence adds a new, fun dynamic when our friends come together to hangout. Anderson also fishes, plays guitar, co-leads and FCA small group. All things I wish I could do, and don’t.

I knew Lizzy for a while before we in eighth grade and Lizzy really not until second semester of our senior year of high school. We had been on the cross-country team together, but never hung out one-on-one. Until we did, and it was awesome. We got ready for prom together, and I remember telling her how bummed I was that we didn’t spend all of high school together. And now, here we are, about to go to different colleges, and that’s probably the end of that. Except it wasn’t. The summer of 2011 was ballin’, and Lizzy was a huge part of that. This past summer we were together on staff at camp. In high school, I showed Lizzy the Spiritual Gifts Paul talks about 1 Corinthians. A year later, Lizzy is overflowing with joy and prophetic messages affirming people. The growth this girl has gone through is crazy, but I’m so glad I’ve gotten to walk alongside her and watch it happen. Lizzy is a phenomenal photographer who makes pictures to serve the Lord and show people how much He loves them.

I began this post planning on talking about what I learned from them over the weekend. Suffice it to say that they spur me on toward Jesus and they know my heart. On Sunday, though I would have loved to linger, I felt filled and ready to return to the work (and occasional loneliness) waiting for me in Roanoke.

Yeah. I hope you have a friend as good as these two. But… I think I probably have you beat. These are my best friends. I couldn’t ask for better ones; I’ve already got the best.

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