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DAYS OF LOVE

February 1, 2016

 So the thing is, this week was really rough. It was not my favorite. This week consisted of police reports, fight-or-flight adrenaline, sleepless nights, and quite a bit of anxiety. A kind of scary something popped up and presented a unique trial, one that I think will take some time to get turned around. We are both okay, and I think the situation, while difficult, will be resolved in one way or another. That being said, I am also very positive that I was not always fun to be around this weekend.

But do you know who was always around anyway? Do you know who saw me through? My friend. My very best. Cody has been sick all weekend, and still totally there for me. There is something so special about a kindred spirit – about a person who chooses to love you unconditionally and not because they’re blood-related. That’s the magic of a true friend.

It’s really hard for me to put into words how I feel about that kind of love, but my friend Catherine does this awesome thing every February where she celebrates Valentines Day on her blog by having fourteen guest posters share their thoughts/experiences/stories of love leading up to Valentine’s Day. I love this because A) I don’t believe that your ability to celebrate love should be limited by your relationship status – there are so many different kinds of love to experience and appreciate, and B) I think it sort of weeds out the consumerism feel Valentine’s Day can have and brings it back to its core – which is love and appreciation for another human being.

I love her 14 Days of Love celebration so much that I’m having my own, except all month long! I didn’t know it initiating this, but the timing of this project could not be more perfect. It has blessed my life so much already. There is nothing that makes light visible in a trial or eases an anxious heart like the hopeful reminder of love. I have been so blessed reading the entries that have come in to share here – thoughts from people in all different places in life, with all different perspectives, writing styles, challenges, and experiences. I feel like the challenges I’m having felt lighter immediately. That’s the power of love, and there is so much of it for which we can be grateful! It’s really humbling. I’m grateful for those who have had the courage to share a little piece of their heart and mind this month. I’m SO excited to share their thoughts here.

I wanted to share my submission to Catherine’s 14 Days here today on February Eve (is that even a thing?) to kick start our Days of Love, because to quote my homeboys Simon and Garfunkel, Cody has been (and always is) my bridge over troubled water. He lays himself down for others. He is that truest kind of friend. And reading stories of love from my friends in preparation for this February love fest, I feel grateful to have many of those kinds of friends. So, giddy up! Let the days of love begin.

HERE SHE BE:

​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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