As my wedding day is quickly approaching I figure it is time to do a tribute to my bridesmaids. They are listed in the order they will stand on my wedding day (which is basically arranged by how long I've known them).
My sister is my Maid of Honor. She and I are 3 years apart and are very different. Growing up we did not get along very well. We simply just didn't like the same things, our personalities were different, and we enjoyed fighting. As we've gotten older that has changed. She and I are still very different but now, more than ever, we are friends. Only she knows and understands all the parts of my personality, good and bad. Only she has seen me at my best and at my worst. She's family and there is no stronger bond than that. She's one of the most selfless people I know. You won't find a kinder and gentler person than she. She's every one's biggest fan. The LORD has done so much in her heart and life lately. She loves Him so much and it makes me want to love Him more. I for one and thrilled she's going to be standing next to me, cheering me on, on my wedding day!
I met Holly in 1986 on the playground in Ozark, Arkansas. We were both six years old and enjoying our first grade year. Our friend Bethany introduced us and immediately we latched hands (that's what little girls do) and ran off to play together on the monkey bars. She's been one of my best friends ever since. We haven't always lived in the same town but we've always remained close. The past three years, however, I've had the privilege of having her as a roommate. It has been so much fun! She and I are so much more like sisters than friends. There's just something special about a friend that really knows your past and one you share so many memories with. Holly is so laid back about so many things and so giving. She is exactly what a friend should be. We have so much fun when we're together and I can't picture my life without her in it.
Megan and I met when I transferred to the University of Arkansas in 2000. Not only did we become friends but we became roommates and lived together for 5 1/2 years. If that doesn't make two people close I don't know what will. I know the LORD made Megan and I to live together. I didn't go many places without her and she didn't go many places without me. We both like to do the same things, watch the same things, hang out with the same people. And both were crazy about the HOGS! We have so many memories together. She quickly became my best friend and I couldn't have picked a better one. For those 5 1/2 years our lives pretty much were in sync. When she got married and moved to North Carolina I was heartbroken. For a while I wasn't even sure how to function. We don't get to see each often but I can't imagine my wedding day without her so I'm glad she's going to be a part of it.
I met Kelly one summer through a roommate I had at the time. She, my roommate, invited Kelly and Laurie over for dinner one night and then was unable to make it home in time. My other roommate at the time, Rebekah, and I cooked them dinner anyway. That's when the friendship started and I'm so thankful it did. It's funny because Kelly and I are a lot alike in so many ways. We're both big time planners, worriers, and waiters (not of food but of God's timing). Not to mention we both love the Hogs, and have been fortunate enough to sit next to each other every home Hog football game! Having so many things in common has bonded us in a lot of ways. There have been times in my life when Kelly has been the only one who I could truly be encouraged by. She understood so many feelings I had because either she felt the same way or had at one point. She's right up there with my sister on the selfless scale. I remember when I got engaged Kelly made it clear that she didn't have to be a bridesmaid if I needed to ask someone else. I made it clear to her that she DID have to be a bridesmaid. Kelly has prayed and prayed for me to find the man of my dreams and her prayers have been answered.
Laurie and I met pretty much the same way I met Kelly. She was always one I looked to for wisdom. She was so grounded in scripture and things of the LORD that at first I felt she was more like a mentor. It didn't' take long for her to become a wonderful friend. For several years it was always me, Megan, Laurie, and Kelly. We started off early in our friendship traveling together and that is what bonded us so quickly. Laurie (and Kelly) is hilarious! One of the weirdest people I know and one of the best people I know. She's so much fun to be around! She's the type that if you ask her to pray for something she will pray. I have always gone to her for advice because she's so real with me and wouldn't just tell me what I wanted to hear. There were times when she would say things in a way that just clicked. She's an amazing person and an amazing mom.
Last, but certainly not least, is my friend Shannon. God most certainly ordained this friendship. I met Shannon just about the time that Megan was planning to marry and move away. The LORD knew I needed a companion and that's what He brought me. Shannon and I had so many things in common and we began doing almost everything together. Other than Holly, I spend more of my time with Shannon than anyone. We work out together, work second jobs together, go to the same church, and just enjoy the same things. I can't express how grateful I am for her friendship. She has made these last few years so much fun. She is also the type of person that would do anything for anyone. She has a sweet and gentle spirit...until it comes to Razorback sports. Then she gets a little feisty! But then again that's the way everyone should be. Shannon loves to laugh and is extremely witty. I'm so blessed because not only is she going to stand up for me at my wedding she is also going to sing!
Thank you to all of you girls for your friendship and for loving me despite myself! I love you all!