Someone just said something really interesting to me. It will probably seem small to you, but it just struck me as evidence of just what God can do when I'm not paying attention.
Anyway, I said to this friend that I am really glad we've become as good of friends as we are now, and they responded, "I know! I love how we're friends now! I didn't really know you a few months ago and now look at us!" Hearing that (or reading it, rather, as this was a texting conversation) made me realize just how quickly some of the friendships that I hold most dear formed.
In January 2011, I had a handful of friends. Seriously. Like, I could count on one hand the people I considered friends, even in the smallest sense of the word. I was scared. I was lonely. I had just survived a year and a half of medical hell, so I had never had the opportunity to create a social life and thus had no idea where to begin.
Then, I met The Vespers. And I don't really need to restate how magical my friendship with those four has been and become.
Then, one of those few friends, Amy, invited me to her Bible Study. There, I met Elizabeth, and from the first time she and I had dinner, we both knew our stories were way too similar to us have met by coincidence.
Then, I started talking to Ryann in class. One day, I offered to help her study for a test because we had 3 classes together, and suddenly, I was texting her a prayer request about my mom. Seven months later, and we were like sisters. We still are. I, the outcast, overweight nerd, became best friends with the gorgeous, popular athlete. Now, she is hands down at the top of my Campbell family list.
Fast forward to 2012, and quickly-forming friendships are even more evident.
In March, I met Alex at the debate. What started out as dinner plans to talk politics has turned into countless hours on the phone talking about anything and everything. That kid has been the one constant reality check in my life and isn't afraid to tell me I've been the same for him. He's #2 on the people from Campbell I miss. ;)
In April, of course, was the epic Nashville trip, and I met so many amazing people that week, but there are two that stand out. Michal is the first, because I went from feeling like I was finding out about a new friend to feeling like I was catching up with my sister in the course of one conversation. The second is someone I never actually met; her name is Kyla. I didn't even know who she was until a couple weeks after when she contacted me on Twitter about my blog post about the night at Sanctuary because Taylor retweeted it. Turns out, she is in the Sanctuary band, which means she played a big part in that night for me and she didn't even know it.
And right at the end of the semester, I started making friends with Louis simply because of the College Democrats Executive Board, and now I consider him a real friend on a personal level. It takes a really special person to have someone's back even when they're told not to.
Add into all of these new friendships the friendships that I've been able to strengthen, and I can't help but be blown away at how God has moved. Three years ago, I had NO friends other than Matt. I didn't know if I ever would. And now, I have so many people who love me. Looking back, part of me still can't believe that this is my life now.
This is why I'm always telling the people I love what they mean to me, because I know what it's like to literally have no one. I don't want the people in my life to ever feel like they don't matter or they aren't making a difference, even for a second. No one should ever have to feel that way.
In a comment on one blogger's post today, I ended up saying something that didn't really hit me until after I hit send: "It just seems that as humans, we have a much easier time focusing on the one who rejects us than the many who welcome us with open arms." And it's true. I've been doing that a lot lately. So instead of thinking about all the people who are hurting me or letting me down, right now, I dedicate this post to all of the friends who have shown up in the craziest ways and stuck by me. And yes, that includes some of you! (Vivielle, JD, Courtney, just to name a few) :)
Here's to us.