Turning 25: A Tribute To Community

I’ve been telling people that I’m 25 for months because I’ve just been ready to get there! Fibbing? Maybe. Anticipating? Oh, definitely. But I have finally arrived in my mid-twenties.

I am ALL ABOUT birthday parties! I hesitated planning my own party this year, but sometimes ya gotta take things into your own hands and plan a picnic. I wanted to create a situation where a bunch of amazing girls got to know each other… so a picnic in Homewood Park with pizza and friends is the ultimate summer birthday extravaganza!

In reflecting on year 24, community has meant more to me than ever… and this is why:

You see, I’ve always wanted to live in a real-life F.R.I.E.N.D.S episode — where friends pop over, hang out every day, eat each other’s food and always have someone to call. (After finally finishing the show in May 2018, I have a soft spot for those New Yorkers.)

After graduating college in 2015, I realized that not many people have a picture-perfect friend group. People don’t just pop round to chat, and unfortunately life doesn’t consist of sipping coffee at Central Perk all day! I heard this joke recently which I thought was top-notch: “No one ever talks about the miracle of Jesus having 12 close friends in his 30s.”

I’ve learned that one’s twenties can be some of the loneliest years. They can also be extremely full and brimming with abundant life.

But, I digress. Today I’m here to write about my friends and my family. Because my friends span the country – from England and New York to North Carolina and Birmingham – we’re not always able to pop in unannounced. But these women have stepped in and filled so many holes in my life. After a pretty devastating breakup in 2017, I experienced a depth in community that I never imagined possible.

My parents were a huge source of encouragement and spent so much time talking with me. Danielle texted when I woke up and went to bed, Abi mailed me letters, Emily and Mere were amazing roommates, Caroline invited me over every Monday night (as we tried to win HQ and get in shape), Kelsie opened up her house for sleepovers, Abby went on walks with me, Eliza sent Marco Polos, Rachael bought me way too many meals, Jordan walked in the trenches with me (and on Jemison Trail), Beka left WhatsApp voice messages, my high school besties texted me scripture, Taylor delivered flowers, my small group read scripture over me and Ashley prayed over the phone… just to name a few.

These women (and some of their husbands) showed up like this for months, and they continue to show up in my life. The friendships that were birthed out this season and that grew deep in this season will last a lifetime. In thinking about these amazing people, I always go back to this beautiful scripture in Exodus 17:12:

“But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun”

So here’s to you, dear friends. Thanks for praying fervently, walking through life with me, and for making me laugh. 25, here we go! Regardless of what this year brings, I know my God more intimately and know He will continue to guide me.