This past weekend, I had the joy of witnessing a dear friend of mine get married, one of my roommates from college, Jenn.
Jenn is one of the most loyal, kind-hearted, and generous people you’ll ever meet, and some of my most cherished memories from college are with her.
So, flashback to awesome. In spring quarter of our senior year together, we had both just gotten out of long-term dating relationships, while our other two roommates had just started to date. Needless to say, we spent a LOT of time together that quarter.
My favorite moments with Jenn were those nights where we’d snuggle up in her little twin bed, hold hands, and talk late into the night about anything. About life, about love, about our fears, about our failures, about God. We’d talk and talk and talk until we fell asleep, and then I’d wake up at 6AM and shuffle back into my room to sleep some more.
Some of my most deepest fellowship and meaningful conversations about God in college were with Jenn, even though she wasn’t a Christian at the time. These moments hold a special place in my heart.
So imagine the joy un-freakin-speakable as she stood before her groom on her wedding day, before her family and her loved ones, and professed her love and commitment, not only to her groom, but to her Groom…to Jesus!! It took all I had within me not to simultaneously fist pump and sob with tears of joy. (Granted, if I had not sucked so hard at keeping in touch in the first place, perhaps it wouldn’t have come as such a surprise…I mean, maybe this is really old news…sorry, anjo!!)
Truly a joyous occasion indeed!
So in addition to witnessing a loved one’s most joyous moment in life, another awesome part about weddings (besides the open bar and liquor-infused chocolate covered strawberries) is reuniting with friends who you haven’t seen in ages. (Remember? We’ve established that I suck at keeping in touch with others.)
So much flashback to awesome!!
So back in undergrad at UCI, these guys were nice enough to adopt me into their group, as they had mostly all dormed together freshman year, while I was the loner transfer student. And we just had SO. MUCH. FUN.
From our weekly poker tournaments, to social dance class together, to our epic weekend in Las Vegas during Memorial Day Weekend, we just had a blast!
These friendships also hold a special place in my heart because it was within these predominantly non-Christian friendships that I learned for the first time how to be the same person around Christians and non-Christians.
It was with these crazy people that I learned how to not be an unrelatable religious weirdo and at the same time to not have to compromise my convictions.
It was with these friends that I learned how to not be so socially awkwarded out that I’d just avoid non-Christians all together (up until this point, I was just such a freakin weirdo around non-Christians).
It was within these friendships that I learned that I can have deep and meaningful relationships with non-Christians, built on openness and respect for one another’s beliefs.
It was within these friendships that I learned for the first time how to live in the world, instead of huddled away in the weird sterility of Christian-only communities.
And I am convinced that these friendships have played an integral role in my personal growth, both as a follower of Jesus and as a minister of the gospel.
So thanks for adopting lil’ ol’ me, guys.
And congrats, Wayne and Jenn!!
Vegas in May 2014, anyone?? ;) Just kidding…unless…you’re serious…then maybe I’m serious too…?