This Thanksgiving I’m extremely thankful for God’s faithfulness in the friends he’s given me.
Lots of people probably don’t know that senior year of high school was pretty lonely for me. I told myself that if I just held off until college I would find some good friends. I prayed for a good community of believers who loved me and encouraged me daily.
Well, God being the good good father he is blessed me beyond what I could hope or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
In a series of events that can only be attributed to God*, I am now in a big group of Jesus loving friends who make me laugh and show me that you don’t have to lower your standards to make friends. I am my true self, & my friends love me for it. We believe the same things and have the same morals. We’re accountable to and for each other, supporting and encouraging each other in our decisions and actions.
I have a solid group of girls that will squeeze into a little dorm room and stay up until 4am talking about silly and deep things. We blow up group chats supporting each other and hyping each other up. My girls have an amazing and inspiring love of Jesus and others that fills my soul & pushes me to be a better person.
I’m also in a co-ed bible study with godly guys who show what true leadership, kindness, and responsibility look like. They are an example of what it means to follow God and love others well.
I love getting to spend most of my days with these incredible people who uplift me and make me feel like I matter. I don’t feel insignificant or unseen. They truly show me a different perspective of God that makes me love him more and more each day.
I have never felt as joyous and close to God as I have these last few months surrounded by some of the greatest people I have ever met. Everyday is a party with them.
I am so so thankful for their position in my life; they will never understand how grateful I am for them.
– Psalms 136:1
*If you want to read the story of how I came to meet all these amazing peeps, keep reading … 🙂
Lots of people look at how close my roommate Grace and I are and ask if we knew each other before college. We did not; before we came to Clemson, we hadn’t even talked on the phone (I was actually nervous that her voice would annoy the crap out of me lol). The first time Grace and I met was on a retreat two weeks before move in.
Backing up even further…
Although I have many friends/family from South Carolina, none of them were going to Clemson, so I had no idea who I was going to end up rooming with.
One week at my grandma’s bible study, she asked that everyone keep my future roommate in their prayers. I was taken aback by this, thinking how sweet that was even though I hadn’t even thought to be concerned about it (I was so excited to get into Clemson that I hadn’t thought about a roommate). I then realized that maybe I should be more concerned about who I was going to spend the next year living with.
When roommate applications opened up, I immediately went onto the website and filled out a dating-profile-styled survey. It asked about what room temperature I preferred and if I was a messy person. There was nothing about personality or religion in the questionnaire — I found this very strange considering how important that part of my living situation is. After the questions there was space to write 150 words about yourself. I included that I am a Christian, was a military kid, and liked chocolate milkshakes from McDonald’s (I also included my instagram username).
I read through some of the bios until I found one that sounded perfect…
I messaged her, and we talked for a while (days? weeks? I have no idea). I thought things were going to work out, but then she told me that she had already found a roommate. I was devastated thinking that this was my only shot at a godly roommate.
HOWEVER, God had bigger plans…
Later that SAME DAY, grace_denton DMed me and changed my life forever.
Grace and I quickly bonded over things we had in common (one being boys lol) & then quickly decided to room together because room finalizations were about to begin.
She asked me if I had heard of a retreat called the Hills; I hadn’t. I told my parents about it, and they decided I should go (even though I didn’t really want to spend my last days of freedom away from them).
At the Hills, I met my amazing roommate for the first time–she was super sweet and I loved getting to spend time with her and the other amazing girls I met there.
Fast forward to move in, Grace and I kept seeing all these Hills people around. We grew closer to some of the girls from the Hills (like Kacie!!) and even met some of the people we hadn’t talked to at the Hills (we bonded over the fact that we all went there). Including… “the Wando boys”
We grew closer to the boys, joining their bible study and meeting more of their friends. We all became a big friend group that went to their intramural football games and hung out at Wendy’s after FCA.
At FCA’s retreat, The Big Chill, Grace, Kacie, and I grew closer to Grace Goodwin!! We all rode together, got lost on the way there, and listened to music way too loud on those beautiful mountain roads. At the Big Chill, we also grew closer to another small group of boys while chasing waterfalls and driving through Brevard, NC.
Later, after even more “coincidental” events, Grace and I grew closer to EMILY who after listening to me tell an extremely long story/ rant spent the night in our dorm and watched the sunrise with us (and our FCA small group — LIL GROOP).
The rest is history (there’s still so so much I could say…): We all met and grew closer to each other because of and through our love for Jesus.
I have amazing friends that I wouldn’t have had if…
- I hadn’t been rejected by another roommate
- Grace hadn’t reached out
- I hadn’t gone to the Hills
- I hadn’t gone to the Big Chill
- I hadn’t opened up to Emily
All of these “if”s point to a higher power. My friends weren’t a coincidence — they were a huge blessing from God. And for that I AM SO THANKFUL this Thanksgiving.
Looking at my life a year ago compared to now blows my mind; never had I imagined that God would redeem my broken friendships into such rich relationships with these godly, amazing friends. I am blown away by God’s faithfulness and gracious gift of community.
Because of what he’s blessed me with in the last 3 months that I’ve been here, I have never been closer to Him or loved him more. I will continue to praise his name today and everyday (& if I ever stray away, I can rely on my friends to point me back to him).
“There are ‘friends’ who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother”
– Proverbs 18:24
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend”
– Proverbs 27:17
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you”
– Colossians 3:13