Well, Annie's birthday was last Friday, so here goes an "Everything Annie" post.
In my ripe old age, I have found that true friends (like, down to the core of who you are) are really so rare. And I have the most wonderful privilege to call Anne my Friend. (Capital "f," because that's the only way to address her without having to say weird things like "ultimate friend" or "only best friend.")
Anne and I's friendship began in the weirdest way. It started with both our good friends being out of the picture, us deciding on a whim to room together, a handful of weirdos who gathered around us, and the ensuing "Anne and Jennie" world that then quickly developed.
I don't believe I have wanted to be apart since.
Generally, Anne is just me - revised. Hah. She has a filter that I envy, a moral fortitude that is unmatched, a kindness unwavering, and a humor that is uncanny. I think one of my favorite things to watch is how she cares for other people. As simple as it sounds, she is so unselfish when it comes to others: the way she listens, the way she serves, the way she goes about her day. I can't think of anything she wouldn't do for her loved ones.
(trip around hawaii)
And that's what makes her time at YWAM so amazing. Right now, Anne is living 700 miles away from all her closest friends and family, and has committed to doing so for over a year in order to give her life to advance His Kingdom. Her choice may be a biiiiiiiiit padded by the beauty of Hawaii (beach), but I know she feels deeply her sacrifice even in her bravery.
Even if I'm not right there beside her through all this, I can be sure of a few things: one, that she is handling change and uncomfortableness with a grace that is pure and gentle; two, that she is loving those strangers around her with as much strength as she would love friends she's known for all her now-24 years; and three, that she misses me terribly and would do anything to have me there, because, duh, it's just better when we're together.
I was talking to my mom just last night about relationships and difficulties within them, and she was asking me about my friendship with Anne. All I could say was that "we do life the same." And that's one of my very favorite things about her. There is such a peace and rest that comes with being with someone who you don't have to pretend around. I don't have to pretend to be good, or be whatever because Anne understands me better than anyone I've ever known. Even if I tried to pretend -- she'd know I was pretending and then call me out on it. And it's not like we've never had conflict (thank you, YWAM). We have. And it only made me appreciate her more. In my tendency to ignore and to withhold, her gift is to seek out reconcilation and peace. Her life is so submitted to His voice and His leading that she could never be comfortable with not being honest if she felt something was out of step with who God is, or who He has called her or I to be.
(thanks for the amazing capture, Zhenya)
And yet, even at my worst -- head over the toilet, vomitting my guts out from a liiiiiiiiiitle too much to drink -- I never felt less loved or less cared for. For that, I am so grateful. How the h she manages to balance integrity and grace like she does I will never friggin know.
And now, a brief listing of my favorite things abour her (or her and I).
1. How we both wear panty hose still to nice events -- because that's how good girls are raised.
2. Her love for sweets. Specifically, cookies.
3. Her ability to draw hilariously true, insightful Paint pictures of awkward/memorable/imaginative situations.
4. How we manage to be doing the same thing/thinking the same thing even when we're miles and miles away. (ie: reading Weight of Glory without telling one another...)
5. The way we laugh when we're jogging.
6. The way she hits me with her racquet in racquetball.
7. Her inappropriateness when no one else is watching.
8. Her love for the ridiculous.
9. How she is always learning and trying new things.
10. Her unfailing honesty and grace.
(TTF for life)
So, HaPPy BiRthDAy AnNie!?!?!?!IEIEIEIEIEIEIIEI
And to end with one of my favorite quotes from Anne...ever:
"I might set you on fire if you wake me up in the morning."
- Anne Elizabeth Hennighausen