I am so blessed to have lots of great friends and several who I would consider very close. But it is an extra special blessing to have someone who definitively holds the label, 'best friend'; someone who can have me incapacitated with laughter but will also meet me in my tears, someone who knows my many mistakes but always sees the best in me, someone who I know would get up at ridiculous o'clock in the morning and travel for hours in order to be there for me when it's important. And so today, I am publicly saying:
Thank God for...Clare Williams <3
The two of us were acquaintances for quite a while before we were friends, and friends for quite a while before we were best friends, but we have been best friends now for a long time. We met in school, but we didn't know each other that well, as we weren't in any classes together, only choir. As we progressed through school, all us music geeks became good friends, spending all our spare time singing songs from the shows and putting together arrangements, compositions and performances. Then something changed the summer we were finishing our A levels, quite suddenly and inexplicably, and my friendship with Clare intensified and took on a marvellous new dimension.
Since then, we have shared road trips, adventures, holidays, highs, lows, nights out, many phone calls, a lot of cheesecake and about a gazillion in jokes! It's tough to pick out any favourite things that we have shared but I think the top two would have to be 1 - the scrapbook, and 2 - our first holiday in Italy. The scrapbook is joint owned and contributed to, it documents many shared experiences and quirks. The idea being that one person keeps the scrapbook for a while and when inspired, adds a page then sends it to the other person, or if we do something special together, we jointly do a page with things we collected from whatever we did. It is incredible now to flick through and look back on so much we've shared and been through, both together and individually. Our holiday in Italy was while we were both students and on a very tight budget, we went to Rome, Florence, Rimini and Venice, staying in Youth Hostels and travelling on an InterRail pass. It was a massive journey of wonder and discovery that I can't even begin to describe (although fortunately we've got a scrapbook for that too!)
So what would I like to thank God for about Clare? I am so grateful that He has given me a friend who in so many ways is completely different to me and yet in many others we are totally in tune. Clare is the passion where I am the ration, she dreams big where I live here and now, she sees the beauty and poetry in things that I approach purely practically, she is the Soprano to my Alto. I think she is amazing because she feels everything 100%, she gives her heart to things, and in doing so allows herself to become vulnerable and sometimes hurt, but selflessly she would rather that than see a need go unmet. She is one of those people who not only gets big ideas, but implements them and makes things happen. She challenges me to do things I would never dare (like walk to Spain!) and to make ambitions realities. She has more perseverance than anyone I've ever met. She is my perfect Articulate partner - I know for a fact that if I said the word 'Railway', she would undoubtedly guess the correct word was 'Golf'!
There are many things we both love - baking, swimming in the sea, singing, dancing to name but a few - but ultimately, I am most blessed that we both love Jesus. We come from very different traditions in how we relate to Him, but learning about why and how Clare approaches her faith, only makes me love and appreciate our amazing God even more. She brings out things which point me to aspects of God's character I may not have considered before, she shows me different ways and places that I can meet with God in my daily life. She encourages me to find ways to show the love of Jesus in all situations. In short, she inspires me immensely, and my life would not be the same without her.
So, Father God, thank you so much for my wonderful best friend and sister in Christ, Clare.
Love you loads Clarebear! x x x