Image by Laura Ketteman

Image by Laura Ketteman

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Day 136. Old Friends.

Do you have friends who "knew you when"? :) Of course, that term has varying levels of degrees... WHEN could be just about any time, right?

This is me and my long time BFF, Shelly. :) This picture was taken on her wedding day, December of 1995.

Outside of my family, Shelly is the only person who has remained a consistent part of my life, since way back in the days of "knew me when." Have you ever read or seen the movie, Anne of Green Gables? Anne speaks of her truest, closest friend, as her kindred spirit. That was Shelly and me, from day one... kindred spirits. We met in a VERY precarious stage of life, when every young person begins a journey of ALL kinds of changing... MIDDLE SCHOOL! I was in the 7th grade and she was in the 8th.
This one was taken in May of 1990.  Yes, I am wearing a NKOTB tshirt.  Oh dear.

Every young girl needs at least ONE true, blue friend... the kind that tells you that you have lipstick on your teeth... or who lovingly listens to you as you pine away over the ginormous crush you have on a guy who will NEVER be interested... but she would NEVER be the one to tell you that.  :)  She loves you unconditionally.  She keeps your secrets.  And she is never jealous (as so many girls can often be). 

Shelly and I spent so many nights, over at one another's houses.  We shared clothes, we shared secrets, and we even shared our families.  We were as close as two friends could possibly be.  We would stay up all night long, planning our future friendship, and how it would be when we were old (like, in our thirties!)... how we would get married to men who would be best friends, and how we would buy houses next door to one another (or at least in the same neighborhood), and our kids would grow up, being the very best of friends, just like we were.  We would name our first borns after one another, and if one of us had a boy and the other girl, they might even get married one day!
(This one, fall of 1993)  Yes, we had all kinds of plans.  What is it they say?... "We make plans; God laughs."  Shelly went to college, while I endured my senior year of highschool.  It didn't take us too long to see that our lives (and our friendship) were already taking different courses than our young, teenage hearts had been set on.
January 2009.  Many, many years have come and gone since the days of our youth.  Our lives ended up taking very different roads.  Shelly met the man of her dreams when she went to college.  Shortly thereafter, they had their first of three beautiful children, and a couple of years after that, they went to her husband's home country of Romania to be missionaries there.  Ten years ago, I stood in an airport along with her family, with my face buried in my husband's chest, tears exploding from my eyes as we watched my kindred spirit leave to fulfill her calling to serve God in another country.  They've been there ever since.  I, on the other hand, made my life here with my own wonderful husband and our three children. 

Shelly and I hardly live next door, let alone in the same neighborhood.  We don't really share the every day details of our current lives.  We're both busy mommies and have our hands full keeping up with our families and life's responsibilities.  The cool thing is that over the years, we've held onto that free spirited, true-blue friendship that we shared so long ago.  We've seen each other grow from immature, inexperienced, sometimes rebellious young girls, to the women we are today.  I believe there is value in the relationships which have seen you through the course of where God has brought you in your life.  It's a good reminder.

I pray that my own children will have authentic friendships with people who will stick with them along the way, through the good and the bad; friends who won't judge them for the mistakes they make, but pray with them and love them; friends who will keep their secrets and their trust.  This is an invaluable friend, and a blessing from God!

Shelly and her sweet family come to America to visit every so often.  We've been blessed to be able to visit during the births of all of our respective children (or at least, shortly thereafter).  Our kids may not live next door to one another, but they certainly have fun when we all get to visit and spend time together! 

We get to spend the next couple of weeks with them, and I'm looking very forward to it.  Usually, at least once, Shelly and I get to sneak away, and spend a day, just us girls.  We leave the kiddos with our husbands, go out to eat, and do a little shopping... I get to help reintroduce her to all the luxuries of America (like Oreos and Payless Shoe Source and her favorite, TACO BELL!) and we revert back to a couple of giddy, teenage girls, sharing stories, laughing and even sometimes crying.  After all, being a kindred spirit, means knowing the good and the bad... and loving, encouraging, supporting, and praying for one another through every second of it.


  1. Way to make me cry!!! I LOVE YOU!!!

  2. So sweet, Laura! I have a couple friends that fit this bill in my life. I hope you all have so much fun reuniting this week! Friendship is just one of God's many gifts to us.
    P.S. I know this won't surprise you, but you made me cry.


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ilLaurastrations Photography began in Spring of 2009.