“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”
― Jane Austen,
As far as featured pictures go, I’m left on my own for the weekends. I thought today I would introduce to you two people who have meant so very much to me. I met and became friends with both of them in my sophomore year at college.
First up….Elizabeth Clements
I do not call Elizabeth, Elizabeth (it feels weird just typing it). Since I have known her she as been Izzy to me. Izzy is originally from Kansas. I’m not sure what it was about me that endeared myself to Izzy… but I’m extraordinarily happy it did. This woman is by far one of the most sincere, tinder hearted and naturally loving people I’ve ever known. When we were at OCC she meet a man by the name of Evan Clements from Lamar, Missouri. They fell in love and got married while in college (as many an OCC couple does). They are coming up on their eight year anniversary (…I think). They now have FOUR beautiful children whom they promptly named with all E names as well (Eden, Elijah, Ezekiel, and Eden). Evan is a children minister at the local Christian church. Izzy, once an elementary teacher decided to stay home and be an AMAZING mom to her four kiddo’s.
Next up… Chelsea Noonan.
I met Chelsea, who was from Illinois, on the first floor of Goodman dorm. I was having a rough year, to say the least. One of my good friends, Maria Barnhart (who I mentioned in the last post), was the RA for first floor. Because of my situation she often offered her extra bed or allowed me to sleep on the couch in the first floor commons area (which was probably against the rules…). Chelsea, though my age, was starting her first year at OCC. As it turned out she was rooming with a girl who I knew from my childhood church camp, Rock Garden. What’s interesting is Chelsea and I had VERY LITTLE in common that first year we started getting to know each other. According to her, I won her over when we made plans to play tennis together and I pulled out my painted “Antelope Maneuver” (not a real thing… but be assured it’s awesome to witness). In her last year at OCC Chelsea met Kevin Noonan on a plane headed to (or maybe back from) a New York Church Plant. Moving from the Jefferson City area, Kevin was in his first year at OCC. Kevin was persistent in wanting to get to know her and they kept in touch after the trip. Four (or so) months later they were engaged. They are getting ready to celebrate their 5th anniversary!
If you know me, even a little, you’ve probably discovered I don’t really go out of my way to get to know people. Please know, it’s not because I don’t want to know people I simply am not proficient at it. I keep to myself, engage when called upon. Essentially, the friends I’ve had the joy of having are practically miracles (as they usually come to me). These two wonderful women were my first real experience of truly deep female friendships. One day they showed up in my life, and amazingly enough 10 years later they’re still there.
Together we’ve grieved for lost loved ones. Together we’ve celebrated the birth of new life. Together we’ve expounded and explored spiritual truths. Together we’ve seen miracles of healing, faith, perseverance, love. And… somehow along the way we did something we hadn’t set out to do together, share our lives. I don’t think our sophomore selves saw that coming.
As time, age, and responsibility grew the frequency of our meetings dwindled, but the importance of the friendship did not. And so, Jane Austin (one of my favorite authors) puts it quite perfectly in Northanger Abby when she wrote,“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”