Oh my gosh, where do I start?
I guess I could start with the first day that we met. It was a bleary January day, overcast and gray. I was sitting at a large table in the front of the classroom of my elementary art methods class with two guys who were high school art ed majors like myself and three slightly obnoxious sorority elementary ed majors. We were an...interesting group, to say the least.
Joel was hilarious and witty - which is something that I admire in other people and strive for in myself. Once, when our class went on a field trip to a bunch of different galleries around town I just palled around with him and the other high school art ed major, Mark. I don't think I did a lot of talking, but I thought the two of them were stinking funny. If memory serves me correctly, we all exchanged numbers at the end of that class period for strategic group project purposes and pairing myself up with them was a really smart decision on my part.
Talking about our shared interest in art and spending time working together on projects, Joel and I also discovered that we shared the same faith in an awesome and mighty God. I don't think it was until SVI and I split up tho that Joel and I really took our friendship a step farther. And by that I mean he dragged me to church with him and his incredibly awesome family and forced me to help him paint a mural. We spent a few late nights in front of a bright white brick wall that we were slowly transforming into a work of art confiding in each other our struggles and our triumphs.
Once I fully involved with the initial steps of helping to plant a church alongside Joel and all the new friends I made there, the adventures just kept coming. I took a step of faith and offered my services as the children's leader which was a new and exciting experience. I spent a lot of time painting, decorating, discussing curriculum, planking, dancing and eating delicious food.
Joel has turned in to one of my very best friends and no matter how hard I try to keep this post funny it always takes a turn for the serious. Which I think is a good representation of the relationship that I have with Joel. He's basically a comedic genius in my opinion, but then he's also chalk full of good Godly advice just when I need it most. It's hard to believe that this time last year we were both living in Moscow finishing up school and now we're both graduated and trying to move on to bigger and better things.
Some friends that you make in college are your school friends and once you leave town you all kind of move on to different things. Other friends you make in college will undoubtedly last for the rest of your life, and I believe that Joel and Mandy and their cute kids are going to be part of my life for years and years and years to come. They are the greatest. So there you go, a shout out to a really good friend.
Thanks for caring and for calling and for being there for me every step of the way. You have no idea just how important you guys are to me and how much I love you. There aren't good enough words in all the world to correctly express how grateful I am to have met you and spent time with you. And I can't wait until spring break when I finally get to come hang out with you all!