Mike || 6 Years & Couting

17 May 2014

This evening I am dedicating my post to a very special person in my life. Someone who has been a big part of my life for several years now and one of the few constants in my life the last several years.

This person is my bestfriend Mike. Mike and I have known each other for six years this summers. I don't remember with great clarity the first time we met but he seems to have a decent memory of it and my awkwardness was definitely in fully play! Go figure! While that day is a little blurry for me, his overall presence in my life doesn't feel like it started on a specific day but rather like he has been there all along. That is definitely not the case but he has played such a key part in my life for so long that it seems that way. After the first time we met we just kind of hit it off and have been bestfriends ever since. 
Unlike most bestfriends we didn't live next door, down the street or across town from each other. We met at a district church event. I lived in Hastings and he lived in Omaha, thus putting us two and a half hours away from each other. At the time neither of us had phones nor a way to be on Facebook consistently or at the same time very often. The monthly district youth events were something we looked forward to. They were the one time (sometimes two) that we knew we would get to see each other, even if only overnight during a lock-in. Making a friendship last long distance, even if it was only two and a half hours, is not easy when you may have to go a month or more without communication. Yet we made it for three years with things like this. Sometimes we were lucky to catch each other on Facebook, but we relied on events. 

Despite the distance he quickly came to be the person that I could talk to about everything and a rock in some crazy storms. He's been there through personal issues, my mom's disorder, my parent's divorce, and much more. Looking back i'm not sure entirely how we managed to make it and become closer despite the distance and the lack of communication at times. Never would have guessed it could have lasted but I am so very, very glad it has. He is such a big blessing in my life. I thank God for him all the time. It isn't easy to put how much he means to me in words and I don't think I ever will be able to fully do so.

I have only come to realize how important he is in my life and how much of blessing in the last three years. The first three we were just a short two and a half hours apart. The last three years however have been across a bit larger distance. I left for school just south of Chicago back in August 2011. This meant that Mike and I were now eight hours apart. Talk about making things quite a bit harder than before. Luckily at this point we both had gotten phones and it became easier to talk online. The benefit of having technology while being far apart is huge, but it still doesn't replace seeing each other face to face. Sadly, it's been roughly a year and a half between every time we have seen each other. Quite the opposite of once a month. This distance has not been easy and many times is more of a struggle with technology, yet I am so thankful for it. We don't often get to have full conversations, but even a few words exchanged can make my day. 

So after six years of long distance friendship we sit here in two different states and realize just how blessed I am. There are times when we have to put in more effort to stay connected, but it is worth it. Sometimes it is hard to deal with the distance when I have to miss important days. Last weekend happened to be one of those important days. Last weekend Mike finished off his high school career. He walked across the stage and graduated. After four long years it was all done with. I am so very, very proud of him and his accomplishment! I couldn't be more happy for him and more proud of anyone. I just wish I had been there to celebrate his accomplishments with him that day. Saying congratulations via Facebook and phone just doesn't cut it. But we take what we can get. 

Mike after graduation (picture courtesy of his dad)
Mike, after six years of friendship, I just want to say how very proud of you I am! You have overcome so much and the way you have handled it all is inspiring. When someone or something tried to knock you down you got right back up and showed them you were stronger. You are such a huge blessing to me, as well as others! I am so proud of you and so very happy for you as you are making the preparations to head to college in the fall. There are so many wonderful things ahead for you! I have no doubt that God has incredible plans for you and your life. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for you and how He uses you to make a difference. I look forward to being able to share it with you as your bestfriend!  You are such an incredible blessing in my life and I am so thankful for you and who you are!! Six years down, may many more come. Here's to seven! I love you, Mike! :)

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