Old friends make the best friends, that’s what I hear older people say anyway. I never truly believed
this saying until last fall when I ran into a familiar face at my local Target in town. Her name was
Jacqueline, she was nineteen now and a college student. Her hair was now a dark brown and her once freckled face was now clear. We ran into each other at Target, ironically down the street from where both our younger years began in Fresno, California. It took a couple glances before I realized this
Jacqueline was my Jacqueline, just a grown-up version. She too looked at me and realized I was
Vanessa, her Vanessa from years ago. We both had grown up. Instantly, our faces became familiar to
each other once again and we ran to hug each other. It was as if no time had passed, and the stories
of past childhood antics began right in the middle aisle of Target.
Frankly, I can’t remember when Jacqueline wasn’t there. Even though years had passed she was always in my thoughts and in my own way I knew she was there cheering me on. I guess we never forget our first best friend and the innocence of childhood play. We had started kindergarten together in 2000, we were both born in 1995 and at a young age we both knew we were headed for greatness. We were going to become well know movie stars together and take over Hollywood. We were both similar and did first of many things together.
Both our houses had a fence between us, so instead of walking through the front door Jacqueline’s
mom would push us over the fence. That fence looked like a mountain in my child eyes! Her mom
would always say,” If you have fear you get nowhere.” I think that’s why I live my life fearless now. Her
mom was my favorite person on the planet. That’s what I used to tell her anyways! Her mom always
made me feel safe and loved, something that my parents couldn’t give me. Looking back now I think
that’s why she took a special interest in me.
Jacqueline had a larger than life personality. Her short, uncombed, red hair and face full of freckles
matched that fiery personality! I had long dark brown hair, glasses and a larger than life personality as well. We were the perfect match. Most of our time was spent at Jacqueline’s house. She had a room full of Barbies, Britney Spears newest music hits and a drawer full of dress up clothes. I was on cloud nine, just straight heaven.
As soon as school was out we’d run into the house grab goldfish crackers, a handful of candy and go
straight to her room. We’d play for hours jumping on her bed, laughing until we cried. She had many
Britney Spears dolls so, we sang, “Oops I did it again” 24/7 around the house. That’s when our ideas of being famous began. We were going to be popular like Britney Spears. Loved by all!
On many occasions, you could catch us running around the house naked, wearing only underwear and a superman cape with a princess crown half off our heads. We were a mess. There was nothing we couldn’t accomplish or save together. We were invincible.
Jacqueline and I loved just talking with each other and being in the moment. In fact, we loved being
together and talking so much our larger than life personalities got us in trouble in first grade. We had to sit in the corner for disturbing the class and talking too much. Our teacher wasn’t too pleased with us that day. We laughed anyways.
Jacqueline and I loved to sit on her mom’s bed and watch her get ready for dates, and dream of being grown up wearing red lipstick. We would watch movies together, play in the dirt, swim, play soccer, put our heads out the window in her mom’s convertible, saw plays together at the local theatre, we had endless sleepovers, she would be at all my parties and I at hers. There was nothing we did separate.
We were truly partners in crime.
One day I came over, she was curled up in a ball crying. She was moving to a different town. It was the end of second grade now and the end of my first best friend. She did move. She hugged me by saying we’d always be best friends and her mother kissed me and told me to be tough, strong girl and know I was loved. I was heartbroken. I would look at her house with new neighbors and want my friend back. We lost contact and that second-grade summer would be the last time I saw her.
Time passed and here we were now both in the same aisle in Target down the street from where our younger years began. As our talked ended, we smiled, wiped tears and hugged, for a moment all I saw was the five-year-old Jacqueline, not the nineteen-year-old Jacqueline. We talked about college, Jesus, our salvation, what became of our lives, my move to LA, and life. Even thou we grew up, I’ll always see her as that red headed, freckled face kid running around naked with me in a superman cape and tiara. I watched her walk away. I wasn’t sad this time, I was happy. I finally realized when someone leaves our lives it’s not always forever, some do come back. True friendship never dies, it’s always in the heart. I have Jacqueline to thank for that lesson.
In this new season of school, college classes or wherever you are at in life, remember the importance of being intentional in friendships. It's true you never know where or how those friendship's will end up, but it's important to remember that friends may come and go, yes, but that's why we must show Christ to them in our time together. Show Christ-like love, be present, love knowing we may or may not get hurt in that friendship, and always pray. Pray for wisdom, guidance, grace and love. Friends expose sin that keeps us from God. They are honest about our faults. That's a two-way street, be honest with them as well. Friends help us to enjoy God. This can be by going to church groups together, hitting up a Christian concert, or simply sitting in your dorm room talking about him. Friends lead us back to God when we get distracted and head onto the wrong life path. Friends see us for how God sees us: beautiful, worthy, and seen.
Thank God for old friendships. Also, thank him for the new ones to come. Be blessed sweet friends.
Written By: Vanessa