One of the greatest blessings of my life is and always has been my girl friends. Ever since I was four, I have always had a best friend. My very first best friend was Bree. To this day, I still remember what she looked like, her long beautiful brown hair and her green eyes. Then there was Monica. She had curly black hair, dark brown eyes and light brown skin. She was the first person I ever gave a Book of Mormon to. Then there was Angela. Angela was my best friend for a long long time. All the way from 3rd grade to 8th grade. We moved after 8th grade, but Angela and I continued our friendship. In fact, we still keep in touch occasionally. Then there were my high school friends. I couldn't imagine having gone through high school without them. And of course, I can't forget the best friend who has been by my side my entire life (all though at times I swore she was my enemy), my oldest sister Andrea.
Although Cory is and always will be my very best friend, Heavenly Father must have known that I would continue to need good girl friends in my life because everywhere I have moved, I always seem to find those kind of friends that come into my life and leave me a better person. Unfortunately, I am not very good at staying in touch like I should, but I think about each of my friends regularly...wondering how they are doing, where they are at, and if they have any idea the impact that they have made in my life. Each one has a special place in my heart and will never be forgotten. These friends have been angels in my life...teaching, supporting, and loving me in their own unique ways.
This morning, our family and three others drove down to the temple. Two couples did a session while the other two stayed with all the children. Then we switched. Of course it was wonderful, going to the temple always is, but there were a couple of things that made this time even more wonderful than usual. Two of them are too personal to share on a blog, but the other one happened while I was in the dressing room. I looked over and saw two of my friends in their white temple dresses talking to one another. These two friends are not just any friends. They are my 5:30 am running buddies. I have ran with them in pouring rain, icy wind, snow, and crazy cold temperatures. Why would we be so insane? Because we are training for a marathon. One morning this last week I missed our morning run and so one of them came over to my house with her children to watch my girls so that I could get my miles in for the day. When I tried to talk her out of doing such a sweet thing, she texted me the following, "You forget that we are in this together and the more you are trained, the more I am and the better we will run the big M." As I looked at the two of them in the temple, I thought of what she had written and I realized the truth of what she had said. You see, we really are all in this together. Yes, right now we are training for a marathon, but in the race of life we are training for something much bigger and much greater. We are running to win the greatest prize of all, the prize of eternal life.
As I looked at my two friends, they never looked more beautiful to me than they did right then, standing in the temple dressed in white . How grateful I am to know that I am not alone in this race of life. I am not only running along side my loving and devoted husband, I am also running with angels, some that I am trying to recruit, some that are running by my side, and others who I am following from behind. Angels who are here in my life right now for a specific purpose and others who have ran by my side through miles of intense rain, snow, and even the brisk winds of trial and suffering. In fact, I'm pretty sure some have even carried me for a time. Just as it has with all of my other "running buddies", the time will eventually come in our lives that our mortal paths will diverge into different directions, but I know that as long as we continue our "training" that one day we will cross the victory line together. But until then, I will continue my race, praying to get better with time, and daily thanking the Lord for all the angels in my life, those who are running beside me, and those who are cheering me on from the finish line.
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