I’ll never forget our first dinner together. It was the first time we made plans outside of school. Not only did I discover a new gluten-free pizza place–I found a group of life-long friends. I called my mom on the way home and said, “I can’t believe this is my new team! We talked for hours and I actually think they could be real life friends!”
Fast forward 6 years, and we’ve been through so much together–weddings and anniversaries, student teachers, new babies, negative pregnancy tests, loss of loved ones, birthday dinners, new jobs, new houses, first birthday parties, laughter and tears, fear and joy, hope and grace.
Somewhere along the way, our administrators called us The Dream Team. And it stuck. Destiny, Megan, Courtney and Ali. The four friends who made up the 2010-2011 special education team, all hired within one year. We worked really well together. But we also loved really well. We quickly learned each other’s favorite dessert or Starbucks drink. We met each other’s husbands and parents. We carried each other’s burdens–crying tears of sadness and tears of joy over new beginnings and necessary endings.
Now Megan is an instructional coach at a different school. Destiny is staying home with her two babies. I’m teaching first grade. And Courtney has a brand new team. We don’t see each other nearly as often as we used to, but we make a point to get together. It takes work and intentionality. And we always pick up right where we left off. This friendship is one of God’s greatest gifts in my life–one that I will never take for granted.
When Adam and I moved back to the Indianapolis area that summer of 2010, God loved me through the friendship of Courtney, Destiny and Megan. It felt like He hand-picked us four to be exactly where we were supposed to be. We’ve sharpened one another, extended grace and forgiveness, and offered love and acceptance. Thank you, God, for my friends M, D, and C.
I asked Megan what authentic friendship means, and her thoughts capture our Dream Team so perfectly:
Authentic friendship is being vulnerable and honest about yourself with others, regarding your successes and shortcomings, your dreams and fears. It’s about being raw, going deeper, but also letting your inner weird come out. And it’s about trusting your people to accept you as you are, no questions. It’s about calling and sending random texts and scheduling monthly coffee dates to stay close. It requires effort. Most of all, it’s about finding your tribe and holding on tight.
Take some time to thank God for the gifts of friendship He’s given you, or ask Him to bring those friendships into your life. Give your friend a call, send her a text, or schedule a coffee date.
This is part of a series called 31 Days of Authentic Friendship. Click here to see all posts.
I'm Ali. I write about my journey of living a full and healthy life with food allergies, overcoming the comparison trap, and cultivating authenticity.