I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry.
That’s what I told myself when the phone rang, because I knew what she was going to tell me. I was busy making up a bed, which is a nice enough distraction from tears. I knew because she’d answered my text message with one that said, “I need to call you!” I knew on the phone when they took a deep pause after I asked them how they were. They were different. Later, she told me I was the first friend, which accounts for the pause—they hadn’t tried this out yet. They weren’t sure how to put it into words.
Every single person who knows Janie and Coston has fallen for their love story; I, friends, am no exception. In fact, I am president of the fan club. There is a part of my brain that is devoted to loving them—the thing they become together—separately than I love the people they are. See, Janie and Coston will tell you the story of how they met with stars in their eyes; after all, they met under the stars, and it was appropriate for the stars they are.
“Among these people you shine like stars in the world.” —Philippians 2:15
When they tell that story, though, I have a different perspective, because I can file back through my memories, and there it is. I got to come along, and I got to be there the moment they shook hands. I got to be there after that, too.
At first, I have to admit, I wasn’t thrilled. Janie was a part of my team. In fact, she was—is—my MVP. Not the sort of player you trade, you know. Coston came along and it seemed he was doing what he could to win her over: flowers, poems, sunsets. I couldn’t compete. There were nights in the beginning when he would ask Janie to stay behind after he dropped us off, in a gentle-but-firm Lindsey’s-not-invited tone. I would go inside the dorm alone, shaking my head. Coston.
It didn’t take long, though, for Coston to win me over, too. I realized he wasn’t taking her away at all. It wasn’t about losing; It was what I got. We added him to the team, and I fell head over heels in love with the idea of him loving my best friend. He did it so well, you see. He’s loved all of us well, and he’s become one of my very best friends. He gets my humor. He takes out our trash. He’s been a superb male influence. And he really loves Janie.
I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry. Of course, when she told me, I wept. I thought of all of the memories of the past two years, the ones I was there for and the ones I heard about and the ones I didn’t. I thought about how I knew Janie’s eyes were dancing. I thought about how the world will never be the same because they will be one beautiful force for the Kingdom of God. I sobbed because my heart was so full for these people that I couldn’t handle it. Even after we hung up the phone, the tears still rushed down. And I’m not even a crier.
When does your love for someone become such that their successes are yours? When does it happen that their joy is the same as your joy, that hearing the splendor dancing in their voices is enough to elicit the purest kind of happiness in your own heart? I’m not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the way, I knew when she said, “I’m your best friend,” that she absolutely meant it.
My dearest friend, I don’t know that words could ever explain this sort of joy, but I couldn’t have more of it. I love you. Here’s to bow tying. Sign me up.