I really don't know how it happened, but we've gone years without seeing each other, my best friend Jenna and I. We met in 2003 at Ouachita Baptist University during freshman orientation, and of course as all music majors do, clung together in both fear for our lives and hope for stardom in some type of musical career.
I remember Jenna being slightly timid, very sweet, and just a smidge quirky rocking her sweet union jack flag sandals that her sister had scored for her during a stint across the pond. I was honestly SO relieved to meet a music major who didn't seem like she wanted to cut my throat and climb over my body on her way to the top. Jenna didn't give off the competitive vibe, and that made my heart rest easy.
During our first semester, we both had changes with our roommate situations and found ourselves needing to to find new ones. Before I knew it, Jenna was moving her stuff in to Frances Crawford East 315 to become my roomdawg for what would be the next four years.
We always joke that living together is what prepared us the best for marraige, because for the first time we chose to live with someone, outside of family, to see them day in day out at their absolute best and absolute worst and stay true to the friendship and living situation. Bless your precious heart, Jenna, that you never bailed on my crazy tail. In retrospect I find myself asking why ANY of my friends both in high school and college remained my friend. Teenage Camie was a major hot mess. But out of everyone, Jenna is the one who had the most reasons to kick my tail to the curb, but she really and truly showed grace that no other friend has had to apart from family and my husband.
We sang together. We danced together. We acted like fools to cheer up sad friends together. We shared friends. We shared space. We shared tears. We shared joy. And we shared WAAAAY too much rotel dip sophomore year! :) It was with Jen that I began to understand the importance of championing a friend, even when they are friggin' awesome at the very same things that you are passionate about. Homegirl can sing, y'all. And my homegirl LOVES Jesus and His word. She loves people REALLY well. And though SOMETIMES (ok LOTS of times) I wished that I could ditch my sass and be sweeter like Jen, I am so thankful that God made us so different yet with so many of the same desires so that we could begin to see how God has a specific purpose for the way that He has made each of us, same passions or not.
Our senior year, we had the awesome privilege to live in an apartment with the other blonde, Megan (Meg, Mel, Meggiemoo...). Meg is the oldest of three sisters, while Jenna is the youngest of three sisters. Then there's me. The second child yet still the baby to one older brother. So honestly, every now and again, I resented that I didn't have cool sister bonds and stories like they did. Megan got to be the responsible oldest. Jenna got to be the sweet baby sister that everyone loved. And I was the odd duck stuck in the middle! Hahahahaha kidding. kidding. (ok kinda not, but I am...) But living with those two, learning with those two, loving and creating and performing and worship leading was SUCH. AN IMMENSE. GIFT. I wouldn't trade it.
And now I crave and cherish every little second I can get with these girls. My Ouachita friends are special ones. All of them. From every single semester. And to have gotten to spend a majority of my weekend with Jenna to attend the nuptials of another dear OBU friend was just the absolute best. And of course, the icing on the cake was getting to play dress up like we used to almost 10 years ago now.
Everyone that knows Jenna loves her. And it is because of her love for Jesus that we are all drawn to and endeared to her. She is such a treasure to everyone whose lives touch hers. And I'm so grateful that we got to do life together so closely for four years. And now that I have used all of my writing time reminiscing (because there is just SO MUCH I could say), I will come back and edit with deets about her makeover later. But for now, enjoy and love on JennaBenna!!!