My name is Brittany Willis; I am a nineteen-year-old girl with long, golden brown hair, and sapphire blue eyes. I have many friends, a few best friends, and a loving family. I have a strong, recently renewed relationship with God, I get good grades in school, and I have a special gift for writing, but up until about eight months ago, there was still something missing. I constantly prayed to God, begging Him to fill the void inside me, but He never seemed to answer, until one day, when I got a text message from my “sister” Caitlyn. The text read something like this, “Hey, Brittany, would you like to come to church with me and my family, Sunday?”
I didn’t answer immediately, but I knew that one of my constant desires was to find a new church that I could call my church, rather than continuing to go to the church I only went to, because I had grown up there with my family. “Of course, I would,” I answered, knowing that she knew I wasn’t particularly fond of the church I had been attending. “But, I have to ask my mom first, to make sure it’s okay with her.”
After getting my mother’s permission, I went to church with Caitlyn that week, and absolutely loved everything about that church! The worship was spirit-filled, the service—which for me, was a youth service, where I met two wonderful girls, but that’s a story for another time—was exactly what I needed to grow in my recently renewed relationship with Christ, and the people were genuinely loving people. After the service was finished, while her parents were getting things put away before we left, Caitlyn told me that she had wanted me to meet the worship team’s piano player, Shelby Lilly, because she thought we would get along really well, but Shelby wasn’t at church that week, so I didn’t get to meet her.
Two weeks later, I went to church with the Pleake’s again, and Shelby was there. Caitlyn introduced us, and we quickly became friends, talking as if we had known each other for years! Almost immediately, we realized that we were extremely alike in how we act. We are both major music lovers, so we started talking about music, and how I like to write lyrics, and she teaches music, as well as goes to college for it. After a few weeks of seeing her at church, which was really a couple months, because I only went to River City every other week, we started texting every few days and eventually every day. I would send her my song lyrics, she would critique them, I would inevitably love the changes, and the cycle went on and on.
During spring break, we went to the mall together and hung out for four hours, doing nothing but talking about anything and everything under the sun! While at the mall together, I realized she wasn’t like most friends I had had before. For one, she was two years older than me, and most of my friends are two years younger than, but also I didn’t feel like being her friend required any work. I felt like I received more out of our friendship than I gave, and that was a feeling I didn’t often feel from most other friendships. My other friendships were always wonderful, and I knew in most friendships the person was a genuine friend, but I had never felt like I got as much out of the friendship as I gave to the friendship.
I also learned what it was like to be the younger person in the friendship, and it was lovely. I could learn things from Shelby that I would otherwise have to learn on my own, and that is probably much better for me in the long run, because I tend to learn things the hard way, when left to learn things on my own.
After we hung out at the mall, I felt like Shelby and I had been friends for years, rather than months. I started to be much more open and vulnerable in our friendship than I had been in most other friendships. In all truth and honesty, that’s not easy for me to do. For reasons unknown, even to myself, I don’t trust people very easily. I often act like I do, by talking to them nonstop, and letting certain details about myself be known, but I rarely share all, or even most, of the details about myself and my feelings.
Now, she’s more than my best friend—she’s my sister and awesome twin! She knows more about me than most people do! She understands me better than anyone I’ve ever known! Since knowing her, I’ve been able to grow so much closer to God, and respond more properly to my family when I’m aggravated with them. If I don’t know her for many years to come, and hopefully ‘til my death, then I will be very disappointed! Even after only a few months of being friends, I know that if I had never met her, I wouldn’t be who I am today!