Amazingly enough, after all these years of friendship, I don't think I have ever attended church with the Thompsons. Sitting in the congregation during worship time, my eyes were drawn to Corey playing his guitar.
I often worship with my eyes closed. I like to enter the throne room of God, pretend that it is just He and I and that no one else is around. And for several songs yesterday that is what I did. But I can do that any day, any time. That doesn't require a group of people playing instruments, or singing along with me. That doesn't even require a CD - just me and God.
Yesterday, I left my eyes open for awhile, and I watched the worship around me. It is such an awe inspiring experience to watch people praise their creator. The joy, the passion and the intensity of emotion that are allowed to show during those moments are beautiful.
I watched Corey. I remembered him as a 19 year old kid - simply "Andy's best friend". As Andy's best friend, I was fairly certain he was someone I would be seeing for a long time. Even at 19, I knew that Andy was going to be around for the long haul - and thus, Corey was in "for keeps" too.
Finals week, Shorter College 2000
I remembered Corey at 21, when Andy and I came home from our honeymoon and he and Carrie announced that they were getting married the next week - after participating in our crazy big wedding, they decided to just go ahead and get married!
As a groomsman at our wedding
Exactly two weeks later, at their wedding
I remembered Corey as a young daddy, working hard shifts, trying to keep up with young children, and a teacher for a wife.
During all those years, he was simply - "my husband's best friend".
Then, one day, Carrie quit teaching, and decided to homeschool, and over the course of just a few weeks we suddenly realized we had A LOT more in common then we had ever paid attention to before. Or maybe we always realized we had a lot in common, we just had the time to "play" together after she quit teaching. Either way... now Corey had a new title.
He was now "one of my best friend's husbands" rather then my "husband's best friend".
Yesterday, watching Corey worship, I remembered years worth of memories. Stories of memories from highschool that I wasn't even there for. Memories of the dating years. Memories from when Katie and Canaan were both still nursing babies. Memories of Andy's year in Korea when Corey had to stand in for him and move the boys and I eight hours away. Talk about a hefty job! Memories of birthday parties, and anniversary dinners, and silly nights playing games and listening to music.
I cried a little as I watched him worship, simply because it was a beautiful thing. I loved knowing that my husband's best friend loves Jesus. The two of them may not have always made the wisest choices when they were young, but they chose to stick together. They chose to have each other's back, no matter what. They have chosen, repeatedly, to put Jesus and their families first in their lives.
Silly dads, at a CEC birthday party.
I recently read the story of David and Jonathan, and their friendship. Modern men seem to shy away from relationships with intensity like that, but I like to think that my man and his best friend have hope for something deep like that. I will hold onto this scripture for them... "Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord, saying 'The Lord is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.'" 1 Sam. 20:42
Thank you Corey for being my husband's best friend. Thank you for marrying Carrie, and thus bringing me one of my best friends. I am so glad that you get to be one of "my best friend's husbands", as well as my "husband's best friend".
This is one of my favorite pictures, EVER. Hilarious!
I think that I have a new goal now. Perhaps it is time I got to know Corey as Corey. Not as my best friend's husband, or my husband's best friend.
Simply as my friend.
"A friend is one who comes in when the whole world has gone out."