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3.28.2014

how i met my best friend.

i receive emails from a lot of you sweet readers asking how i know beth from oak + oats. like "how long have you known her?", "did you meet through blogging?", "do you live in colorado, too?" let me tell you, i love those emails, because i love telling mine and beth's friendship story. i've gotten enough emails at this point that i figured i could just tell you all at once about how we met! i absolutely love hearing other people's life stories, how they met their significant others, and in this case, how they met their best friends. the short answer is "we met in high school and just so happen to be best friends who are now both bloggers!" but i'm guessing you want the whole story. :) so get ready, buckle up, and hold on tight as i take you back to the beginning. time travel, y'all. it's crazy.



it was the summer of 2005, and 16 year old meg was leaving tennessee and heading back to colorado to work as a CREW camper at eagle lake camp. i had worked at eagle lake the summer before and had met bruce, beth's now husband, but we were on separate work crews, so we didn't spend a whole lot of time together. to give you a little background on CREW and eagle lake camp >> eagle lake is a christian camp in pike national forest run by the navigators. the CREW program is a 5 week discipleship program for high school kids to come volunteer to work at camp. say what? kids pay to come to camp to work? i know, it's awesome. CREW takes care of all the behind the scenes work at camp. they cook, serve meals, clean bathrooms, help in the office, pick-up around camp, and work on other various projects. on top of that, CREW campers live in military-style tents for the 5 weeks they are at camp. groups of 4-5 are put in bible studies together, they study the word together and grow in their walks with the Lord throughout the summer. they are also poured into by incredible counselors with big hearts for the Lord. beth and i just so happened to be in the same tent AND the same Bible study for the summer. props to Jesus for orchestrating that one.

we were an inseparable duo that summer, and hung out a lot with bruce and our counselors. our counselor, carrie, wrote a fairytale about a few of us, and gave it to us as a gift at the end of the summer. i still have a copy and pull it out to read every now and then.

| beth is on the far right. i'm on the far left. chokers were IN, y'all. |that magical summer came to an end and we all went our separate ways. beth and i stayed in touch through email and snail mail (these were the days before facebook. we are THAT old.) when facebook did come around, we kept up that way. beth and i were both at college being busy and making new friends -- she was still in colorado and i was in tennessee. beth ended up transferring to John Brown University in arkansas, and we continued sending messages every now and again to catch up on life. she went back to camp as a counselor for rez camp and then again for CREW. each summer she would contact me and tell me i should come too, but there was always something that kept me away. school, jobs, mission trips... fast forward to christmas 2010. i had graduated from college in august, and beth had just graduated that december. we were catching up and she mentioned that she and bruce were both going back to camp to be CREW counselors again and said that i should come this time! actually, her exact message was:

dear megan: apply for CREW. why not? you have no commitments. it would be fun. and you can start something in August.... think about it. But how cool would it be to serve along side each other again?!?! love beth.
...
ps: really think about it!

i was done with college, and working part-time jobs, worried sick about my future, and figured that this was my last shot at working at camp, so i might as well apply. i applied, was accepted, packed my bags, and went to colorado for three of the hardest and yet, most rewarding months of my life.

beth and bruce and i had our days off together, which in my opinion, was the best. every tuesday night we'd head down the mountain, sleep in real beds, and try to get a good night's rest. i spent my wednesdays earning my title as a professional third wheel. beth and bruce and i would run errands, go see movies, lounge around, and most weeks they'd go have dates of their own, which i highly encouraged. #datersgonnadate

also, you know your best friend is dating "the one" for her when he voluntarily plays the beauty and the beast soundtrack during long car rides. am i right??


it was the best summer of my life. we laughed together. we cried together. we grew in our relationships with Jesus and each other. it was the most rewarding time and also most exhausted i've ever been. like all summers do, ours came to an end long before i wanted it to. it was time to pack my bags and head back home to tennessee. we hugged and cried and started praying that i would find a job in colorado.

three years down the road and that job has not come along yet, but the Lord has graciously provided the funds and circumstances to visit my colorado besties much more often than i ever thought. a year after the beginning of our summer at camp, beth got engaged. i was in a movie when she texted me (and i don't read texts while in movie theaters. manners, people. manners.) so it was a couple of hours before i got it! i was walking out of the theater, saw the text and a picture of the ring and started crying in the parking lot. haha! if there is one couple that i've ever been absolutely sure should get married, it was beth and bruce. to say i was excited would be an understatement. they only had a 3 month engagement, so plans had to come together quickly. i soon received some snail mail asking me to be maid of honor, and i cried...again. are you seeing a trend here? tears of joy, y'all. i was just so honored she would ask!


| all wedding photography belongs to the wonderful stellar propeller studio |


so i flew out to colorado once for a bridal shower, and it was so special to have one last opportunity to spend time together before she got married. i headed back out again a couple weeks later for the wedding of the year. it was beautiful, and God-honoring, and everybody cried that time. ;) it was the best day ever getting to stand beside my best friend as she married her man.



these days i head out to colorado a couple times a year to spend a long weekend with my favorites. we visit the zoo, spend time with family, watch multiple episodes of our favorite nerdy shows (AKA doctor who), sing along to our favorite disney songs, run around target trying on our favorite Avenger's apparel, wear matching clothes from GAP, and eat rudy's bbq at least once. we talk about our hearts and Jesus, we sit and blog together, and we dream up big dreams.  i always leave feeling refreshed and encouraged but homesick for that rocky mountain state.



i think we all still dream of the day the Lord will move me out there, but for now i'm grateful for the time i am given. i'm grateful for snail mail, facetime, and daily gmail chats. i'm grateful for a friend who is intentional, supportive, who prays for me, and is always encouraging me to focus on Jesus. i don't know what the future holds, but i do know that i have a best friend who will always always always be there for me.

what does your best friend mean to you?

37 comments:

meg pitts said...

Such a cool story! I've always wondered how yall met too! Ha!

Robyn Black said...

this is such a NEAT story with God's grace written all over it! thanks for sharing! :)
my maid of honor was actually my roommate from when we worked at a camp in Alaska one summer! funny how serving together for 3 months can build a lifelong friendship!

Caitlin | The Siren's Tale said...

Oh gosh, the days of the choker. I had a black one from a dollar store that I wore every day, until it started to stain my skin in patchy black (now THAT was a look!)

This is such an adorable story. I love hearing how best friends have met because it's such an important and special connection in life. My best friend lives in Indiana, and I'm in Massachusetts, so I can relate to the long-distance. It's hard at times, but when you have a best friend who knows your heart, your faith, and your soul so clearly? The miles never matter. Such a sweet story, thanks for sharing!

Elizabeth Mayberry said...

meg, this is the sweetest post ever. you made me cry (go figure). i love our friendship story and now that everyone is reading this i hope they start praying you out to Colorado! XOXO

agodfashionedlife said...

this story is beautiful! you two are the sweetest, i'm so thankful for both of you!


http://agodfashionedlife.com

Abigail Fennema said...

So precious. Love this story.

Amy Dawn Bishop said...

This is totally precious! Love stories like this. Good friends are such gifts and treasures!
http://www.lovelydoesit.com

Megan McIlvaine said...

me too, abby. me too. :)

Megan McIlvaine said...

yes they are!!

Megan McIlvaine said...

aw thanks, girl! thankful for you too!!

Megan McIlvaine said...

i cried writing it! baha :) miss you, love you. so so so excited for the adventures ahead!

Megan McIlvaine said...

baha! that is great!

long distance friendships are hard work, but so worth it! you are totally right...the miles don't matter. the best part is it feels so normal to pick back up when we get to see each other. it's almost like no time has passed :)

Megan McIlvaine said...

ah! camp seriously is the best. i've made some of my greatest friends there!
and yes, lady! God's grace IS written all over it, and i am so thankful for that!

Megan McIlvaine said...

now you know!! :) friendship stories are the best!

Kiki said...

I loved hearing this story! I knew you two were great friends before blogging and I remember someone (either you or Beth) mentioning that it was from a summer camp, too; but I didn't know the whole story! That said, hooray for great friendships! You two are both amazing ladies and I'm so honored to call you my friends! :)

Betsy Gettis said...

What a sweet story Meg! And beautifully written. Camp friends are covenant friends! I have a small group that I've known since we were teenagers and campers together (then counselors as well), and getting together with them are some of the most fun and precious times. We're only spread out over PA & DE, so I can't imagine being that far from your bestie! But it's so great that you're both such a big part of one another's lives.

Paige Williams said...

This story is so sweet! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. That summer camp sounds amazing!

Madison said...

This story is so great!! Long distance friendships are hard sometimes but they end up meaning the world to you!

Angela said...

Such a sweet story! I too am living in different states than my best friend. :( It's so rough! We are praying to live in the same state soon!

Megan McIlvaine said...

it's so tough! i'm glad to know i'm not alone :)

Megan McIlvaine said...

you are so right!

Megan McIlvaine said...

thanks girl! it is the best camp!! i will totally send my future kids there :)

Megan McIlvaine said...

thanks, betsy! covenant friends...i love that!! ahhh camp experiences really do bring you close together. love that you have those friends too!

Megan McIlvaine said...

glad you enjoyed it, kiki! i'm so glad i get to call you my friend as well! like for real. :)

Jess Elyse said...

I LOVE this story. It is so good and definitely a great picture of friendship. I have to say though, my favorite thing about that wedding photo you guys are in, is the fact that you are wearing Chacos!! That's just too good! :)


My best friend and I met in college where we ended up being roommates for a time. We are now long distance besties as well! It is definitely hard, but it keeps us on our toes and has taught us to be more intentional with one another. She is in Colorado and I'm in Alabama! Thank goodness for FaceTime!! :)

Katy said...

I love, love this story! I've read both of your blogs for a while, and never put 2 and 2 together. Love this! Made me think a lot about my best gal. We were on the same floor freshman year of college, ended up moving into the same house junior year, and became inseperable! 12 years, 2 college degrees each, weekly sewing nights, a marriage, a divorce, and my second marriage this summer, and we're still great friends!

Megan McIlvaine said...

they had a chaco wedding!! isn't that the greatest?? my feet were so comfy the whole time :) you are so right...distance does make us be more intentional. we should all just move to colorado! ;)

Megan McIlvaine said...

thanks, lady! love that you and your bestie have stuck together for so long and through it all! it definitely says something about your friendship! :)

Lauren C. said...

This was so sweet, and I loved it! My best friend plays double duty as my accountability partner. We lead small group together, and support each other in our weaknesses. She also helps me make sure I'm focused on Jesus and not other silly things. Basically, she's the best.

Megan McIlvaine said...

I love that! So fun to get to lead a small group together! You know your best friend is a true friend when they hold you accountable and call you out on things. :)

Lauren C. said...

For real though! It's tough love sometimes, for sure. :)

Chantel Klassen said...

What a sweet story (and friendship) you two have!! I love it! :)

Megan McIlvaine said...

thanks, lady. i sure am thankful for her! :)

Rachel Cox said...

So I just clicked over from Chantel's sponsor highlight. Love to learn this story of you two. Friendships are so sweet, and I just love that y'all are so close. Gorgeous pics!

Megan McIlvaine said...

aww thanks, lady! i don't know what i'd do without beth's friendship! :)

Christina Main said...

Yay! Love this!!!

Megan McIlvaine said...

:) friends are the bestest!