The other day, my friend Brooke and I were together at school, and somebody asked if we met in college. We both giggled, and I responded, "No, we actually went to preschool together. We've been friends for a little over fifteen years."

After I said that, I stopped for a second and let the words that just came out of my mouth really sink in.

Fifteen years seems like a lifetime. And in all actuality, it is a long time- a decade and a half.

A long time for four families to stay in the same town. A long time for four girls to graduate high school in the same county. A long time to decide that petty drama wouldn't tear our friendship apart. A long time to stay in constant contact, and for that I am grateful.

Fifteen years ago, we all started preschool in our plaid jumpers and navy Mary-Jane slip-ons, and had no idea life would allow our friendships to stay solid over the years.

Thank you for being my constant- for being there when I had nobody else.

Thank you for sticking around, when it would’ve been so easy to walk away.

I could have never asked God for a better support system and a group of friends to grow up and encounter joys and tragedies with.

We’ve walked through many seasons of life together- triumph, happiness grief, and confusion- but somehow, we always seem to come out stronger.

We’ve traveled far and wide together and made countless memories- memories we’ll get to share with our kiddos one day.

Braces, terrible haircuts, TOMS, pic-nik, and Aeropostale graphic tees characterized our middle school days, days we thought would surely be the end of us.

We had many senseless arguments over boys that none of us ended up with.

We listened to ‘Down’ by Jay Sean on replay on the shuttle bus to the high school daily.

We hung out at Edgewood and called it freedom.

We attended (and actually lived through) seventh-grade BETA convention.

We flew to Washington, D.C. and studied the Bible in the lobby as a group.

We conquered the mechanical bull at Redneck Prom, and actually survived when we tried out for a team and didn’t make it.

There is nobody else on the planet I would’ve wanted to share these experiences (plus so many more) with. We’ve made it through preschool, high school, and half of college- the mountains and valleys of all the years past.

God knew we would need each other, no matter the distance between us or where life takes us.

Thank you, Pike County, for these lifelong friends.