brothers.

i worked tonight, so i got back about an hour ago. it’s never too bad, and tonight was relatively easy. i’m tired, but not to the point of wanting to go to bed. i’m sure i’ll reach that point by the end of this post.

God has truly blessed me with friends that have become brothers. zack, eric, nathan, tanner, drew. truly awesome guys that i love and trust.

zack’s great. he accepted me at once, even though we are completely different. he’s all about sports. all about them. he’s the kind of guy that plays a sport for an hour and then seems like he’s been playing his whole life. walleyball? yep. golf? sure, why not? football, soccer, basketball? yeah. he’s truly gifted. i feel like i can be myself around him; usually i pretend to like playing sports or act like i know certain things when i’m talking to people. sort of for the first time, i just don’t feel the need to around zack. he gets that sports for him are like music for me. he knows who i am, and he accepts me for it. he’s got a hot temper, and i’m usually there to try and calm him down. he’s super indecisive, which has sort of forced me to take a look at myself in that area. he has horrible taste in movies; he’s a sucker for anything corny or cheesy. and he’s honest and open. i feel like i’ve never had anyone trust me the way zack does, and i’ve never trusted anyone quite like i trust him. he challenges me to hold to what i believe in some cases, and we have sharpened each other on many occasions. zack is my brother.

eric is the first guy to pursue me with the intent of discipling me, challenging me specifically to grow in my relationship with the Lord. i have never had that experience before, and it is one of love, accountability, teaching, and trust. i love eric. i know that i can trust him, and i know that he always has pure intentions. unlike zack, he and i are so much alike. we think about and interpret things the same way. we’re thinkers and sharers. we deal with the same kinds of sins. he has been such an encouragement to me, whether it’s dealing with school stuff or working through feelings of condemnation and legalism. i feel most strongly a bond as a brother in Christ with eric. he has invested in me. truly invested in me, and that’s something i can’t say about any other guy except my dad. it’s completely humbling and completely awesome. God has really used him to reveal such truth to me, such as the difference between justification and sanctification and the working of the Holy Spirit in my heart. my relationship with the Lord has grown, and God used eric for a majority of it. eric is my brother.

nathan’s was a slow friendship. it began as nothing more than an acquaintance, just one of the guys in my bible study. he shared a lot and was very knowledgeable in things regarding theology and scripture. i could tell right off the bat that he enjoyed fellowship and deep discussion. in many ways he and i were very similar. but he was on the other end of the hall, and i’m not much of an initiator, so it didn’t seem to go anywhere at first. but soon, as the year progressed, i could tell that the Lord was drawing me to him, pushing me to get to know him better. and so we went to christmas conference together. what an amazing time to bond as brothers in Christ. it was so cool, to be standing next to this guy, arms lifted in praise to the One who created us both, knowing that something so personal was, on some level, being shared between us. ever since then, we’ve just been on the same page. there’s an understanding between us; i know that we’ll be growing closer, especially as roomies with zack next year, and i am so excited to see where it goes. nathan is my brother.

tanner came out of nowhere. i literally hadn’t hung out with him until about a month ago. he and zack became close friends, and so by the transitive property, i started hanging out with them as well. tanner has such a sense of hospitality. it was never a question of how well we knew each other at the beginning; we wanted to become better friends, and so we did. tanner is so down to earth, so practical and honest when it comes to sharing his thoughts and what’s on his heart. the Lord has humbled me through my interaction with tanner. he loves people, and loves to love them. i’ve stayed the night twice in his room, comply because i didn’t feel like waling up two flights of stairs to get to mine. and he was totally unphased by it. he’s so willig to include us in his life, and it’s that quality along with the fact that he’s just a fun person to be around that makes hanging out completely non-chalant while at the same time tons of fun. he is an encouragement in tough times, a much needed laugh on sad days, a place to hang out on the boring days. tanner is my brother.

drew has been a joy to know. i have never once felt pressured or hesitant to talk about spiritual things with him. it comes so naturally for him, and it’s humbling to be with someone who truly does everything out of sincerity. when he asks if i’d like him to pray before we eat, i know that it isn’t to try to impress me, or because he’s trying to earn brownie points with God. it’s been convicting at times. his quiet demeanor possesses such calm, such a trust in the Lord. asking him to pray for me or others is almost unneeded. i know that he will be praying earnestly and consistently. i think what draws me to him is that i know that, for example, more tha praying for my requests, he’ll be praying that God’s will be done. what i think of him doesn’t matter that much to him (in the good way) and because of that, i feel i can be open and honest with him, whether it be about struggles or joys in my life. i know he rejoices with me and is sad with me. i know what he wants most for me is to grow in my faith. isn’t that the biblical definition of a brother in Christ? drew is my brother.

what an undeserved blessing these men have been to me. thank You, Father, for putting them in my life. You are too good to me.

something i’ve been thinking about is just how significant the idea of a brother is to me. i have three sisters (the three most beautiful, wonderful women. not just saying that) and have always wanted a brother, but have never had one. it is something i have truly been in pain about, at times, so desperately desiring a younger brother to relate to, to teach, to hang out with, to be a brother to. it was and is something very vulnerably close to my heart.

to call these men brothers is no small declaration. i love them deeply, and i know that the Lord has specifically placed them in my life to point me to Him, in whatever ways they will.

i have brothers.

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