This is Shadell – She is my Bestie

This is Shadell.  She is my Bestie.


She has always been by my side.  

She’s my girl, my pearl, my mental health pill.  Yes, she’s all that and a bag of chips!

We met in college at the Christian Club.  She helped me pass health class!  Soon after that we both ended up attending the same church.

We both were single moms and had daughters who were close in age.  Our daughters became lifelong best friends. We spent hours hanging out together with our girls in tow, dancing together on the praise and worship team at church and putting our little girls hair into pigtails.

Ashley  Janee in pigtails at church.

Ashley and Janee at church on Easter Sunday.

She was the first one I confessed my out of wedlock pregnancy to – when I was a Christian.  We cried together on her bed.  (She may or may not have vowed to blacken the eye of anyone at church who spoke a disparaging word about me.  Just sayin’.)

At my wedding (which happened one week before I delivered), there was no wedding party allowed, but she was my bridesmaid; the only person who stood at the alter by my side.

Shadell at my wedding

After I married, she was so close to our family that my kids grew up thinking that she was their aunt – they thought she was my husband’s sister since they have similar skin tones! :o) She became my son’s God Mother.

Being so close to our family, she always told me when my kids were rotten or needed some behavior modification – like a good ol’ fashioned whoopin.  And if necessary, she’d give it to them!  She was allowed to speak into their lives.  They were comfortable with her and loved her (and still do!).

Every year she calls all my kids on their birthdays and makes them sing the birthday song.  Now that most of them are grown, when the phone rings, they all run!

Over the years, as we worshiped together, sometimes our personalities would clash and she would drive me crazy! And to be fair, I certainly drove her crazy right back!  (I was, and still am, a bit of a pill.)  We argued sometimes and didn’t always see eye to eye; and to be downright truthful, sometimes I was just plain jealous of her.  (Ah, confession is good for the soul!)

While all of this bonding and griping was happening I didn’t know she was my best friend.  I thought she was just a friend, just another sister I worshiped with.  But then, she took a gigantic leap of faith and moved out of state . . . AND I THOUGHT I WOULD DIE!

In a church full of people – full of many other young people – I was insanely lonely and downright miserable.  Her absence caused me to realize that through all of the fighting and squabbling and bickering and tears, through the laughing and rejoicing and dancing and worshiping, through the single parenting, out of wedlock pregnancy and church discipline she had become incredibly significant to me – we had indeed become best friends.

After she moved, our families vacationed together.  Here we are about to board a plane heading to Disney World.


The pink haired little tot is Angel!

She almost always made it back to NY for my kids’ birthday parties and special events.  She helped plan my surprise 40th birthday party.  Previously, she told me she had to work the weekend of my birthday and wouldn’t make it to NY.  After I was surprised by a room full of people, she then emerged from hiding.  When I saw her I was so excited that I bounded over furniture and leaped clear across the room on top of her!  (It was glaringly obvious that I lose all sense of composure when she’s around.)   🙂


She was the one who saved me from a mental breakdown THE VERY DAY! before my daughter (Ashley) was married.


Besties at Ashley’s wedding

I was up to my EYEBALLS in last minute details while my hubby was out showing our out-of-town guests around the city (I could have choked him!) 🙂  But when she arrived she calmed me down and worked with me on all of the last minute details.  We were up until the wee hours of the morning curling hair and hot-gluing flowers on head bands.

And even though we stayed up all night and were virtually zombies the morning of the wedding, she still woke up with me at the crack of dawn and helped me make a gazillion eggs with bacon and other breakfast items to deliver to the bridal party.

At the bridal suite, she was our unofficial wedding coordinator AND photographer – there were about 20 girls dressing, primping, and doing hair and makeup, and she was the chief cook and bottle washer, cleaner, tailor, assistant dresser and EVERYTHING!  It was only because of her that we have any pictures at all of Ashley or the bridal party primping.

Now we're ready!

Natalie helps flower girls with makeup

Recently, I’ve debated the merits of calling her my “best-friend.”  After all, that distinction is somewhat discriminating and could make my other friends feel less than.  (I have other friends?)

But I’ve decided that our friendship was forged in the crucible of major milestones, worship, pain, tears and joy, and has certainly stood the test of time.  We are Jonathan and David, and only she knows exactly what that means.

It’s earned the right to be called just what it is: a best friendship.  We share the deepest emotional connection I have with any other human being that I’m not related to, other than my husband.

Double Bestie Pics

On the left we’re in our 20’s, on the right, in our 30’s.

She once had the nerve to tell me that all the conflict we experience in our relationship is good because it’s actually preparing her for marriage.  Not sure if that was a compliment, but I’ll take it!  (The poor thing!)

Listen up Bestie!  I’m serving you notice: You cant get rid of me!  Your stuck with me forever!


Your headache inducing, drama filled girlfriend,

xoxo Tiffiney

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  1. I loved this post and it somewhat brought me to tears. My best friend in not a believer, so our relationship is currently strained and distant. It’s not the same when we converse now. I have shared with her the Gospel and how much she means to me. But I’m not sure how to bridge that gap between us. It will always be there because there’s no fellowship. I do hurt over this but there is still time and maybe she will repent and turn to Jesus. 🙂

    • Hey O! I too had close friendships that somewhat fell off as I came to Christ. It did hurt, and took me some time to realize that things would never be the same again. Christ really does bring a distinct difference in our relationships. However, as you said, keep praying for your girlfriend, that she will come to know the joy of serving our living Savior. Your prayers will definitely never be in vain!

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