Shaney Irene

On Faith, Life, and Being the Church

Happy Birthday to Matthew, my Best Friend

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Something wonderful happened on this day 22 years ago. If it hadn’t happened, my life would probably look very different right now.

22 years ago today, my wonderful boyfriend Matthew Swift was born.

My best friend Matthew Swift

Matthew is unlike anyone else I’ve ever met. When he was two, his dad brought home a Disney movie, and he stood–STOOD–through the entire movie, completely focused on what was happening on the screen.

That sense of focus has not left him. He can accomplish anything he puts his mind to. Combine that focus with his love for learning, and you get one extraordinary scholar. He graduated from Baylor summa cum laude, with honors. He is now at the University of Chicago law school on a scholarship.

But he’s not just smart. He’s also one of the kindest, most compassionate people I know. He doesn’t hesitate to go out of his way when someone needs his help, and he always does it without complaining.

He always pursues truth and honesty. When I’m struggling with questions about faith and life, I know that I can go to him and he will understand why I’m struggling, but also that he’ll challenge my thinking and ask me follow-up questions I may not have even thought of. I know that my questions will never get shut down with a cliche. He also pushes me to be completely honest in our relationship, even when the truth hurts.

One of the things I appreciate most about Matthew is his refusal to put anyone into a neat little box. He insists on getting to know people as individuals, past the labels and the stereotypes.

Matthew can write like nobody’s business. He has a way with words that makes his prose sound like poetry, his poetry sound like song, and his songs sound like pure beauty. Especially when he writes me love letters. 🙂 I considered giving y’all a glimpse, but the words are precious, and taking even one line out of context just won’t do it justice.

Possibly one of Matthew’s best characteristics is his relentless dedication to his relationship with God. Even when it’s hard, even when he doesn’t feel like it, he never stops pursuing the Lord. I can say with confidence that I have grown closer to the Lord as I have grown closer to Matthew.

There’s so much more I could say about Matthew. What I’ve told you here doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. I could write thousands of words and still have just barely started to tell you about how wonderful Matthew is.

Matthew is my best friend.

And I couldn’t have asked for anyone better.

Leave a comment to say happy birthday to Matthew!


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