Christ, Motherhood and a Lasting Friendship
November 2020 Issue
by Marina Karis
Photography by Christian Lee
When Stephanie Reed and Brooke Allen met each other 22 years ago as young mothers in a local bible study on Hilton Head Island, they could not have imagined all they would share in the pursuing years. This chance meeting grew into a bond between two people that is rare to come by.
“We grew up together, and our children grew up together. Our friendship is an extension of who I am, and each moment together is just as special as the last. We are more than best friends, Brooke is my family,” Stephanie said.
You might know Stephanie as a singer and worship leader at Hilton Head Island Community Church, as a commercial property manager, or from fundraising for SOAR special olympics for children with special needs, like her youngest daughter Hannah. She has been married to her husband Andy for 25 years, and they have three beautiful daughters. Brooke has three children, as well, and has been married to her husband Richard for 22 years. She works for the Marriott and helps in the office at Richard’s law firm, Fraser & Allen, LLC.
When the two first met they instantly bonded over their love of Christ and motherhood. As new mothers they were in survival mode and knew they needed support and people to lean on. Those similarities gave these two an automatic innate trust that they could depend on each other. Their friendship has faced losses, disabilities and struggles, but many victories, too. Each of these—happy or tragic— brought them closer and closer together to the level of sisterhood.
“With both of us having kids at the same time, we always saw what was needed and helped each other with those things. We never have to ask for permission with each other, we just show up and do it. In challenging times in my life, Stephanie wouldn’t even call, she would just come over, sit with me and tell me we could get through it together,” Brooke shared.
“Brooke has always been the first person to come over and help me with my children, especially my daughter Hannah,” Stephanie expressed. “She would help me with just the basics of feeding and bathing her; sometimes I just needed that support. There have been times just getting my house cleaned was too overwhelming for me, and Brooke would do it for me. You need someone to be able to get right there in the trenches with you and love you through all of the crazy stuff.”
They describe their relationship as having the perfect balance. Brooke's weaknesses are where Stephanie is strong and vice versa, and they’ve taught each other in those aspects. “I have always been a big people pleaser, and I think if it wasn’t for Brooke, it would have taken me so much longer to become more assertive and know how to stand up for myself,” Stephanie said.
To Brooke, Stephanie is the epitome of unconditional love towards everyone in her life: “I have learned from her to not be so quick to judge if someone hurts me, or acts a certain way. That person could be having a bad day, or going through something at home; she has reminded me to not take things so personally.”
Stephanie shared how having respect for each other and being totally honest with each other has been a huge part of their successful friendship. “Everything we do for each other and say to one another always comes out of love. Even if we don’t agree on certain things, we both know where we stand and respect those stances. Our differences have never mattered because I know her heart, and I know it’s good.”
Another key to their deep bond—they can make anything and everything fun! “Even things like going to the grocery store, cleaning our houses, or moving things in our yards, we somehow find a way to make it really fun. God has given us one life and through the things we’ve gone through, we know tomorrow isn’t promised. We’ve chosen to enjoy it
“True Friendships are there when you don’t ask them to be.
They just show up because they love you.”