This week I have been spending a lot of time reminiscing and being sentimental. I've really been thinking about how much the Lord has blessed me with with such wonderful friends. I would love to introduce you to two of them. I met both of them when we traveled to the Middle East in 2008 and I can't imagine my life with out them in it.
Meet Grim (Sarah)
Before I actually met her in person I thought to myself, there is no way I'm going to like this girl (I was super judgmental, I hate to admit it) but she scared me. My first encounter with her was interesting; I was in line to check in at summer project briefing. Grim screamed my name, I turned around and the next thing I knew she was throwing herself at me wrapping her arms tightly around me. I was like get this girl off of me please! I kept my distance from her the next couple of days and during all of our travels. BUT, God had other plans.
We arrived where we would be staying for a couple nights while in Jerusalem, we each were going to be assigned a roommate....NO, PLEASE GOD, PLEASE DON'T LET ME BE STUCK WITH HER! I was literally praying this to myself and little did I know Grim was thinking the same thing about me. People were getting paired off until finally it was just Grim and I standing there. I sucked it up and headed to the room we would be sharing.
Later that night, our team was hanging out playing games, chatting, and getting to know each other. As it got later we all headed to bed, Grim and I walked into our room. All of the sudden I felt extremely compelled to tell her something, a secret of mine that I wasn't planning on telling anyone...ever. I don't know where it came from, but I told her. She looked at me, smiled and we spent the whole night in bed chatting and laughing so hard there were tears and snorting if I recall correctly. We learned everything about each other that night, and the rest is history. After that night we were inseparable for the the next 8 weeks. Who knew that by telling her that tiny little detail about my life, it would completely change mine forever.
|In the garden of Gethsemane.|
|Kayaking down the Jordan.|
Now, Meet Christina
I met her with no preconceived notions whatsoever, but I wasn't expecting us to be close, she was so quiet! Yet again, God continued to have other plans. It wasn't until about a week into our trip that I got to know her. We paired up to spend the afternoon together, we were both a little tired so we sat on a bench over looking the city and the sea and just talked. I sat and listened to her tell her story, how she came to know Christ and how He was working in her life. I couldn't believe she was talking that much! It was beautiful. I new right then and there God wanted her in my life. And so she
|Sea of Galilee.|
|Excited to go kayaking!|
|Hiking on Mt. Carmel.|
Then, something great happened. I'm not sure how and I'm not sure when, but all three of us never left each others sides. I could't believe it, the two girls I wasn't expecting to be friends with were the two that I grew closest to. Good one God.
|Last night together in the Middle East.|
God used them both to change my life and I could not be more grateful for them. I opened up my heart to them, shared with them my struggles that I had never told anyone before. They were there with me during my time of complete brokenness and they got to see the part of me that I kept hidden from everyone, even those who knew me well. They were there when the Lord started picking up the pieces and putting me back together. I have never felt so much love or experienced such encouragement and these girls challenged me in every aspect of my life.
They are beautiful in every way possible.
I cherish them.
|Evening at the beach.|
God has truly taught me the value of these women in my life as well as the effort and commitment it takes to make a relationship work. Despite the distance between us, we are still great friends and we are trying our best to be intentional with each other. It is very difficult to be away from the ones you love the most, but the fact that God is at the center of our friendship is what keeps us together.
It has been about three years since our summer adventures. God has been faithful, providing the time and money for me to visit the girls and meet their families and friends. One of the things that I love about our friendships is that it doesn't matter how far away we are or how long its been since we've seen each other, we are still able to just pick up where we left off as if we were never apart.
|Visiting Grim on the East Coast.|
|Christina visiting California.|
I truly and deeply admire these women and the experiences I have had with them. I love getting to share the story of our friendship with people because God's hand is so evident in it all.
I adore you both.
"Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel."