There are those people you meet and in one quick moment you just know they’re gonna change your life.
And then there are those who show up day after day and over time a place in your heart has their name on it.
Your story is changed because you’ve welcomed them in, but it’s equally changed because they have allowed you into their story as well.
Our stories are stronger together. I don’t know who your people are, but these are two of mine. They challenge me, encourage me, make me laugh, point me to Jesus, and put up with my stubborn, sassy self.
And it’s funny, because one I’ve lived every day of the past 3.25 years with, but the other I’ve known for 5 weeks.
But God knows. He just always knows who we need for each season. The story of our lives has many characters, some entering for just a chapter or two and others making reappearances later on. But these, I’m glad to say, seem to be written in a little bit deeper.
Joy. Wonderful, full to the brim, overflowing joy. This little light came into my life a few weeks ago and from our first conversation I knew it – she’s a heart friend. One of those friends that you’re just going to click with and love deep.
So naturally we went to get coffee and four hours later we were still sitting there sharing our stories and talking about Jesus. Approximately every two hours I receive a snapchat or a text from her, and yes there have been later dates of Grey’s Anatomy and bonding over Haiti and Africa, but it really comes back to that first whisper inside.
I don’t normally trust easily. Believing in love has become easier and easier, but to sit down and spill it all – both the light and the dark – is still unnatural. Yet there we sat at a table against the wall, her listening so well and me with my knee pulled up to my chest, leaning against the wall, letting her in. Choosing to let her in.
Because He paved a way long before I met her and sometimes He just does that, opening doors and opening hearts so that stories can entertwine and His name will be proclaimed.
She’s one of those people that make you excited for the future because you know she’ll be in it. Her broken, mended story shines His glory and it’s a beautiful thing to see.
I guess I could try to be subtle about it, but this one has straight up changed my life. She lives in a way that shapes anyone watching, and I’ve had the absolute gift of living day in and day out with her for three years.
I read a quote by John Quincy Adams recently and it was her name that immediately came to mind.
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
That’s what she does. She is humble but not timid, kind but not weak, and one of the most efficient yet others-focused people I’ve known. She pushes me daily to pursue my dreams, to be the best me I can be, and to rest in Him no matter what the day holds.
Sometimes I think back to that first week of school and how nervous I felt sitting in the corner of a Spanish classroom in Burns. I sat next to a random girl and then the next semester found myself sitting next to her again. Strangers turned to friends and then we went our separate ways, taking different teachers as we continued learning Spanish. But because God is funny, we showed up on that first Monday morning of a Religion class to find each other once again.
With one more trip together back to Spanish class and three more semesters together as Religion minors, I’ve been able to look directly to my right or left every day for seven semesters and see her smiling face looking back at me.
She brings so much joy, so much truth, and so much love. The thing about letting someone into your story is that once they know it, if they really truly were listening to your heart, they’ll be there to walk with you for the rest of the pages.
That’s what she does. She walks with me, prays for me, kneels with me.
God knows what we need long before we do.
Sharing our story isn’t always easy or convenient. In fact, sharing your story may be risky – but it’s much more risky to keep quiet.
You never know who you’ll miss out on knowing or what stories you’ll never be a part of yourself. These two? I’m honored to walk their pages with them, and it’s a gift to have them walk mine.