I am who I am thanks to all of these women in this picture, as well as Julie Flint (who is still at school in SLO)
I have walked through every part of life with them.
Maddy (on the far right)
has truly grown up with me since we were in about first grade.
I am so thankful for a friend who has chosen to continue to invest in my life from childhood into adulthood. She has been there for me through my hardest times in life and she has shared with me my happiest times. She has walked beside me in serving our Lord and has shared prayers with me crying out to our Father for direction and help. She has hiked up a mountain in Mexico numerous times with me to talk in fellowship and in prayer. I love her so much and i really cherish our friendship and I always will.
Deb (second from the right)
has been one of the most influential people in my life since I met her my sophomore year of high school. She is a woman that I highly respect, look up to, and value advice from so so much. She speaks truth into my life and she isn't afraid to do it. She wants to be involved in my life and she asks me hard questions and in return lovingly leads me to live a life that pleases and honors our God. I cant even explain how thankful I am for her guidance in my life. I can only pray that I can become a small group leader, a FOCUS leader, a mentor, and a friend to girls in such an influential way as Deb did in my life.
Alicia (right in the middle)
is probably my longest and greatest friend. She has been there for me in every situation of my life not only as a friend with a shoulder to cry on but also as a strong and stable believer in our Savior. Alicia is the most strong willed person that I have ever met. She knows what she wants in life and she works her butt off to get it, sacrificing whatever she has to
(needless to say she was valedictorian of our graduating class and now goes to a private engineering school in New York). But the best thing about her is her humility. She is also the one of the most humble people I have ever met. Although she knows what she wants and goes after it, she wants nothing more then to glorify God. When she is faced with a decision to either follow her heart or follow God and where he wants her, she ALWAYS chooses to live for God instead of herself. She has taught me to try hard at everything I do and to never desire anything more then the will of God.
Allison (right next to me!)
has been my closest friend since the seventh grade. She is completely opposite from me in so many ways but we are also very similar. Allison is so genuine and so loving. Last week in bible study we discussed the Armor of God and what that looks like. When we brought up the Shield of Faith, I thought of Allison. In my opinion, she paints a beautiful picture of what putting on the shield of faith ought to look like in a believer's life. Allison has been dealing with a lot of hard stuff for the past few years, when it comes to breaks ups, all of her friends moving away for college, and tough family situations. Throughout all of this, Allison has very rarely complained, she ALWAYS has a smile on her face and always rejoices in our God and proclaims of his redeeming goodness. She has so much faith in our God and it makes me have more faith too. Her faith in God is so stable, so deep, and so real, that it acts as a protection from all of the flaming darts that this world throws at her. Despite of all the hardship, Allison remains joyful, and praising God because she knows that he is bigger than everything else that is going on in the world and he won't let her go.
Julie (not pictured)
LOVES God. She desires to know the heart of God so deeply. She is the kindest girl you will ever meet and she wants to know you, most of all she wants you to know the God that she worships daily and that saved her life. Julie broke her knee at winter camp when we were in the 9th grade and was diagnosed with a nerve disease. She went to several doctors and endured many treatments but the doctors did not know if it could be healed. They had even planned on amputating her leg. But God healed her miraculously and Julie's life became a witness to all of the doctors and everyone else she encountered that our God is real and our God is powerful. The doctors had no way to describe the healing except for a miracle. Julie's faith is inspiring. She fears God with everything in her. But she is not afraid of the devil because she knows that her God will conquer.
I Love these girls so much. We have all been together since middle school and I know we will grow old together as friends. I am so excited to see where God takes each and every one of us and to be apart of their lives. The friendship and fellowship between a group of girls desiring God is something to be cherished. I am so so blessed.
"As iron sharpens iron, so one woman sharpens another." -Proverbs 27:17