I first met her when I taught Boot Camp at the YMCA years ago, and I thought she was sweet but a bit odd. Her unashamed faith made me uncomfortable. But as we saw each other day in and day out, I started to value her gentle ways and her dry humor, even though I still felt awkward in the face of her outspoken faith.

But life went on, and we each moved on to different seasons and lost touch.

michaelYears later, she resurfaced in my life when she signed up for an exercise class in my gym. We reconnected, and I loved her more. Or better. Her laugh was infectious. I saw strength in her that I did not know was there, and her enormous faith as she dealt with a disabled son totally floored me.

And I watched her unashamed faith walk her with more grace than I thought was possible as she led her beautiful son into the arms of Jesus.  And her laugh was still contagious, and her tears were filled with intimacy with God.


And then, she invited me to her house, and I got to see her artwork on the walls. My jaw dropped. Who was this woman, so gifted, so kind, so unashamed in her faith, so everything?

I learned more about her, her family, her hopes and dreams, her vocation, her art, and my admiration for this woman of God grew.

Layer by layer, I discovered her. Layer by layer, we opened our hearts up to each other. Layer by layer, we became friends. Layer by layer, she taught me all about living life well.  And I learned to treasure her unashamed faith.

And this friendship, it teaches me much about friendship. It teaches me to not run with first impressions, and to make room in my heart for the people God places in my path. It teaches me that what matters takes time, and when you take time for what really matters, you invest it well.

And at the core of it all, it reminds me at all times that God gives perfect gifts.

Sometimes, I link up with any or all of these wonderful writers: Hearts 4 Home, SDG, Hearts Reflected, WLW, EOA, Things I can’t say, Growing Home, Play Dates with God, Monday Musings, Hear it on Sunday,Inspire Me Monday, Tell me a Story, The Better Mom, a Mama’s Story, Into the Word, In and Around Mondays,OYHT, Gratituesday,Titus2Tuesdays, Extraordinay, Lessons from Ivy, Denise in Bloom, Sweet Blessings, Faith Filled Friday, Finding Joy, WholeHearted Home, Mom’s the Word, Reclaiming a Redeemed Life, Still Saturday