30 People, Day 18: A Man Who Prayed

Shout-Out to Alan, who sat in front of my family at church, helped lead the college & career small group I attended, and who really, truly cared. What I appreciated the most was that when you asked how someone was doing, you actually wanted to know, really took time to stop and listen. And when…

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30 People, Day 17: Miss Fran

Shout-Out to Miss Fran – you taught me a lot about life, joy, love, what’s really important, and what kind of old lady I want to be. Through our many hours of visits at your retirement home, later the nursing home, and finally on the hospital bed where you left this world to meet Jesus,…

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30 People, Day 16: Camp Friends

Shout-Out to Leslie and Rachel, the two who helped me survive my first-ever week of camp counseling. It started at Counselor Orientation; we were in a cabin together, and our whole cabin group was such an encouragement to me. Up to that point in life, I had never sat and had a deep, spiritual conversation…

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30 People, Day 15: Youth Group Welcomers

Shout-Out to Bethany and Candace: two girls who welcomed a misfit teen homeschooler into youth group with open arms. I’m ever so grateful! After growing up in a small home church where most of the kids were younger than me and at least half were homeschooled, I was quite nervous about attending a youth group…

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30 People, Day 14: Pastor Jeff

Shout-Out to Pastor Jeff, for all I learned in the season under your leadership. I had a pretty poor attitude about moving from a small home church to a traditional Baptist church when my family made that change, but God knew that’s right where I needed to be. So I thank you… For teaching us…

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30 People, Day 13: Penny

Shout-Out to Penny, the first adult friend who treated me like an adult. I was a young teenager in a very small church, the only girl my own age and uncomfortably stuck between the kids and the grown-ups. Feeling too old and mature to be with the children, and seen by the adults as a…

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30 People, Day 12: The Mean Girls

Shout-Out to the mean girls sprinkled throughout my years. We all encounter them from time to time; we’ve all suffered their cattiness; we can all remember how they made us feel — those who teased us, ridiculed us, left us out. A shout-out to you because you were a necessary part of growing up. Because…

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30 People, Day 11: My First Real Friend

Shout-Out to Lindsey, who I consider my first “real friend.” By real, I don’t mean that my prior friends were imaginary, but that you were the first friend with whom I talked about real life stuff, where our friendship went beyond playdates and childish things. I struggled, through the middle school years, with wanting what…

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30 People, Day 10: My Sisters

Shout-Out to my sisters: Briana, Marissa, Daniella – the three girls I grew up with, the three I share more memories and inside jokes with than anyone else in the world! I bring you in later to this in-order-of-appearance series because, though one of you was in my life from almost the beginning, two of…

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30 People, Day 9: The Kenya Missionary

Shout-Out to Cyndy, the missionary who introduced me to Kenya. I’ll bet you never expected that your slideshow presentation to a Wednesday night church class of 4th grade girls would birth – in one of those girls – a life calling and passion for missions. But it did. I went home that night and told…

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