I’ve been told I was strong willed since the day I was born, which is a story that I’m sure my mom will tell you if you ever meet her. I’ve always been a pretty straight shooter with my own ideas that I’m not afraid to voice out loud. I know that my personality is a lot to handle and I’m pretty hard to pin down, so for me it’s important to have people around me who keep my feet on the ground when my head is in the clouds.
The furthest from my personality that you can imagine is Becca, we balance each other out. She’s a nursing major and much like my mom has the gut reaction of loving and caring for every person she meets. I’m energetic and say the first thing that comes to mind, she is far more thoughtful in her answers and time. I have a flair for the dramatics and she is very realistic. I’m impulsive and immediately say yes, craving new opportunities; she weighs her options and likes routine and to plan.
We act and think differently, but our other friends say that we talk (and occasionally argue) like a married couple. But the most important thing about our friendship, despite our differences is that we make each other better. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 reminds me of this when it says:
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
I remember when we were going through a difficult season in our friendship where we didn't talk. At the time I was competing in the Miss New Hampshire Scholarship pageant, a precursor to Miss America competition. Most of my friends came to one or two if any of the three days of competition. But Becca showed up to all three nights, even though we weren’t even talking at the time. She showed me what it meant to be unselfish and to care about another person and just love them even with difficult people and even when it’s hard.
We go on adventures like driving four hours to see one of our favorite pastors from Seattle preach, which was maybe the first time I was the one rushing her since we showed up 6 hours early. When we go on trips she drives and I do my best to not distract her too much because I love to sing at the top of my lungs to worship in the car (she always says she's thankful she's the one driving because I like to lift my hands and get really into the music).
She sits with me on the floor when I’m crying about the same story that she’s heard at least four times and I let her practice taking my blood pressure and giving me shots with a mechnical pencil for nursing. She even makes sure to wake me up for church even though I am not a morning person and when I do over sleep for church, praise God’s grace, she sends me her sermon notes. I'm really good at making her grilled cheeses and she always makes sure there's gluten free chicken nuggets in our fridge. She asks questions about when I am struggling to help me strengthen my relationship with Christ and I do the same for her. She reminds me that God loves me.
We’re both going to Urbana and from what I can tell by mapquest it’s a 14-hour journey on a bus. Which true to character, I am thrilled about getting to sit there and look out the window and bother everyone around me with questions and she is less thrilled about it since she doesn’t like to sit for that long. Even though our majors don’t scream missionaries, we both believe that God can work through us and through our majors in order to better help the people of this world.
Just like how Becca and I are different, each of our own paths in ministry is unique, which I think is a huge benefit to going to Urbana. My other friends that are coming include political science majors and engineering. We’re all different and I think that it’s important to embrace and experience life with people who are vastly different from you. It’s important to make friends and love people who are different from you. When other people are challenging and different from you it gives us a chance to dive deeper in faith in the same way that Jesus surrounded himself by others.
It’s so important to have that one person or that group of people that you can grow your faith. For me that person is Becca and a few other people that I am blessed to be close with who love Jesus and love me too. I believe that a relationship with Jesus is a very personal thing but that in order for you to continue to grow you need people around you to keep you accountable and encourage you.