OK, so since we've already established that I'm lame that's continue with that theme, shall we?
I just got the American Girl catalogue in the mail...yes, I ACTUALLY went to the website and signed UP for the catalogue...because it IS my childhood....seriously, Katie and I poured over it this evening...and it made me happy and now its going to live on the coffee table until the next one comes. Which will probably be soon because once you open the catalogue floodgates they just dont stop. meh, its WORTH IT.
Alrighty, without further ado...there are EIGHT DAYS until my 22nd birthday.....GET READY!!!!!
My inspirational/influential person tonight is....
I can honestly say I dont remember the first time I met Lydia...you can ask HER for that story, apparently I was a "stuck up american"...whatever, THAT means...but in truth when she met me I was in desparate need of a friend. I had moved to New Zealand a month before and was living in Dante's Inferno ( seriously, it was hell) I was surrounded by people drinking and partying and other such activites...anyone that started to be nice to me turned out to only want me to come to the next "get drunk" party...so I spent all of my time going to class, in my room writing in my journal and listening to country music ( yeah, I was that homesick) and on the internet emailing my friends in the states....I had given up on finding any Christian friends and I was really questioning why God has brought me to "this God forsaken Country" and then...one sunday, after attending another disappointing church service where I actually upped the age average by thirty years just by being there, I went to the computer lab and Lydia was there...somehow conversation started and she said that she had just been to a baptism service at her church for one of her friends ( Sam!) and *I* said that I had just been to church too...Lydia's face lit up, and she asked me if she could come by and get me for lunch the next day....she went with me to my room and we stayed up talking until 3am or something insanely late. we talked and talked and talked-and from that moment on I knew Lydia and I would always be friends.
My friendship with Lydia was one of the first friendships where I really felt like it was handpicked by God. I mean, we were practically the only two Christians in our hall and in a lot of ways I felt like she was there for me...and I was there for her. Lydia was my first friend who I really shared my spirit with- I watched her quiet times, and the way she treated those around her, the way she faithfully invited people in our hall to church and to our life group...she was truly an amazing example of living out ones faith. Lydia was my first friend with whom I found the great joys of praying with someone...someone who you feel can equally give back into your life just as you give to them. Truly an amazing gift, and Lydia really opened my eyes to the possiblity of what friendship could REALLY be! I guess I could also give Lydia credit for introducing me to Cutting Edge and she brought me into the Flying Ribenas Cell group where I met so many of my dearest friends who I cherish to this day...she also introduced me to Elim Church and influenced my decision to make it my home church.
Yes, in a way my first months in Dunedin, away from home, family, church, friends...all things I found comfort and direction in where taken from me....I had to make the decision of how I wanted to live my life, if I wanted to stand behind the values I had been brought up in. Ultimately I had to decide if I wanted to live for God or for myself. After making that decision, which I felt doomed me to solitude for the rest of my time, God gave me a gift...the gift of a partner.
As the years have gone by, God has continued to teach me lessons about friendship through Lydia...she taught me to fight, as in fight for our friendship to face difficulties instead of ignoring them....she's taught me to face things about myself that I thought were lost causes and were best kept hidden.
Lydia is one of the most dedicated people I've ever met, and her perserverence inspires me. It seems that even now so far from each other physically, I still continue to be inspired in my own fight watching her in HERS. I have been truly touched that she still keeps in contact with me and still cares for me ( somehow you can convince yourself sometimes that you're the only one that gets homesick for PEOPLE)-and yet somehow it DOESNT surprise me, afterall, from that first latenight chat I felt like I'd met a true sister in Lydia. And with sister's your life is never left unchanged, changed for the better...I've truly been given another set of eyes to look through, to see the life set before us.
I could go on, but sometimes words do not discribe how someone has changed your life, for it is not necessarily SEEN...but instead it is felt deep down inside, Lydia is truly one such person. She is written on my heart.
I think God for bringing her into my life my first year at Uni...and she marks a remarkable change in my relationships since, with both friends and with God. I would truly not be the same without her.
edit: I was just doing my quiet time and was reminded of this verse...its perfect for this post: " Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." Prov 27:17