Life is interesting…definitely more cyclical than I realized when I was younger.  There were people that I thought would be in my life forever who have exited stage left.  There were other people that I thought for sure would only be around for a short time who, ten years later, are still in my life.

But…now I am discovering gems in my life that I didn’t realize were there.  Ironically–though that probably isn’t the correct word–some of those gems are from my days as a youth leader.

Some of us took a mission trip to Miami, FL.  It was one of those trips that is an altar moment in my life…and in the lives of so many who were on the trip.  It was one of the toughtest weeks of my life.  I was stretched beyond myself…way behind myself.  Lost luggage, sleeping on a stage with no pillow, no covers, running through traffic handing out ice cold sodas and water in 100+ temperatures and 100% humidity…I could go on and on.  But, the things that God did during the evenings while we were praying formed friendships that cannot easily be broken.  I didn’t even realize that some of the friendships were formed until…well…the past few days.

This weekend my friend Kelley came home from Green Bay.  She’s one of those people who knows me better than most.  We went out with our friend Faith. 

I always liked Faith.  One of my most insane youth moments occured with her in my car.  Short version-we almost got into a car accident and the only thing I could think of telling her was to make sure that my Cinnabon didn’t get smashed.  I was a great youth leader.  Anyway–last week I popped into her coffee shop to visit.  Very randomly.  If you believe in random. 

This weekend, when we all hung out, I realized just how much she means to me.  It was just one of those moments wherein I realized that I was missing something by not having her in my life more.  She’s one of those gems who has been around, never too far, that I have rediscovered.

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