You’re reading part fifteen of my 30 (ish) day blog challenge. Here’s what you’ve missed so far:

Day 1 — Your best friend – Rachel
Day 2 — Your vices – Just Read It
Day 3 — Your parents – Barry & Carla
Day 4 — Your siblings – Barry & Daryl
Day 5 — Your dreams – I’ve got lots
Day 6 — Someone that inspires you – Stacey
Day 7 — Your job – Work in progress
Day 8 — Your favorite internet friend you’ve never met – Stephanie
Day 9 — Someone you wish you could meet – George W. Bush
Day 10 — Someone you don’t talk to as much as you’d like to – Alyson
Day 11 — A deceased person you wish you could talk to – Papa Jim
Day 12 — Your dream vacation – Italy
Day 13 — Something you look forward to – Sundays
Day 14 — Someone you’ve drifted away from – Marci Marie

A lot of these posts have to do with other people. Today especially, with a theme of who you miss the most, it’s hard to pick just one. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized who this post had to be about. Allow me to introduce you to the girl who saved my life: Sarah Kelley.

On November 11, 2007, I moved from Nashville back home to Texas and my world fell apart. The move was my choice, but because things weren’t going my way, I blamed God. It was a rough patch for me. I wasn’t doing anything wrong or out of the ordinary, it was just a very bitter and dark season in my life. Fast forward to May of 2008 and I begin working for a church. How I got hired on when I wasn’t pursuing Christ is just a God thing. Over that summer, a lot of the youth group kids were coming in and out. (Sidenote: I have a soft spot in my heart for High School kids. I feel like they have so much pressure and so many expectations coming at them from every angle and I just want to be their friend and let them know it’s okay not to know all the answers.) So, in walks this group of teenagers – loud and laughing a lot – and they immediately ask me if I’m single. Cool. There’s only one girl in this group of boys. Instantly, I was drawn to her. For the rest of that summer, I’d get to know those kids and that one girl still stood out for me. Sometime around November of that year, she was forced into a public speaking gig – which may sound insignificant, but is something that literally cripples her in fear. I don’t know where it came from, but my inner mama bear came out. From that moment on, I was responsible for her.

Sarah and I bonded real fast after that. We were inseparable. And the more I learned about her, the more I realized that she was me…in High School. I had to watch her go through all of the same things that I went through and could only offer up the “here’s what I did’s” and let her make her own choices or mistakes. It was painful. It opened up a lot of wounds that I had chosen to ignore for years and years. Don’t get me wrong – High School was SO much fun, but there was a lot of pain and broken-heartedness and just all around insecurity…which I’m sure everyone can attest to. Reliving my teenage years certainly was not the plan I had for myself in moving home. But don’t be fooled. We had our fun.

I knew that I would be mentoring Sarah, but I had no idea just how much walking through life with her was going to change me. She calls me her sister. Though I have a sister of my own, this is a sister that chose me…and that’s something special. Her family took me in as one of their own and have gone above and beyond to make me feel like I matter to them. I’ve traveled with them, spent birthdays with them…really invested my heart with this family. It was in the broken places of my heart that God used Sarah to wake me up. She showed me just what it’s like to have child-like faith, even as we go through the tough stuff. She showed me what it means to truly love God and love people. She showed me just how strong you have to be to turn the other cheek. Through her weaknesses, God broke me. He showed me myself – all of my stubborn arrogance – and just how selfish I had been acting. Slowly, the walls on my heart began to fall…and now, though there’s still a few bricks stacked up, I’m finally open to all that God has for me.

I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to repay her, but I’m so thankful that God sent Sarah to me. She truly has saved my life.

Day 16 — Someone that’s not in your state/country
Day 17 — The place you wish you were from
Day 18 — The person that you wish you could be
Day 19 — Something that makes you different
Day 20 — Your favorite television shows
Day 21 — Someone you judged by their first impression
Day 22 — Your pet peeves
Day 23 — The last person you kissed
Day 24 — The person that gave you your favorite memory
Day 25 — A life changing moment
Day 26 — The last person you made a pinky promise to
Day 27 — The thing you most enjoy doing
Day 28 — Someone that changed your life
Day 29 — Your talent
Day 30 — Your reflection in the mirror