She pranced into my youth group. She was teeny tiny, super tan, and wearing more makeup than I was allowed to. She went to a school where people were cooler and listened to better music. She was awesome to be flat honest. I would hear my crush talk about her, and she came around because he would invite her to the group. Oh, and turns out our moms are old friends. We played together at the local YMCA while our moms worked out! There was no escaping Leah.
A year later I switched dance studios, and behold: Leah was there. I was beyond my crush at this point and we became friends. We danced together twice a week, talked about boys and the catty girls in the studio who didn't know our names after years of dancing together.
Fast forward to senior year. I moved to her school, sat with her at lunch, shared another boy who loved us both (more Leah though) and started going to church together. That summer we went on our first international mission trip to Haiti together. We shared a bed, a shower, clothes, and a love for people we never knew we had.
We went off to college together and got a job together all by accident. Moved away from our small town and started a new life in college. We went to parties together. Church together. Figured out life for God together. I gave lots of rides home that first year and lots of late night coffee shop chats. At the end of freshman year, Leah introduced me to Phil, my now husband.
It is so weird how God used a small crush to bring us together. Through all of these years I don't think we ever considered each other a best friend. We were friends who just kept finding each other in similar places with similar interests at the same time. Funny how that happens, isn't it?
The past few years have been so cool seeing Leah grow into a Godly woman. She is the most positive, uplifting, loving person I know. She is always reminding my intense spirit to have empathy and rest in the good things of life. She is a hard worker. She studied harder to be a nurse than anyone I've met. She is a huge advocate for counseling and getting help to overcome those things in the past that so easily trip us up. She reminds me to be a good wife, friend, and sister to everyone. It is just cool. So now I am sitting on her couch in her little cozy apartment where she lives with her husband (ahm, who I convinced her to go on a date with a year ago), writing this post. Kindred spirit. Sister. I am so thankful for my sunflower.
Graceful Jesus is the only words I have to describe her journey and I am so thankful to be daily influenced by it.
Seeing Leah in her dress.
Ps. Kinsey Mhire took all these photos at Leah's wedding. I have a billion more I love but these are some personal favorite moments of mine at the Bodenbach wedding.