We spent the day together with her son Daniel who is almost 4, and her 6 week old baby boy, James. It was such a nice day together just relaxing at her home, and catching up. We don't get much time to do this, and since she is a (spanish) teacher and home during the summer with her baby, I am hoping to head back to see her soon!!
Here are some photos from yesterday:
Mary was my Young Life leader in high school. We met probably in 1999 or 2000, I am not sure which. But quite awhile ago!!!! You can read about Young Life here, but in a nutshell, Young Life is a Christian organization with a goal to bring teenagers/adolescents to Christ, and it was truly a life saver for me in high school. I truly believe that God placed Young Life and Mary in my life for a purpose and a reason, and that purpose was to bring me closer to Him and Jesus Christ. I didn't realize how much I needed that back then, until I look back. Mary did this through her LOVE. She has so much love for people, and it is so genuine. She truly is an example of who Jesus was when he walked on earth, I believe. What a wonderful role model to have when in high school.
I honestly believe that without Mary's influence on me in high school, I don't think I would be where I am today.
I met Mary through my sister, who started attending Young Life before I did. It was because of their pushing and pushing that I agreed to go with my sister to the Young Life camp in Minnesota. You heard me- Minnesota. We got there by bus. Yes, that is correct. A bus trip from Maryland to Minnesota. It was crazy. But a crazy great time!!! Camp Castaway was awesome!
The camp itself was sooooo much fun, and after that I was hooked to Young Life!! I attended the bible studies groups (Campaigners if I remember correctly) and the club meetings every week. I enjoyed getting to know Mary over the next few years, as she was the leader assigned to my high school while she attended the local college. She would hang around when school let out, attend sporting events, and just be there for us. She was definitely there for me. High school definitely had its share of ups and downs for me, Mary listened to it all with an open heart. She would give me scripture if I needed it, would pray with me or pray for me. She would do anything I needed. I loved her dearly, and when she graduated from college and moved to the Dominican Republic, I vowed that I would never lose contact with her.
Well, we didn't. We emailed and chatted online while she lived in the DR for a few years, and saw each other when she was back in the states. When she came back she moved back to the area she grew up and where her parents live. And she brought home her future hubby from the DR, and got married!!
Even though she is roughly 6-7 years older then me, we have always managed to keep in touch, even if we don't see each other routinely. She is a very special person to me, and always will be.
I can't find our high school photos from Young Life camp, but here are some that I have pulled up from over the years ( I Think they are in order). I have others that I couldn't find, but these are enough I guess!
Not sure when this was- I believe sometime my freshman year of college, so maybe the winter of 2003?
This was winter of 2007- Mary was pregnant with Daniel!!
Meeting Daniel for the first time- This was either March or April 2008- I was getting ready to be married myself!
Mary and I on my wedding day- I love this picture!!
I am definitely looking forward to many many years of friendship with my special Mary!!!