Last August on a Sunday morning, I was riding the el on my way to church by myself because I needed to be extra early to serve at the connections desk. It was one of the craziest weekends of the summer, jam packed with Willow's Leadership Summit, Jason and I being baptized, Jason's mom and step dad being in town for the baptism, Lollapolooza (all 3 days!) and serving at church on Sunday morning. Needless to say, my ride on the el should have been a time for relaxation and reflection. While riding along, I happened to notice that there was this older guy talking to this young girl asking her about her faith and asking her where she went to church and about ready to hand out some tracts. I felt bad for her because she was so nice to this guy, took off her headphones and started talking to him. (who wants to be bothered by some guy handing out tracts on the el on a Sunday morning while you're just minding your own business?!) From what I could hear her saying, she was going to Willow that morning but she had only been here a few days so she wasn't really even sure where she was going. So I went over and told her I was headed that way and she could just walk with me. On the walk I learned that she had just moved here from Florida to go to school at Depaul. I was really impressed she was already navigating the city via el to find a church. From the minute we started talking, I knew we'd be friends. I had her sit where we normally sit and since I had to serve that morning, I was texting Jason telling him to find the girl in our normal seats and to talk to her until I was able to join the service. (isn't he wonderful?) After church was over we exchanged numbers and Jason and I headed to Day 3 of Lolla and she went her way back to Lincoln Park. We've become great friends since then, not that she needs any friends here!! She's made plenty of friends and made a way for herself in Chicago. (and found a church she loves...Harvest's Chicago campus) Most days when we talk, I forget that shes younger than me, she has such a great head on her shoulders and there are so many traits that I admire in her. She is such a wonderful woman!! Last weekend Lauran turned 21 and it was the same day as my bridal shower (pics to come!) so I wasn't able to celebrate with her but decided she needed to be a true Chicagoan for a day and go to a Cubs game. I was able to get tickets for last nights game. Sadly the game was rain delayed for almost 2 hours but we got to catch up and she learned a thing or 2 from Jason and I about baseball! I'll hopefully make a cubs fan out of her! :) Happy birthday Lauran, love you lots and am so glad God brought us together that very hot day in August!