One of the best parts of mentoring and ministry is sharing life with others. It means walking through the ups and downs. Today I got to celebrate with a lovely young lady that will be turning 17 tomorrow. When I first met Jessica it was Easter weekend in 2007. She’s been a part of my life ever since and a BIG blessing to me. We’ve been hanging out on a weekly basis this summer. It’s been fun to stay caught up the daily happenings of her ever busy, ever crazy life. But that is how life is. Mine is the same way. It’s crucial that the important relationship in life don’t fall to the wayside just because the calendar is full. It’s been a fun summer spent laughing, praying, reading and discussing the drama of life together. I mentioned a few blogs back that I had made a craft project that I couldn’t display the end result until after I’ve given it the birthday girl. Today I gave away the beloved piece of art that I put all that time and detail into. I wanted to share something with Jessica that wasn’t store bought and was really from the heart. I chose pictures from the years of our friendship and highlighted the span of time we’ve shared. I then added verses about love and faith. These are the things I hope she reads on her wall from time to time. Hopefully they will strengthen her when the day is hard and faith far away. These are the things I hope grow and develop in her life. More than anything, I cover this gift with a prayer – that she would love God more than any other and that she would know that she’s never alone. These are the highlights of friendship, of doing life together. I’m am blessed to share this journey with so many kindred spirits and Jess is definitely one of them! Happy birthday!