Yesterday, I got to celebrate my friend Shinae.
I met Shinae a few years ago, through my youth group. I remember telling her “We should hang out one day” and she said “Ok sounds great – do you know I leave for 6 months in Australia the day after tomorrow?” Ha. No. I did not. But Shinae came back from Australia and I rejoiced. We became friends. We have delightful memories together. A road-trip to Osoyoos. Coffee times on cold December days near the beach. (Even though she doesn’t drink coffee. “I have no idea why I would ever leave my house to go sit in a coffee shop.”) Shinae spent a year in Hawaii, studying the Bible on a YWAM Base, and again, I missed her dearly. But she came home. And one of my favourite memories this summer was a sleepover on her bedroom floor. Sudoku competition before bed (Smoked her. Challenge me. I’ll smoke you, too) with two fans pointed directly onto our faces, sweating like crazy with nothing but a sheet on each of us. (Most homes don’t have A/C in the Vancouver area.)
We don’t have the same “friend group” and we live 30 minutes apart, but every moment I sneak in with this girl is a gift. She has an incredible, beautiful heart for people. It’s pure and genuine. The love of Jesus’ shines in her life. Whether we’re at Trader Joe’s, a thrift store, buying shoes at the mall or filling up with gas — she is always looking to engage people in conversation. Because she cares. I appreciate our “get to the heart of it” conversations. Depth. This girl has it. And on the flip side, Shinae’s a nutcase. I told her yesterday she’s the closest person to Buddy the Elf I know. Everything is joy to her. Stuck in traffic? She’ll start waving to the cars around her. Stopped at a red light at a busy city intersection? (Ahem. Yesterday.) She’ll roll down her window and yell “MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!” Playing Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” in your car speakers? She’ll say “I think those people out on the street need to hear this.” And down goes the window again.
If you don’t know her, I wish you could.
She’s an encourager.
She’s a woman of prayer.
She’s a beauty.
She’s newly-turned 21 year old.
And she’s my friend Shinae.
And yesterday, we went to the aquarium.