When I was a junior in high school the Lord gave me a lot of sweet freshmen friends to love on and pour into. I was thrilled to finally be an upperclassmen myself and pour into some younger friends but I had no idea that these younger friends would, in return, pour that much, and more in me. That’s what I’ve come to learn though, God loves surprising us and enriching our lives in ways we never even asked. God surprised me with friendships in Lillabea Cochran and Zahli Hayden and I can’t even type their names without smiling.
It’s hard to really put into words how much I absolutely adore Lillabea and Zahli… I could honestly write a novel on the both of them because they are just that cool. They Love the Lord so deeply and through that, they love people extraordinarily well. They radiate joy. Lillabea is wise and a woman with a gift of words. Zahli is brave and overflowing with zeal. They are selfless. Difference makers. And world shakers. Right now they are currently serving half way across the world to bring glory to His name and to love whole heartedly on the Philippines and I know without a doubt that they are doing just that. They both have a heart for mission and Chapel and I just today were talking about how we could see them being long-term missionaries because their hearts are so willing. The word comfortable isn’t in their vocabulary when it applies to the way they live. They serve humbly and live vibrantly and I am constantly learning from that.
I’ve been fortunate enough to do life with Lillabea and Zahli for two years now and one of the biggest things they taught me is to beat the odds. We each have odds against us that are scripted in our stories. With those odds, we have the power to overcome and persevere or we can give the odds overcome us. We have the choose to lean into the Lord or to lean into this world. That is a choice I battle with daily and I think we all do at different times in our lives. Some of us have odds bigger than others right now but we can’t let that stop us from beating the odds. You have to push on and fight the good fight. Find your Zahli and your Lillabea – people who will encourage you and love you through this life. Surround yourself with people who are cheering fiercely for you and loving you where you are at. And know that you are more than able to beat the odds.
One of my favorite things about God is his intentions behind people placement. He is constantly placing people in our lives at times where He can use that person for us. In my life, He is always using Zahli and Lillabea to show me authentic friendship, faith, and a list of so much more. Tonight my heart is overwhelmed with thankfulness for that.
Here’s to beating the odds my friends.