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Once upon a time a girl was born to a lovely couple that lived in Spokane, WA. She was their first-born, and she was destined to be special. Church came into her life shortly after her birth and she attended for the rest of her life. When she was two and a half, her little sister was born. They would always be the best of friends, even if they squabbled or annoyed each other.
One of her first memories is the trip her family took to Europe to visit family when she was four. They traveled to the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and France. It was then that the country of France, its language and culture, caught her heart. That same year she began to learn violin and piano from her mother and father. Music would play an important role in her life, although violin would always be a thorn in her side: a stressor and cause for tears.
School began at Finch Elementary School. Learning came easily to her and she eagerly grasped at as much information as she could. In first grade, her teacher Mrs. DeVries started her passion for writing. She began to write her own stories and journaling. She, her mother, and her sister started to take French lessons. She loved every minute of it. In second grade, she continued to excel. At one point in the class, she had her “card pulled” for misbehaving. She was very hard on herself, foreshadowing the critical nature to come.
The summer after second grade, the family moved to Marysville, WA. The girl was utterly heartbroken. Change had and always would be hard for her.
Today, Spokane is still very dear to her heart. The year after the move was hard for everyone in the family. But she still continued to write.
Third grade started at Pinewood Elementary. She joined Everett Youth Symphony Orchestras the following year. The family had hosted two Japanese exchange students that year as well. During her first summer in Western Washington, she attended Day Camp at Warm Beach Camp.
When the family moved into their own home, she moved schools again. Fifth grade took place at Cascade Elementary. That year she started her first official diary. She also fell in love for the first time. This girl had always been passionate about certain subjects, and this year, she discovered opera, the legends of King Arthur, and the musical West Side Story. These interests would never leave her.
The summer after fifth grade, she really connected with her cousin. Her cousin became her best friend and second sister. They would go through so much together and never stop loving one another.
Then, middle school began at Cedarcrest Middle School. She started attending Jr. High Youth Group at her church. The youth pastor would be a major role model, mentor, guide, and loving person in her life, even if she had been scared of him the first time she met him. That fall, she attended her first Jr. High Retreat at Warm Beach Camp. It was there that she was introduced to Lord of the Rings, another interest she became very passionate about. Her relationship with God also began to change and mature that year. She drew closer to Him. The same year she decided she was going to be an elementary librarian when she grew up.
Seventh grade is still one of her best years to remember. She met her best friend, and developed stronger friendships with others. Once again, she fell in love with a friend. Later in her life, he would leave her heartbroken, bitter, and sad. She still kept diaries, and she started writing long-term stories and novels. Eighth grade came and people started to change around her. The boy she thought she loved became a different person, and it would take her a long time to let go. She cut off twelve inches of her hair and donated it to Locks of Love; there would be no more hiding behind her hair. Exercise also started to become more important to her. For the first time, she ran the mile without walking. Before the end of eighth grade, she went to the Eighth Grade Dance with her best guy friend.
The next summer was dubbed “The Summer of Change.” She and her sister stopped sharing a room. He best guy friend moved. She was going to high school. It was her last year of camp at Warm Beach. Her best friend started to have more and more issues. Her last week of camp led her closer to God than she ever had been. She and a friend experienced an amazing God experience with the Holy Spirit and it left her changed forever. She overcame some fears that summer.
High school began. That fall, her dear grandparents’ health began to decline. She also discovered that she was above the ideal weight. She panicked and began to slowly and healthily lose weight. She made new friends at Sr. High youth group. They were all older than her, but they would remain friends for years to come.
That New Years, her Pop died suddenly.
She’s never really been able to recollect the months after his death. The year began to blur. She lost more and more weight.
And then when she thought she was healed from the pain of her Pop’s death, her Gram died, reopening the wound. She wouldn’t recover for many months.
She cried. She ran. She became more and more obsessed with losing weight. She ran. She wrote. She cried. She was a walking nightmare. She hid from her friends. No one really knew how depressed she was.
But, that summer, she had two experiences that were life changing: International Youth Conference and CILTing at Warm Beach Camp. Her grief from her grandparents’ death lessened immensely. Her smile became genuine. And she drew closer and closer to her amazing Savior, Jesus Christ.
But she still ran. And she still monitored her eating. And she still lost more weight.
Tenth grade was an interesting year. She became part of a team that was going to Malawi Africa. She started driving. She met some new friends. But life started to take a downward spiral. She ran. She ate less and less. She compared herself to her friends, who weren’t the best influences. She was never skinny enough. She was always ugly. She would cry and cry. She prayed desperately for God to heal her. But He only told her to be patient.
She practically developed an eating disorder. She would have if she hadn’t taken the step to start talking to her youth pastor. She began getting help.
Recovery was a very slow process.
That summer she went on two major trips: one to France and other to Malawi Africa. The mission trip would leave her a different young woman. She left a piece of her heart in Malawi and vowed that one day she would return.
Someone caught her heart soon after, and she fell in love with him. He was an amazing friend and she was content with that.
She never stopped writing.
After that summer, she started Running Start at Everett Community College. Just getting out of high school was healing. She discovered the amazing benefits of yoga. She made new friends. God overcome her eating issue completely at an event that she attended with her youth group. She was becoming more confident. She was becoming who God intended her to be. She excelled at school. She knew what she wanted to do. She was driven and motivated.
And she would make a difference in the world.