Thursday was Soma's annual fundraising dinner. I expected this year's dinner to be the same as the previous years that I attended. But as I was sitting in my chair in one of the back tables I was struck with just how different this one was. In prior years I was just getting into the ministry and most of the people who were awarded I either didn't know personally or I didn't know at all. The cool thing about this year's dinner was that two of my favorite people were acknowledged for their accomplishments in Soma!
My best friend Rachel Smith spoke on her spiritual growth since coming to Soma. This was one of my favorite parts of the night, as was most people's because her speech was hilarious. She spoke on her spiritual development over her three years at Soma. It hit me how much she, and all of us, had indeed changed since we got here our freshman year.
When I first met Rachel we were at a welcome week activity that Soma put on. It was a slip-n-slide and I thought it was really weird that she came and didn't want to get wet. Haha. We stayed at Soma that night until midnight laughing and watching youtube videos- Rachel's favorite pass time.
Fast forward a full school year. I went with Soma on the trip to Japan and Rachel helped practically lead it. I saw her confidence in Japanese grow that year and the next year as she helped translate between our team and the people there.
Pretty much ever since Japan Rachel and I have been really close. During that time Rachel has shown me what it means to be loyal, joyous, and humble. And the biggest change I have seen in Rachel is her relationship with God. She used to shy away from conversations about church or God. Now she's one of the people I feel the most comfortable talking with about those things because I know I can come to her with stupid questions about God and we can just think through it. I love my best friend.
Trace also got an award that night! I'm going to take a minute to brag on my husband. His transformation has been pretty awesome as well. His award was for the student who showed the most spiritual growth this year. When Trace first came to Soma not many people knew it but he was going through a rough patch. I've already shared our story on here before so I won't go into all those details, but since he has come to know God as father and lives accordingly. Trace says that he isn't learned enough in the bible to teach other people as well as he would like, but the more I watch the way he lives his life I know that he has more influence than he knows. Sometimes he lacks confidence, but he is learning how to find his identity in God. When I start to lose my vision, he encourages me to take it to the Lord. He's pretty cool.
Soma has taken each of us and molded us into honest God followers. I honestly don't know where I would be right now if it hadn't been for this place.