August 19, 2009

Who Inspires You?

Recently I have come across many blogs that have a special feature, spotlighting a favorite blog or a family member or friend that has made a difference. What a great idea! There are many people in my life that have made a difference and I hope to write about each of them here. Today I thought I would give it a try and kick things off by introducing the blog world to one of my closest friends.

Meet Mary.


Mary and I have been friends since 7th grade. As awkward middle-schoolers, we quickly became close friends. You can't be around Mary and not smile. She's the life of the party, the center of attention, and the most gentle, giving person you will ever meet. Quite the package, huh?

Stunningly beautiful, Mary became popular by default, but she was a friend to everyone. Her passion for life is contagious. Her toothy grin and silly humor will bring you to tears. I can't say enough about her!


What I love the most about Mary is her servant's heart and her love for the Lord. I can honestly say that I don't know who or where I would be had she not entered my life. I didn't grow up in church. My parents quit attending when I was six, soon after they divorced (thankfully they are both involved in great churches now!). I hopped from church to church, denomination to denomination hoping to fit in. I was about to give up when Mary invited me to her church, James River. It was at James River that I came to know Christ and my life was radically changed, but it was also my friendship with Mary that strengthened my faith. High school was tough for me. That may sound crazy because I can sit here and say I dated the captain of the football team, was a homecoming attendant twice (losing the crown to Mary herself!), was a member of the dance team and had the best friends a girl could ask for. But my relationship with Todd became serious too fast, and drama quickly followed. Mary carried me through. She cried with me when Todd and I broke up. She prayed with me when my parents were fighting. She understood me when I struggled with doubt. She was right beside me on my wedding day. She introduced me to my Savior. You can see that when I say I don't know where I would be without her, I mean it.


Mary is currently living in Virgina Beach working as a Social Worker. She just married her best friend Ryan and although I don't see her nearly enough, I feel so blessed when we do get the chance to catch up.


Words can't express how thankful I am for my Mary. She's a keeper!


  1. Oh my goodness, I have tears all filled up in my eyes.

    What a perfectly beautiful girl. I'm so glad you've had her in your life.

    Absolutely precious.

  2. Very sweet post, Tara! I got goose-bumps when you mentioned that your friendship with Mary strengthened your faith. It's neat how the Lord blesses us with true friends who give us a glimpse of His love and His beauty.

  3. Tara this is beautiful. We all need to say to the people that we love and that have impacted our lives so much all these kind of things and not just say "oh, well they know..." Jeff did something very similar like that for me with many of my friends and family for my birthday and I can't tell you what that meant. I hope Mary reads this. Aren't friends from that long ago in our lives awesome to still have around now? I have a couple just like that and it's incredible to last through so much in life and still be close. While I love my "newer" friends and feel like I've known them just as long, those old old friends are a special kind of friendship to be so very greatful for :) - Ash

  4. great great story! yes! she is definately a keeper!