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community chapter one: my friend kim

if you've spent any amount of time with me over the last few years, you'll probably have heard the words "my friend kim" come out of my mouth a couple hundred times. kim is one of the absolute best friends that i have found in my adult life, and i am so thankful that God decided to bring our lives together. this post is about her, and the countless ways that she has impacted my life.

kim is unlike any other woman that i know. she is one of the strongest women that i have ever encountered, and that strength has come from fighting countless battles with grace, dignity, humility, and love. kim has taught me so much about being a woman of God, about fighting social norms and creating meaningful relationships, about encouraging others, about chasing your dreams especially when it's hard, and about vulnerability.

when i first met kim i was beyond intimidated. she was this beautiful, strong, independent, intelligent woman who knew exactly what she was about. and i didn't like her at all. i didn't want to like her at all. because she was best friends with the guy i was interested in, and my self-worth was essentially nonexistent at the time. i was thoroughly threatened by her presence in his life, and started wondering how i could ever live up. (we're talking allllllll the comparisons.) we started spending some time together in groups, and i started to like her despite myself. she was honest. fierce. and so so kind.

one day, kim asked if i would get lunch with her. there was so much about this woman that i admired, and i wanted to be like her in a lot of ways. so i said yes. as i sat across from her in a booth at my favorite local cafe, nervously sweating as i do, she engaged me in a deep, honest conversation. i felt an instant connection, and her opening up with brave vulnerability allowed me to do the same. together we fought the "social norms" that said we shouldn't be friends, our insecurities, and the fear of judgement that initially comes with completely opening up to someone about those vulnerable places in our hearts. in the time span of one lunch she showed me how powerful it can be to not let the insecurities win. she showed me how life-changing and life-giving it is to humbly open up and search for honest connection - ignoring completely whether or not you're "supposed" to be friends.

my friend kim is a leader. my go-to for tough-love advice when i know i need to be strong. she's inspiring, and encouraging. kim is determined and motivated, even when life knocks her down. kim challenges those around her to be their best and do their best. my friend kim is wise, hardworking, competitive, selfless, thoughtful, compassionate, gorgeous, gracious, and fun. she also drinks salsa, so you know... she's got her quirks too i suppose. "the chip is just a vessel."

seriously though, for those of you who don't have the privilege of knowing kim, i hope you can hear just a couple of the lessons that she has taught me, and apply them to your life:

1) no matter how you feel, you are in control of your thoughts and how you act. choose strength, grace, and love every time.

2) bad mood? work out. insecure? work out. overwhelmed? work out. angry? work out. feelin' good? work out.

3) long-distance? marco polo (the app) is life.

4) nourish yourself - with good food, good friends, positive thoughts, and genuine faith that God has got you no matter what.

5) choose big goals, and work with your whole heart to achieve them - and when things don't work out, take a second to be grateful for all you've learned and then work a little harder.

i hope you all have a kim in your life. and i hope you all are a kim in someone else's life.

PS - kim, if you're reading this.... we need to take some updated photos together!!!!

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