Eleven and a half years ago I was sitting outside Golden Spoon with a group of college students from Saddleback Church.  I had just moved to Orange County, CA two weeks earlier and was desperate to make friends.  Sitting nearby was a girl with long, bleach blonde hair.  I went up and introduced myself, and within minutes we were chatting like old friends.  Little did I know we would become life long friends. 

From that night on, Andrea and I practically did everything together while I lived in Orange County.  We worked together at Boardriders Club, I spent holidays with her family, and I even experienced my first earthquake with her at her parent’s house.  Sometimes, we would drive up to L.A. just to go to Coffee Bean, and drive back.  

The hardest part about leaving Orange County (in July 2000) was leaving Andrea (and her family!).  Thankfully, we have managed to keep in touch after all these years.  We’ve visited each other a few times, and she came all the way to Charleston,SC to be a bridesmaid in my wedding.  Now that I live in San Jose, CA it’s easier to see each other.  Last year Andrea drove up to visit us- which was the last time I saw her (& when we took the pic above).   

Earlier this month, Andrea was diagnosed with breast cancer. 

As I read her email, I sat in silence- stunned.  What?!?!  Cancer?!?!  This isn’t fair!  She is 31 years old with her whole life ahead of her. 

I immediately began to pray like crazy.  God quickly reminded me of his faithfulness and that He was in control- even in our darkest, most difficult circumstances.  He reminded me that He would be with Andrea and give her the strength she would need to get through this battle- physically, emotionally, and mentally. 

I’m aware that people receive this kind of news on a daily basis.  But, when you find out someone you know, someone close to you is going through it, your perspective of it changes- dramatically.  Maybe you were diagnosed with something serious or you’re the friend or family member of someone who has recently been diagnosed.  You are aware of how quickly our lives are altered. 

My heart hurts for Andrea and all she is going through.  I wish there was more I could do, but I do believe there is power in prayer, so that’s what I’ll continue to do.  Please take a moment and pray for Andrea. 

You can read more about Andrea’s story and her progress on her website.

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