The one person who most influenced my spiritual life...... my friend Lynn aka Ram. (Yes, I know, another person with a funny nickname--Cheez yesterday, Ram today :)
I met Ram soon after Jason and I moved from Indiana to Dallas, Texas. Jason was busy with graduate school, so I was on my own quite a bit. I met Ram at the school where I taught- I was a paraprofessional in special education, and she was a student teacher in English. I helped one of the students in her class. We found out that we were both taking the test to get our licenses to teach English in the state of Texas. So we decided to ride together to take the test, and the rest is history, so to speak. We hit it off right away. I remember being able to laugh and be silly with her. At a time when I was a bit overwhelmed being newly married and living in an entirely different world (yes, Texas is like living in a different country!), I needed some female companionship-- a shopping buddy, a reading buddy, a movie buddy, a walking buddy.
At the time, Jason and I just started attending a Methodist church in Dallas and became a part of a Sunday School Class (which was also one of the biggest influences in my spiritual walk). Even though she went to a different church, Lynn was a great role model to me. She never pressured me to attend her church, but she invited me several times to go with her. She spoke often about her Bible Study group and shared stories of her family. Her father was a Christian writer, and she gave me several of his books to read. She listened to Christian (and country) music, which I had never heard in my life! She gave me my first study Bible, which I still use to this day.
Most importantly, Ram was such a supportive friend to me those six years I lived in Dallas, and even though we live far apart now, we still keep in touch. When we talk, it is like we never were apart. When we get to visit each other, we can pick up on all of the silly things we used to do way back when. We reminisce about all of the fun times we had teaching together, coaching 170 8th grade cheerleaders (yes, 170!), how she would spend the night with me when Jason would travel, and how she painted my toenails for me when I was pregnant with Alex.
She lived her life with Jesus in her heart, and she gave a piece of that to me. I wanted what she had---a love for Christ. I know God placed her in my life at just the right time. I surrendered my life to Him in Texas, and my dear friend Ram was instrumental in who I am as a believer today. Thanks Ram!! Love you!!