(Yes Gina, I raped your MySpace for some pictures…..)
I praise God for friends, but I praise God today for Gina.
I remember the first time I saw Gina. She was one of the singers on the church worship team. And I thought she was just beautiful. Gina had a more alternative look to her, not a look you normally see on the stage at church, but not classless either. I admired her, her originality. But I never actually got to meet her until we started going to the same church “homegroup”. Of all things, it was the marriage class. She was there for tools in a future marriage. I was there for tools in a hopeless marriage. But still, we didn’t get to know one another. It wasn’t until I started going to a different homegroup after the breakup of my marriage, one aimed at people my own age, that I actually got to MEET Gina.
Gina and I clicked right away as soon as we got to know each other. I’d like to say we shared the same passion for God, but I found hers to be much more pure. Gina would hold these worship nights at her house once a month, inviting people over to her house. Here’s one worship night that she held a year ago as an example. I found these nights to be so God-filled and inspiring. I’d ask Gina how she came up with these ideas, and she’d give all glory to God, professing that she would wait for God’s word. Sometimes his word didn’t come until last minute, and still she’d throw together these awesome worship nights. She did this for a whole year, as God instructed her to, and then stopped. For good? I don’t know. I do know I miss those nights. I also know that when I am around Gina, her passion for God still inspires me.
Gina has a rock solid faith. This is what I see. She loves God with all her being. She holds the same frustrations as I tend to hold, but the difference between her and me is she does something more than complain about it. While I can blog about such and such disgruntlement I am feeling, she goes out and forms a new group, actively worships, emanates GOD. Sometimes when I am around her, I hope that her spirit will rub off on me.
Gina is unbelievable creative. In worship, she has this amazingly sweet voice that carries us all. She also plays the picalo during some songs. She takes great photos. She is a talented artist. Her worship nights were even more inspiring thanks to her God-given gifts of creativity and artisticness (that might be a Crissi-ism…). I don’t want to say I am envious….
Gina has this laugh that is infectious. Her sense of humor is pretty corny, she totally matches my own. And when she laughs, she laughs with her whole being.
This year, Gina went through the heartbreak of losing someone she loved through a hard break-up. I know what that’s like. When I went through the same thing two years ago, I must have laid on the couch without eating for months. I made mistake after mistake in desperation. I was in poor shape. It took over a year for me to get on the healing side of the break-up. Gina, though this is an extremely hard trial for her, does not wear her pain on her sleeve. She doesn’t deny it. But she is still alive. She still made it a point to live her life as she did before: worshipping, creating, being a friend. Through this, I saw an amazing strength in her, more so than before. She still laughed, consoled, had faith. She doesn’t see her strength. I think she’s one of the strongest people I know.
Gina is hellbent on sharing Jesus by SHOWING Jesus. She agrees with me that this speaks louder than words. Gina SHOWS Jesus by her unfailing love and compassion.
When I began seeing someone who practiced Buddhism, I was afraid to tell anyone in my church for fear of the backlash I would get for dating outside my faith. But I knew I could talk to Gina about him. When I knew that I loved him, she was overjoyed for me. Even with all she’s going through. Even though he is not Christian. She saw what was important for me, that someone loved me and truly cared for me the way I’d always wanted to be loved and cared for, and that I was truly happy.
Gina has been there for me through all my crap. I consider her one of my best friends, the one who gets to see all of me unashamedly, for she holds no judgment. Gina, I love you, and I praise God for you, and for allowing me the honor of being your friend!
in one person.
I am in awe.