I love gifts. I love giving them and getting them, Christmas and birthdays are two of my favorite things. However, I think the best present in the world are the small, spontaneous ones that you know will mean the world to you. That’s why one of my favorite gifts I’ve ever received is a care package from the lovely Lauren, one of my very best friends and my favorite member of Allergy Pride (sorry Reid and Eli).

Back when we worked at Disney, Lauren’s mom would send her care

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Me at Disney, excited for my candy

packages fully of Swedish Fish, Gummy Worms, other candy, and basically everything delicious in the world. But my favorite thing about Lauren is how completely selfless she is. She never kept the bags of candy for herself. Any time her mom sent her a care package, she divided up the candy into snack bags for each of the members of Allergy Pride, and gave them to us to take as snacks to work. Everyday we got in the car, me with coffee in my hand, and her with four bags of candy for each of us.

 

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Me at my new job, just as excited for candy

A few days back I was having a terrible day. I’m in the middle of car shopping right now, my life isn’t going quite as planned, and I was at my wit’s end. That’s when Lauren’s care package came. I opened it to find a travel mug, Swedish Fish, and gummy bears. Everything I need to get through a day of work. It was completely unexpected, a small gesture in the grand scheme of things, but it meant the world to me because it brought back all the special memories of working with Lauren at my favorite place on Earth.

 

So really, the best gift I’ve ever received isn’t just a care package from Lauren. It’s the friendship Lauren has continued to give me over the past year and a half, no matter how many miles are between us.

I know I can call her when I’m having a bad day, and she’ll be there to calm me down. I know anytime I need prayer I can just text her, and she will be right there with me. And she knows I will always do the same for her. Those are the friends that matter. The ones who, no matter how far apart they are from you, always allow you to pick up where you left off. The ones who push you toward Christ no matter what.

My challenge for everyone today is: Go find your Lauren.

 

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