“Life’s trials will test you and shape you, but don’t let them change who you are.”– A. Lauritsen

Three of my dearest friends from high school recently visited me in Ohio from their homes in California, Connecticut and Virginia—our first in-person get-together since the pandemic. We met when we were in ninth grade and have traveled to see each other every few years since graduation.


None of us has escaped life’s trials, and we are open with each other about our many challenges, losses and hardships. Our love for one another runs deep, so we feel safe being vulnerable. In fact, my affection for and admiration of these three women escalates each time we reconnect as I learn more about them, what they’re facing and how they’re growing.


Former-soldier-turned-author Aaron Lauritsen says, “Life’s trials will test you and shape you, but don’t let them change who you are.” I’ve seen this in action through these ladies. We’ve been through a lot, but we’re still the same people we were when we met 36 years ago.


Our time together involves laughing, eating, drinking, laughing, telling stories, listening, laughing and more laughing—just as it did back in high school. When we’re together, we not only reconnect to each other but also reconnect to our younger selves.


Sunday Journal Prompt

How have life’s trials shaped you? And how have you been able to stay true to who you are?