This year, friendship has played a very prominent role in my life. Back in 2014, I distinctly remember asking God to mold my heart to be one that is kind and knows how to love others well. For much too long, I gripped tightly to this idea that emptiness was admirable because it meant that you had loved and poured into others to your fullest capacity. Boy, was I wrong. I underestimated the power of friendship and the things that could be learned in said friendships. But as always, the bigger picture continues to come after the fact, and I didn’t realize that in friendship, there should be a mutual outpour and filling up of love and learning.
As humans, we have a deep desire to be known and to belong, for me, God redeemed and sharpened me in a series of friendships. If you have ever read anything about enneagram twos, you'd know that we have a deep desire to love others and in the process, forget to love ourselves or even allow others to love us, when the underlying truth is that we have a deep sense of longing to be cared for and loved in that same way. God demonstrated to me what love looks like in the form of friendships and relationships, and in that I learned to love others and myself better. (I learned a lot about love languages in this process) My desire to be loved and known was fulfilled in the people that God surrounded me with. Through this, I am reminded that ultimately, He knows and loves me more than I had ever recognized. Beyond finally experiencing true and reciprocated friendship, God has been continually teaching me new things in each of these friends.
When I needed to find excitement in the mundane, God gave me Taylor. When I needed joy and familiarity, He gave me Noel and Kristy. When I was learning about honesty, He gave me Kristi. When I needed to be heard, He gave me Angela. When I was looking for a safe space, He gave me Kara. When I needed prayer, He gave me Joyce. When I needed to learn about sacrifice, He gave me Torie. When I needed unwavering support, He gave me Ashley. When I needed to be challenged, He brought me to Spain. When I needed to be patient, He gave me a community of people that reminded me that He has already provided. When I needed to learn about generosity, He opened the doors to new ministry opportunities.
God presented himself in all of these people and opportunities to remind me that that His presence is near and His love is great. In these friendships, I recognized the value of each individual and why we were created to be different. In these friendships, I found redemption and healing through moments shared, conversations had, and tears wept. I learned that in this life, we need each other and that each of these friends have changed me. (not limited to this list!)
Friends, thank you for walking with me in hard times and celebrating with me through different life stages. Thank you for being you and letting me be me.
With that, here are some of the golden people in my life // I use this term 'golden' to describe things/people/places that I have encountered that are meaningful, important, and treasured.
And of course, thanks for reading!