It has been on my mind a lot lately.  I need to thank the girls back home that taught me how to open my life and my heart to them.  Most of my life was spent with superficial acquaintances who really knew nothing about the real me.  That all changed 4 or 5 years ago when God brought a strong woman into my life who decided to be my friend.  I was never a big fan of hugs ... she didn't care.  I got a hug from her almost every Sunday.  I was never a fan of sharing my heart, but she asked deep and meaningful questions.  Then she waited for me to answer.

Through her I met others just like her.  They hugged me.  They got to know me.  They shared my fears and we shed tears together.  They held my hands as I took baby steps until finally I took my first steps alone.

To you I am thankful.  You taught me how to reach out and receive what is given in return.  When we decided to move it was hard to leave my friends behind, but they had given me the greatest gift.  The ability to walk into the circle of new friends in new places.  (Don't get me wrong I am still shy and introverted).  Not all friendships are created equally and I have felt the breaking of my heart over the betrayal of a friend, but isn't that a taste of what Christ felt with our betrayal?  He didn't stop having and making friends and neither will I.  

I've been blessed since we moved and have found new friends to share my life, loves and tears.  However, I will always be thankful to those that taught me the lessons I should have learned in childhood.  God intended for us to have relationships and He made me a relational person.  My life is richly blessed with friends across the nation now and it is all thanks to that one girl that hugged me when I didn't want a hug and held my hand as I took my baby steps into friendship.