Two particular friendships come to mind as today's prompt asks me to talk about friendships that changed me this year. The first, is having a best friend, here, in Tampa. Auburn, has certainly changed me for the better in no many ways. She is a constant encouragement to me when I get down on myself. She's smart and a great source of wisdom on a wide variety of topics, I love her opinion and I ask for it often. She's guided me through decision after decision this year - none too big or too small.
She encourages me as I've watched her grow this year. We've grown together. Leaving behind that which belongs in the past and pressing forward into better futures. We've laughed and cried together as we look forward with hope to what the Lord has yet to do in our lives and friendships. I'm struck often by how well she knows me and how in less time than is usual for me, I've let her all the way in. To really see me the way few people ever have. And amazingly, she loves me anyway.
The other is a long-standing theme of friendship in my life and that is my older sister, Rae. When I look back on my life and the successes that I have I owe them first to the Lord but second to her. She was truly the first person who ever believed in. Believed I would do great things. Believed I could be whoever I set my mind to be. At times in my life when I least deserved it she has been my rock, my support, and my encouragement.
She's given me tons of free advice this year as the person I most respect in terms of fitness, health, and weight control. Between her background in personal training and her doctorate in Physical Therapy I consider her a totally genius and I call her with all my silly questions. She never demeans me. She's always gracious in her answers and encourages me to learn and be curious. In short, she always makes me feel like a million bucks. If I could put into words for you just how that has been a highlight in my life over the years I would but no words could do that great gift justice.
For the friendships and for all the people who have been part of my life this year, I am grateful. No friendship is too big or too small to change our lives. Each of you blesses me in a different, special way. I continue to thank God for placing you here with me for such a time as this.