happy birthday, rachel! i’m not very good at giving shout-outs, but here’s my best shot at one. my vision for this blog isn’t for me to center my posts around people who are in my life, and i would rather not include specific names of people i know. but today’s an exception, cuz it’s your birthday.
and i refuse to not celebrate it 🙂
to give everyone a little background on our friendship..i first came to south bay church in a really damaged state, and all i could talk about, focus on, and process was the pain i was feeling from my own wounds. every conversation with someone felt like they were sprinkling salt on my wounds – in other words, i was in a lot of pain. i didn’t know what to do with myself and all the sadness i was experiencing. i put a strong face on at church, and would then go home and break down in a state of sadness, desperation, and loneliness.
being in your small group really helped heal me, cuz lucky for me, we watched the video series on “The Sacred Search” by Gary Thomas every week. and i was able to unleash my thoughts in a very raw way through thoughtful discussions. i started to see you as someone who could really help pray for me and understand everything i was saying. you validated a lot of what i was feeling and made me feel like it was okay to express that i wasn’t okay.
i learned to lean on you for support by approaching you after group with specific issues or just emailing you with prayer requests i was too shy to share in group. i began to view you as somewhat of a peer mentor. i kept hoping we could grab coffee like we had planned, and i kept hoping you would pick up the phone when i called, cuz nothing ever seemed like enough.
then we had that conversation after church when everyone else had trickled out. and i was able to talk in a very open, honest, and candid way. i couldn’t believe myself as i heard my innermost thoughts come out of my mouth. how did that even happen? i usually have my guard way up, so that conversation was all a blur to me. i just remember i couldn’t look you in the eye. i was too untrustworthy of anyone, and i didn’t want you judging me the way that i thought everyone judged me.
you’re a great friend and really easy to talk to. thanks for being there for me and reminding me that it’s okay to talk about life and life’s various burdens. thanks for being an active listener and for being so patient with my delusions. i’m sorry life sucks for me sometimes and if it bothers you to share the weight of those burdens through prayer.
well, i won’t go on more. i hope to develop a better friendship with you, and i can’t wait for the next time we hang out. have a great day today and celebrate hard!