It does not seem long ago, however when I mark the calendar is it eight plus years, when we first met. I do not recall anything special about our first conversations; just people sharing time together, talking through the issues of the day. I do recall the challenges that you were confronting – difficult ones at every corner! As I look at the road since then, the ripples, waves, and bumps, great moments and amazing challenges, “I couldn't be more proud of you!” (Romans 16.19) I am different because of your friendship.
This is a bit of an evaluation that I think I need to remind you of, especially during the holiday season. Holidays can be rough, people shopping for others until they drop, uncertain if the person will really enjoy the gift when Christmas day rolls around. Parties celebrating the Season, yet one wonders what if anything the party has to do with the true meaning or spirit of Christmas. Days are short, winds icy, and storms can strike at every corner.
This is not only my assessment. God chose you as a special friend of his. I think that you find this odd most of the time, yet from the way you treat others I know that He is part of your life. There are several parts of your identity that reflect the Father you seek. You are compassionate to those struggling. You are honest in your business dealings, even when the other person is not fair or honest in return. You seek the best in people around you, looking to lift them up. Each a God like value.
I know you have tough challenges in front of you that I cannot fully comprehend. I can only point to the fact that when God sent his Son that he to face some monumental difficulties. People despised God when he came. Most continue to ignore the gift God offers them. In the end, the people he came for turned on him and killed him.
God has taken you under his wing. You are coming home.