The end of each year is a natural time for reflection. If there was a recurring theme to this year it was the illusiveness and thirst for hope. Fear, chaos, and real pain dominated life for many. No matter how severe one might think her/his life is, there was someone in the world facing something worse. A common thread I found in the eyes and voice of the people I met was the longing and need for hope. Individuals want to believe; but it is a struggle. Individuals are trying to hold on; yet they are never quite sure if their grasp is going to hold. Individuals long to believe things were going to get better, even as they wonder if they are going to get through the day.
In and through the ups and downs, the friends in my life keep reminding me of the following.
There are friends riding the waves with me, looking out for me in ways I do not imagine or anticipate. An old observation is still true in my life; “If you stumble, they’ll catch you; their job is to keep you from falling.” (Psalm 91.12)
You and I are never abandoned. We have friends that care. As alone as we might feel, we are part of a bigger story. We share that story with brothers and sisters. They have a role to play in our lives, if we let them.
As good as you or I might be, we can get better. We can learn, change, and grow into more. The Spirit of Compassion, Hope, and Love has designs for our lives.
I am thankful for the friends in my life. They continue to support while influencing change and growth in ways that I need but never imagined. The story of our lives continues to unfold with new paths to be explored and chapters to be written. To the individuals in my life, thank-you. I hope that I can repay the debt I have with them by being the kind of friend for them that they are for me.