Friendship – “Life — natural life — has no better gift to give. Who could have deserved it?” – C.S. Lewis
Birthdays have a way of making us reflect on life, don’t they?
Every one that we add gives us another year of happenings, experiences and insights that we didn’t have the year before.
Hopefully, although we are one year older, we are also one year wiser, stronger and better as a human being.
Circumstances in the prior 365 days stretch us beyond our normal capacities and create growth.
But my favorite reflection is about the people.
New people enter our lives in that 12 month period (and in the course of life!) who offer new stories and perspectives that tweak our minds’ vision, and our hearts’ compassion.
Yesterday I turned 52.
And though I had no specific expectations for the day, I was overcome by waves of emotion as I reflected on my life.
The intense gratitude I felt had nothing to do with the gifts people so generously gave. It had everything to do with the people who have marked my life not just in the past year, but for the past half-century-plus. All of the family and friends (and friends who have become family) whom I’m so blessed to call mine.
My thankfulness felt all-consuming as I looked at all the people who shared sweet messages and well-wishes from around the world.
People who have graced me in ways I could never have imagined.
People that I’ve met, sometimes through the strangest of circumstances.
Every place we have lived, every circumstance we have faced has brought with it people who have made my life richer and more meaningful.
People who have taught me so much.
People who have impacted and loved me.
People who have trudged through the valleys and shouted on the mountain tops of my life.
Yesterday felt like a beautiful stroll down memory lane. Faces flashed before my eyes. Sweet milestones and moments came back to life.
And all of them had to do with the people that I love.
So this post is dedicated to you.
I will forever be thankful that Jesus introduced me to you, for allowing our paths to cross in whatever ways they did, so that we could walk together, whether near or from a distance, old friendship or new.
Yesterday, tears ran down my face and into a very contented, very humbled smile.
You, my friend, have been part of these past 52 years in one way or another. An extraordinary gift.
And if you’re willing, I’d love to have you join me for the next 52…. 🙂
Forever and ever grateful,
Philippians 1:3 – Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.