Four weeks ago at this time I was in Miami awaiting a flight to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. I was boarding a plane with a group of friends not really sure what I was about to get myself into. Having been on several international missions trips I have learned that no matter how much research I do, I'm never fully prepared. I was going as ready as I could be without having ever been to Haiti.
I blogged about what I could each day, but there is still so much that's not been told. There are memories that are seared into my heart. There are moments that I will cherish dearly. I've been back three weeks and I'm still not sure if I can ever go back to the way I was before. I'm really don't even know how to do life "normally" anymore. I think about leaving every day. Haiti, Uganda, Argentina, Paraguay...it doesn't even matter where. I could just go.
I've written this next paragraph and then deleted it three times. Maybe that's a sign that it's better left unsaid for now. So, I'll move on.
I've always tried to be an open book (ironic after the paragraph above?). And I don't do surface well...not with anyone, but especially not with friends. In fact, yesterday after being introduced to a newer friend of mine's former roommate I asked her for her life story. In the middle of Franklin Mercantile while listening to my friend Garrett Miller play live with Lexi Adams in the background I just started with the deep questions. I'm not trying to pry...I'm curious. I love people and want to hear their story. Everyone has something to offer. This person happens to be a gem and I'm super grateful to hear her story...it was a beautiful display of God's redemption!
The past year has been an incredible journey....some of the greatest moments in my life and some of the most heart wrenching moments of my life. In the process of this journey I have learned a lot about friendship, what I think it is and what many others think it is. I definitely realized that not everyone sees it as I do...not saying I'm right or know how to be an amazing friend...just saying that we all see it differently. We all place a different value on certain relationships.
I've seen the spectrum of friendship over the past year. I'm thankful that I have though...even when it was the opposite of healthy...because it has really helped me to know the type of friend I want to be. It also makes me appreciate the healthy friendships in my life.
So in honor of Friends Day...which in Argentina is celebrated on the 19th of July and elsewhere in South America on July 30th...I say thank you to all of my friends. I honor each of you for who you are in my life. Thank you for supporting me and loving me regardless of agreeing with me at times. Thank you for just being there when I needed it. Thank you for stopping what you're doing to listen. Thank you for being you. Thank you for protecting my heart. Thank you for praying for me. Thank you for holding me accountable. Thank you for laughing with and at me. Thank you for never giving up. Thanks for doing life with me. Thank you for loving me well. I'm sorry for not telling you I love you enough...sometimes there's not enough words to express it.
I also take a moment to remember those friends that have gone before me. I miss you and have not forgotten. I still feel loved by you. Thanks for teaching me what it looks like to be a friend.