Today my friend Lezlee posted this picture of us from... quite a while back. As I looked at it all of these memories started streaming through my mind. What a great day that picture represents in my memories/heart. We took off one morning and spent the day adventuring in Athens, GA. On an impulse.
And then I started thinking about all of the other days like that, that I have had in my life. All the friends and relationships and people that have come into or passed through my life. Wow. From family and childhood friends in WV to college friends and so many others in SC to Peru where I am now. It's hard to define all of the relationships here, church and work and day to day life, missionaries from the states, missionaries from other countries, peruvians and so many people from different parts of the world in general. When I look at that picture I think wow... who is that girl and am I still her? I've been blessed with so many experiences and I feel like I have been rolled and shaped and smoothed over like a shell in the ocean so that I recognize the girl in that picture (it's about 3-4 years old I suppose) but I can also see how much I have grown and changed in the mean time.
Actually, I think seeing that picture today had more of an impact on me than it would have any other ordinary day. Any other day I would have looked at it for the sweet memory that it brings but probably not have dwelled much more. But today is different. Today I was already thinking about how blessed I am by the friends and relationships and people that God has brought into my life. Actually, I, truth be told.. am someone that struggles with social anxiety (more on that another day - there's too much to tell) and in the midst of a couple of such breakthrough weeks in that area of my life, of God truly showing it to me and helping me to take the steps to share it with some friends instead of dealing with it (if you could have called it that) alone... I have been able to breathe again and truly see around myself to the richness of relationships that I have in my life to be so thankful for. That anxiety had been blocking my vision for such a long time. I'm just so greatful to God for His love for me in giving me such a husband that would lift me up instead of discourage me and friends and mentors in my life to learn so much from. Happy Friendship day, a day early indeed.
note: i said frienship day instead of valentine's day because here although couples also celebrate (one of my students owns a flower shop... i don't envy his late night tonight) it's also a day that friends celebrate together.