as i was praying last night, thanking god for the many good friends i have in my life, it came gently to my mind of a time in my life when i did not have friends. my thoughts were turned to a young girl (about age 14) who constantly felt anxious and alone, who often cried out to god for relief, but for some reason was left without the close connections i have now.
in an instance i was brought back to her pain and suffering. i remembered how hard that time in my life was. i remembered how alienating it felt to go to church and feel alone - i talked to people but they were all going to high school while i was going to college - i didn't feel like i fit in with my peers and i felt so awkward around them. i had acne - much like i do now (gotta love the continuous battle ;) which was hard and i felt foreign compared to the perfect-skinned teens around me. many - many - afternoons and nights you would find me crumpled up on the floor in tears. overwhelmed and feeling alone. i often prayed for a friend. part of what i didn't understand at this point was that i didn't need lots and lots of friends.
i needed a few, good, solid friendships. i compared myself to my sister - who if we are going with extrovert/introvert, i'm the introvert and she's the extrovert - and thought i had to be like her. i thought something was wrong with me because i didn't have and didn't like to be around a lot of people all of the time. i wanted someone to go to lunch with or to the movies with or someone to chat with. simple things to me that would make all the difference in my world.
i can still remember the day when god answered my tear-filled prayers. i was about 17 and i walked into one of my college classes and there she was, my friend, sh. we clicked immediately and traded numbers, did projects, had lunches over the semester, talked all the time, and have stayed in touch all these years later as our life paths have taken us many miles apart. i remember that first day walking out of class going, "so this is what it's like to have a real friend?!"
from this moment on it was like the flood gate opened in my life in terms of having friends. god has led me to so many amazing people who have helped me through my good and difficult times. i met people on my mission who have become my friends, people in church, people in group therapy, people in school, people at work (like s :), aunts and cousins who have become dear friends, and on and on the list goes. over the years i have come to learn something about myself : i don't need hundreds of friends but i do need a handful of really good ones. i wish i could write out the names of those who have touched and influenced my life here, but i want to respect their privacy.
i hope they know that chances are if they are reading this, they are one of the ones god has placed in my life.