This letter is for my true friends. It’s not necessarily going to be well-written, fancy, or laced with poetry and a rich vocabulary, but it will be from my heart. I’m expressing my deepest gratitude in the best way I can–through writing.
Thank you. At a time where I so desire them, words fail me. And, as you all know, that isn’t a common occurrence. Thanking people isn’t my strong suit. I’m not talking about when I get a gift or anything like that. I’m talking about thanking people for things far more important than a dusty old sweater from Aunt Lou (no, I don’t have an Aunt Lou, but I do appreciate old sweaters). I’m talking about thanking people for love and friendship.
I guess I’ve always felt a little bit alone. We all have a “love tank” that needs to be filled up at the love gas station every once in a while. Everyone has love tanks that are to be filled with love from different people–family, friends, etc. Well, I often got used to running on fumes with the friend tank. (That sounds weird, doesn’t it? The friend tank. Like a bubbling vat of hu—never mind.) My expectation of friendship lessened every time I was betrayed, lied to, stolen from, and so on. Pretty soon, a friend was just someone I could smile and nod at.
And, because I was so mistrustful of people in general, I stopped feeling comfortable being myself. I had a friend-making strategy that really didn’t get me true friends. I’d sit back and observe people, then, if they approached me, I’d conform myself to their sense of humor, their opinions and values, and basically become a mini them. I couldn’t disagree with anything they said–that would make them hate me! So I’d force a laugh at all their jokes, nod at their messed up views, and let them take advantage of me. I often became a source of entertainment, a toy, just so I could get the true friendship I so desired. I never got it from them, of course. The minute I decided to stand up to them, to not allow them to stomp all over me, they left me.
Then, after awhile, I started meeting true friends. Some of them I’d known forever, but had neglected to talk to them. Some of them reached out to me first, like many of you. I was in a horrible place in my life, and you didn’t stop caring about me. It didn’t make any sense to me at the time. I hated my world, but I hated myself even more. You guys being there for me didn’t compute with my self-hatred programming. So, I lashed out at some of you–and I am truly sorry for that. Really, I am.
I don’t know where I would be without you. You guys pointed me to Jesus. I let God hack into my internal computer and rewrite everything, and the old life is gone. Now I can be myself without feeling like an unwanted freak.
You all are amazing. You listen to me, laugh at my strange and random humor, include me, love me….you’re just great friends. I’ve never felt so cared about by any group of peers.
If you didn’t know the context, it might sound strange to hear that I was crying with happiness over having friends. The other night I was so grateful, I could not contain it. You have no idea how grateful I am, to you and to God.
I love you all.
With utmost gratitude,