This is my twenty-first article in my 30 in 30 challenge, where I write 30 things I am thankful for in the 30 days leading up to my thirtieth birthday.
I was on my Senior Christian Awakening Retreat when it dawned on my that God puts people in your life for a reason. I guess I knew this all along, but what better way to be on an awakening retreat, than to be awakened to revelations that have been ignored most of my young life?
On one of the days, we all had the ability to go receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It was one of the most beautiful and redeeming moments in my life! As I was shuffling back into the main room and curled up next to a friend of mine and said, "I just cried me a river."
Everyone giggled and agreed that it was a very tear-filled moment for the majority of us and we moved on. Later that night, I was busy reading my retreat letters and when I got down to the last of the letters, I picked up a folded piece of yellow paper. It was a letter from my English teacher. I had always admired her for her ability to connect with us and help us discover our potential, so to get a letter from her was an honor! I flipped open the letter and what I read has not left my heart since.
In the letter she said she heard me joke about crying a river, and like any amazing English teacher would, she used that to help me take a peek inside a part of my life I was scared to share.
"This will probably be the reality of your life. Rivers are deep, every-changing, mysterious, profound and capable of many floods worth of tears. I hope you can believe this weekend that you are truly blessed with such depth...It is your grace, your gift, your unique soul."
I have always been a hopeless wanderer in my mind and always was on the search to find deeper meaning in the everyday. This can be a very scary thing to share about yourself, especially when you are teenager. Teenagers are supposed to be worried about weekend plans, not the greater good of life.
For the first time in my life, I felt like someone finally "got it" and she was able to see the real me. I am thankful for that day because Lynn reminded me that I am a gift and that my depth is a gift.
Blessed doesn't begin to describe what I feel about that letter, as well as the friendship that she and I have forged together. In the past 12 years, I have received so many life lessons from that woman. She reminds me to live a life of simplicity, charity, service, compassion, to never give up on my creativity and to love generously. We get lost in conversations and I often leave our outings exhausted because every conversation we have is stitched together with purpose and care.
Friendship is about lifting the other person up and helping them shine from the inside out, as well as accepting who they are as a person. Lynn is that for me and I can only pray that I am half of the friend she is to me.