I keep trying to think of myself differently than I used to. I know I am thinking better about who I am.
Who am I? I am a Christian. I am a son, a brother, and a friend. I am a writer. I care about other people... actually, it's being a friend that seems to mean something right now to me the most. I began praying for friends about a year and half ago. And God has been giving me friends. I met a fellow struggler online back last winter, and we've become really good pen pals. I feel like I can write just about anything to him, and I know I can trust him and rely on him. I love him. But not in any other way than as a friend and a brother. I'd actually referred to him as a little brother on a couple of occasions and hadn't really thought anything of it. He referred to me as big brother the other day, and that somehow meant so much to me. I have a friend I'm close enough to that we can relate to each other as brothers. We care about each other, help each other, and encourage each other. I was taken back when he said I was "indispensable" the last time he wrote to me. I've never felt as though I was that important to anyone else before. I've often wondered if I were to die, or just disappear, would anyone really care. Anyone besides family, that is.
I got to thinking about some of the friends God has given me. There's been guys at work I've made friends with, guys at church, on blogger, and elsewhere. God is giving me friends, and each one has impacted my life in some very positive ways. I know people do care about me. I know I'm not as different from other guys as I used to think I was. I know I'm learning a lot of things. I know I'm important to other people, and it matters whether I live or die. I have friends. I am a friend. I went a long time not being able to say that. I'd so isolated myself that there wasn't anybody else in my life. I was alone. But I'm not alone anymore, and it's great not to be.
In my last post, I wrote about when I foolishly believe in the lies the devil tells me about myself. He tries to tear me down and make me into something so awful. I'm learning that that's not who I am though. I'm learning that God sees me for something good. He loves me and cares for me, and He wants my life to be something beautiful and meaningful. I am a follower of Christ. I like saying that, because there's meaning to it. God has been giving me friends, but even still, none of them compare to the friend I have in Jesus. He's my best friend by far. And the great thing about Him is that He'll never leave me, He'll always love me, He'll always help me, and He'll always lead me and influence me in positive ways.
I hope God keeps giving me friends. I thank Him for each of them. To borrow a quote from my favorite movie, It's A Wonderful Life: "No man is a failure who has friends." I have friends, and that makes all the difference in the world.
(I really did appreciate something Rik wrote in the comments section of my last post. He told me how he thought about me, and there was nothing bad at all there. It's honestly dumbfounded me some to learn that others don't and won't hold my struggles against me. A few years ago, I literally did think that was an impossibility. I suppose that's why I'd isolated myself so much. Either way, thanks to Rik. I needed that little shot of encouragement.)