Today I’m doing something a bit different on the blog, thanks to Hännah Ettinger over at Wine & Marble, who suggested that we link up and share at least five unidentified thanks to those who have made 2013 a better, more whole, and more healing year for us. Frankly, after the week I’ve had (first car accident, heavy work load, minimal writing productivity, internet crazies) I could do with a bit of gratitude. Also, I’m fiercely protective Thanksgiving season and I refuse to get Christmasy before first giving thanks. So there. Here we go :
1. At the beginning of the year, I got involved in an online discussion regarding a certain post (that shall not be named or linked to for the sake of everyone’s sanity.) One thing led to another, and basically, I had a mini meltdown on twitter, complete with subtweets and a call for Christian unity. #facepalm #NotMyProudestMoment. So this particular note of gratitude is to those that got caught in the crosshairs of my frustration, and I want to start by saying I’m sorry. I really regret it – both my opinions and my behavior. It was coming from a place of ignorance about a lot of different things and since then I’ve tried my damndest to shut up and listen to you. We don’t always agree, and I’m not very vocal either way, but it’s not because I’m not paying attention to you, it’s because I learned my lesson. Thank you for speaking up. Thank you for not letting me silence you. Thank you for not totally writing me off, and in some cases, for befriending me in spite of what happened.
2. As the only appropriate follow-up to Thank You No. 1, this is a thank-you to the people in my life who have walked with me through so many personal changes. A lot of what I believe about faith and politics have shifted in the last few years. I am deeply grateful to those of you who never treated me like a lost cause in my ignorance, who graciously offered me a new perspective, who heard out my doubts and frustrations and crazy questions, who continue to show me love and respect. Even if we never agree with each other on certain issues, you’ve taught me Grace.
3. For almost a year now we’ve been chatting to each other back and forth nearly every day about everything from the internets to birth control to career building to relationships, and I have to say it’s been a highlight of this season in my life. Thank you for letting me be vulnerable with you about the best and worst parts of me; thank you for being vulnerable with me about yours. We’re each going through so many personal transitions, but your friendship has been a steadfast place of comfort and encouragement. Whoever said that online friendships are fake is doing it wrong.
4. You’ve had a tough year, friend. But I’ve watched you flourish in it, too. My heart broke for you last fall, and again early this summer. We both know what it feels like to lose faith and trust for this whole hope thing, don’t we? And yet you continue to be brave and take risks and in case you haven’t noticed, you have community of women, a flock of beautiful birds, that have found a haven in your brave mama heart. I just want you to know how thankful I am for you, whom I consider a big sister in both faith and storytelling. Thank you for the moments we’ve shared of leaning into the hard places of our lives, talking about our fears, talking about our plans, talking about our dreams.
5. We don’t see each other or talk to each other every day or even every week, but we’ve been close friends for close to a decade now and your joyfulness, silliness, and go-get-’em attitude inspire me daily. You have always been there for me, even when I’m quiet, even when I’m angry, even when we lived together and I was forever leaving my dirty dishes in the sink without washing them off first. I lovelovelove you. Always.
6. Remember that day when you texted me the words to my favorite Shel Silverstein poem as an apology for that really ugly fight we had the day before? It’s been two years, and I still think about that moment every time I think about you and how much our relationship has changed. Your support means the world to me. I have a lifetime of thank-yous that I can’t list here, but this I can say : thank you for seeing me, for working hard with me to change our relationship, for saying you’re sorry and accepting my apologies too, and for always taking care of me the best that you know how. I love you.