I’ve always had a wide variety of friends. From the time I was in high school I seemed to float between groups during different seasons of life. I had a handful of really close friends that were a constant, but overall I tried to be friends with all different groups of people. I’m not really sure why or what that means about my personality, but I think deep down I was always seeking positive relationships, energy, emotions and support.

Over the years, especially when I became an adult and a mother, I began to realize the importance of friendships, community and the impact they have on my life, now, as a role model for my children. I began to understand how relationships can influence your attitudes, thoughts, emotions and decisions; and I began to see how important positive peers, friendships and associations are when it comes to your walk with Christ and daily lives.

I have been blessed with a lot of amazing friends from all walks of life, each bringing different and unique perspectives, love and support to our family. I have old friends, who I’ve known for years, who I know would be here in an instant if I called. I have an amazing group of special needs moms who “get it” and can always relate to the struggles and victories we face on a day to day basis. I have amazing neighbors, church and school friends who love and pray for our family, pick up the slack on the hard days and help out all the time. A lot of these friends overlap groups, but the common denominator between all of them is that they are a community of love and support for me and our family.

I hope and pray that I am the same for those friends. I have come to realize how important community really is when it comes to faith and healing as well. We couldn’t “do life” without these friends. And I truly believe that surrounding yourself with positive, uplifting and Christ-like friends only strengthens your own walk with Christ and deepens your faith, promoting overall health and healing both in body and spirit.

There have been hard and dark times, when I felt alone, isolated and hopeless. I felt like no one understood what I was going through or how hard life was at that time. But looking back on those times, I see how I had isolated myself and withdrawn from the community and support around me. I know now how important that community is and how opening up and sharing my vulnerabilities and struggles only helps to heal them.

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another— and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25

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