• Gina Stinson

30 Days of Thanks Day 4


It was Christmastime, 2009. My daughter was seven years old. Her blonde curls framed her porcelain complexion as she pranced through the house getting ready for the children’s Christmas program at church. This was her first time to sing with others in church and she was what I lovingly call nerv-cited—that weird mix of nervousness and excitement all mixed together.


We arrived at the church in time for her to get to her staging site and for the rest of the family to find a good seat. As most parents of young children did, we made sure we were seated where photo opportunities would about. I pictured her bouncing down the aisle, much like she had paraded through the house earlier that day.


When the clock struck 6pm, the children started filing in from the back of the sanctuary. All wearing their white shirts and dark skirts or pants. They had colorful sequined scarves around their waists. Their cuteness oozed. One by one they walked down the aisle, climbed the four steps to the stage and then climbed to their allotted place on the risers.


Except for Savannah.


I glanced to the back, ready with my camera, to take what I thought would be the picture of excitement. But instead, I was greeted with Savannah tearfully walking down the aisle hand in hand with her friend Lizzie. The look was somewhat of a dramatic Anne of Green Gables scene. The two girls, hand in hand, tears rolling down Savannah’s face—the look of "save me" on her face as she passed the aisle where I sat.


Carefully they climbed the stairs and the risers to their place side by side with the group. Throughout the first few songs it was almost painful to watch the uncomfortable feelings that were obvious on Savannah’s face. But something happened the longer she stayed there. She gained strength from her friend. She became more courageous. She gained confidence. She began to smile. And wouldn’t you know it, by the end of the night you would have never known she had been crying at all.


Friendship does that. It’s the hand to hold when you are afraid. It’s the voice that cheers you to keep going. It’s the walking down the path that is scary to walk alone. Friendship is the voice that whispers “don’t quit!” It climbs to the high spots, and endures the low spots. Friendship sees you through it all—faithful until the end.


Now eleven years later these girls remind me often of the price of friendship. They are a gift to each other. They laugh, cry and yes, even sing together when they can. Miles may separate their hearts but they still walk together.


Friendship is a gift. It’s there through the thick and thin, the ups and downs and the round-abouts. It shows up in text messages, encouraging words, silly gifts, empathetic conversations about kids and pets and diets. If you have a friend like this, then you know.

I am thankful for my tribe—my handful of girls that hold my hand during the tough times, cheer for me in the good and tiring times and are genuinely interested in what is happening in my life. They are the ones who show up in every way—when it’s easy and when it’s inconvenient. I am thankful for the give and take, for the understanding and for the forgiveness.


What about you? Is there someone you need to thank for their friendship today?

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