People are placed in our lives when we need them the most. There have been low points in my life when the right person has come along and lifted my spirits, gave encouragement or just gave clarity in direction I needed. I don’t believe it’s chance, it’s well more than that, by Design, if you will, and I’m grateful! There’s a beautiful poem about friendship whose author is unknown, that says it much better than I could, and it’s so true! “People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.” We may not immediately even recognize the impact they have on our lives until a crisis has passed, they are no longer in our lives, or until we actually sit back and reflect on the friendship. (I’ve included the link so you can read the entire poem!)
I read the story about a young man who felt alone. He seemed unable to connect with young women, and everything he tried was less than successful. He didn’t dress like others, wasn’t academically inclined nor particularly energetic in a way judged be productive. One day, when he was particularly depressed due to his “perceived” underrated status, he climbed the steps to a particularly high building and went onto the roof top. Sitting on the edge with feet dangling over, turned on some music he’d brought along to listen to while he smoked his last cigarette. The music finished playing on the first song, and the second started, so he waited and listened. Then the third, fourth and finally after all of the music was finished, his whole attitude had changed. He got up and walked off the roof top and never attempted that again! He credits his “saved life” to the artist on the CD.
Another, story of a friend “saving a friend” is about a young woman who when depressed would cut herself with a razor blade. She was in an abusive relationship and tried committing suicide quite a few times, but was unsuccessful. She called the razor her “comfort blanket.” After finally getting out of the abusive relationship and meeting someone who treasured her for who she was, she was finally able to stop the abuse she was doing to herself. She credits her new friend with saving her from herself!
While these examples are extreme, I look at times in my life when I was sad and while I didn’t want to inflict “harm” on myself physically, I did “beat me up” emotionally thinking I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, cute enough or any of the other “enoughs” one can imagine. It seems there was always a friend who would encourage me to look at the situation differently and remind me I was created as a unique individual with specific gifts and talents that should be used in my particular mission in life.
Was I quick to recognize it? No, probably not and as a young person, I’m not sure I completely believed those who told me I had value. It took time, maturity, and a lot of love along with my faith to make me see that. So to all who encouraged me, and ‘saved me from me,’ I thank you! And I challenge you, the reader, to think about those who have “saved you from you!” If you can, you might even want to thank them!