Aren’t they great?! There’s nothing like a text or a phone call from a friend to brighten up my day. Throughout the past few years I’ve been blessed to build so many beautiful friendships whether it’s from being in the same history class in college to meeting during election night in 2016 to a fun road trip down to North Carolina. I’ve learned that when it comes to friendships, the church is the best place to get them. There is a community of people just waiting to love you. Or in some cases, there is a community of people just waiting for YOU to love THEM. God has given me friends to meet me in every season of my life yet I’ve always questioned the validity of those friendships.

I’ll never forget the day in 8th grade. I was hanging with a group of black girls, at school during lunch. At the time I was one of maybe 20 black people in my grade and I felt the need to fit in because I felt those were the only people who could truly understand me. I needed their approval. Then I’ll never forget one of the girls came up to me and said,

“Maya, I don’t know why you’re hanging out with us. Please stop hanging around us!”

It tore me apart. Never had I felt more rejected in my life. The people who I thought were supposed to understand me the most pretty much said I wasn’t good enough. So throughout high school and college I struggled with believing that people actually wanted to be my friend.

Even today, sometimes I struggle.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends. I value the friendships I have, but there is an innate fear that if I truly let people in that they won’t love me back the way that I love them.

But days like today are proving me wrong. I’m so blessed by each one of my friends. It is an amazing thing to know that I have people in my life who I love being around and it brings my heart so much joy to know that they love having me around them too. This summer God has shown me the beautiful side of having the love and support of a community of Godly friends. It is only a small piece of the love and joy that He desires to give me straight from His heart.

So to all my friends. Thank you for your friendship. Your smiles light up my day. Your laugher make my heart beam with joy. It has been my greatest joy seeing you grow. The calls and texts from Kentucky, Virginia, and even Botswana make me feel so much love and I hope it is reciprocated. I’m so excited everything God is going to do in your life whether it’s owning your own business, winning a city for Christ, being a musician, saving lives, or groundbreaking research I know you all are doing it for the glory of God and for the advancement of the kingdom! Each one of you are a friend I’ve prayed for and you are a blessing to me from God’s heart.

Lastly, if you are a person in search of true friends, know there is always a place for you, sometimes you just have to take a step out in faith to find it. Don’t ever minimize your capability to be a friend.

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