No matter the culture or age, everyone needs friends. These school boys in Tokyo laugh and walk, joke and rib each other as they head the same direction. Friendship is such a powerful force in shaping who we become. Good, solid, trusted friends can move us to greatness. They help us learn about ourselves, our strengths and our weaknesses while giving us room to improve and grow. True friends will call you out when you are being stupid. They will cheer you when you succeed and pat you on the back when you are defeated. A true friend cries when you are full of sorrow and and weeps in your moments of pure joy. 

Friendship is for a lifetime and for a season. Friendships can be closer than family or convenient for a short span of time. Allowing others into our lives to nurture and guide us, teach us and befriend us, to serve us, shelter us, or feed our wounded souls. Friends can make the difference between a quick recovery or a long mental battle. A friend can make the breakup bearable and a family pain one to learn from in order to make the future better. 

I’ve had different friends throughout my days. There have been school friends, work friends, family friends, church friends, and sports team friends. College roommates, sorority sisters, neighbors or vendors who have all blessed me as participants on my journey of life. Men and women, boys and girls…puppies, kittens, hamsters and cats have all served me in friendship. Old, young, middle aged and those on their own journey have provided insights and wisdom which transformed my days. 

I am thankful for the friends who have come to my aid in times of trouble – flat tires, sickness, sadness and mourning. I am grateful to the friends who have cheered from the bleachers, applauded in the audeince, laughed at my jokes and smiled when they saw me coming. I am blessed by the opportunity to return the many years of life they have given my by being their tireless friend no matter the circumstances. 

Today I give thanks for all the people I have been blessed to call friend. Be it for generations or a season, they all have blessed me more than words can communicate. I ask you to do the same…give thanks for your friends. Give thanks for those who have helped you become a better version of yourself, and who cheer you on no matter what happens. Do not take lightly that you have friends, and work each day to deserve the love and trust they have bestowed.