It’s not that who I was is all bad. But when I compare who God has molded me into over the past few years versus who I was before, I’m so grateful for who I am now.
It helps me to appreciate changes in myself when people verbalize what they see in me now. A few days ago, a friend of about 14 years sent me a message telling me that “you’re much healthier than maybe I’d expected back in the day.” It encouraged me to know that someone with more objectivity than I have sees a different Bethany than I once was, particularly someone who met me at one of the lowest points in my life.
It also challenges me to be brave enough to say similar things to my friends when given the opportunity. This morning as I edited a document for a life-long friend (really, someone I’ve known longer than anyone else besides my family), I took a few minutes in my reply to put some gratitude for that person in writing. It’s one thing to think about how much I appreciate people. It’s another to tell them. It might make a huge difference when I tell people that I’m grateful for them and take the time to explain why.
Even if it doesn’t amount to much for them, it changes me.