An open letter to my friends and family

I wanted to take a few moments to appreciate the people that I have the privilege to call my friends and family! They stand by my side, listen to me, push, encourage and pray for, and with me. 

After all, a birthday is a good day to take a moment and reflect on the best moments in life and at the people that have been a part of those moments. So without sounding too much like a speech at the Oscars, I want to say…

Thank you! Your love and unending support and encouragement mean the absolute world to me and I am so blessed to have you in my life. It takes a village to raise a child and it takes good friends to ‘raise’ another good friend, and I am so grateful for the ‘raising’ that you have all given me. 

To those who give me hope and continue to teach me to see different, to think different and to be different, you are my heroes. 

To those who have the courage each day to push forward with their dreams despite what others say or even how circumstances change, you inspire me!

To those who speak truth to me and wisdom, thank you for being honest and caring. 

To the ones who have the courage to love others and care for others so freely and openly, you are an example to me, and I strive to be like you. 

To the funky, crazy, quirky, funny people I get to call my family! You guys have taught me loyalty and unconditional love like no one else.

Having people to laugh with, be silly with and just share life with is the best thing one could ever ask for and I am so glad to have it in you, my wonderful, quirky, funny, amazing family and friends. 

But life is not all about the good times and I think it is especially in those not so good times where true friends are forged and families grow stronger or weaker. It is in those times that I have learnt the most about the power of prayer. You see, as someone who works in ministry, you have no idea how much it means to me to know that I have someone praying for me. Knowing that lends so much strength and courage. There have been days that have been truly rough and difficult and only God knew what I was going through. But the one thing that kept me from giving up, from totally collapsing under the weight, was knowing that someone, someone was praying for me!

So thank you!

James 5:16 says “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” As it is working! Prayer works! I have experienced too many answered prayers to think otherwise. 

So if I can follow this tangent right now and offer my two cents worth on the subject of prayer, to anyone reading this, I would say pray for the people around you. Pray for your family, pray for your friends. Pray with intentionality, pray for them and with them. Take the time to ask your friends what they would like for you to pray for. If you have ever wondered how is it that some people can spend so much time in prayer, you may stop wondering after you have created your list and begun praying for others in this way. It is something that I am slowly discovering and it is amazing!

But my greatest and deepest thanks is for Jesus. He rocked my world a few years ago and has continued to do so and I cannot put into words just how grateful I am. I’m no expert, and I have so much to learn about who God is but I do know this, he loves you. He sees you. You matter. You are precious and you are special! There is another bible verse that I really love and it says ‘you are worth more than many sparrows” Matthew 10:31. The context of this verse is that if God looks after the sparrows with such tender care, how much more will he care for you? So I hope this encourages you, gives you hope and just a little more strength to look up and keep pressing on.

I really wish that we all speak more ‘life giving words’ to each other and express our gratitude more. That we pray for each other with more intention and that we live our lives in the freedom that God gives and in gratitude for the gift of life that we have.

With much love,

Dani

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