The past few days of my life have been pretty rough. My first car accident and the death of my sweet cat were among the stuff that has happened, and I've cried more tears in the past few days than I have in a long time. All of this is happening the week of a big Christmas production that I'm very involved in, so I can't help but feel like there's no time for me to pause and process while I run back and forth between work and rehearsals.

In the midst of all this insanity, however, I'm noticing how amazing the people around me are. Coworkers who are normally loud and angry have been softer and kinder to me, offering sympathetic words and simple "I'm sorry"s. Authority figures who are normally strict with me have offered me gentle advice and encouragement. Friends who live far away have been texting me to show me love and support. And my closest friends have been there for me through it all.

This is something I've never experienced before in a time of struggle; up until just recently, I actively pushed people away and tried to impress everyone by how "independent" and "strong" I was. And when I did let people in, it was often just because I wanted attention. As a result, I had very few close friends, and found myself alone during every difficult season. I'm not sure exactly when that changed - maybe it was just a part of growing up and maturing over the years.

As sucky as this week has been, it's been so beautiful and humbling to see other humans gather around me like this. God is opening my eyes to how powerful kindness is - even small simple kind words to someone you barely know can make a difference in their day. People always say that, but this week I'm experiencing how true it is.

The reason I write this post is not so you would feel sorry for me; I just want to stress the importance of loving the people in your life, even if you don't know them well, and letting people in when you need help. Don't let your pride tell you that leaning on others is a sign of weakness; it's actually a sign of humanity.