It was a simple text. Nothing special — at least, nothing overtly special. I just wanted to send it to him because, well, I think we’re close.

“Happy Thanksgiving, Carver!”

Carver is a coworker of mine — one I’ve gotten close to over the past several months. He’s around my age, though still single. We get along really well, and he comes over to my house pretty regularly now. I wasn’t going to see him on Thanksgiving, so I wanted to send him a quick greeting. But I also wanted to make sure he knew something else.

“Your friendship is one of the many great blessings in my life.”

Carver has become one of my closest friends at this point. He’s about up there with John. He knows about my SSA, he’s also close to my wife, my daughter calls him “Uncle Carver,” and he’s one of the guys I’ll now call when things get tough.

All of this initially caused me to panic as we got closer. As you may recall, I haven’t had the best luck with not screwing up close male friendships. I also remember how badly my mistakes with John messed things up.

So, earlier this year when I began to get closer to Carver and started seeing those all too familiar triggers, I went on full red alert for codependency. For a few weeks, I was worried I would have to cap the closeness of this new relationship.

I absolutely refuse to fall into codependency again — especially with a coworker. With whom I share an office.

It would have been a terrible situation.

However, God was gracious to me. Instead of falling into a codependent city as I’ve usually done, I was able to keep my feet on solid ground and avoid the same old trap. And I am so thankful for that, too.

Shortly after my escape from codependency, Carver went through a tough point in his life and I was able to come alongside him and walk with him through it. And I was able to do this with a clear head. I wasn’t distracted by my own feelings about our relationship — instead, I was focused on being there for him and pointing him to Christ.

Upon sending the text on Thanksgiving morning, I took a moment to reflect and thank God for preventing me from falling into the same old trap. It would have been easy. It would have been familiar.

Yet God was merciful on me. And a little bit later, Carver texted me back.

“Thanks, Dean! And the feeling is mutual. Your friendship is incredibly special to me. It is a huge blessing. Also, you have been there for me a lot. Thank you so much for that also.”

Life may be tough sometimes. But this Thanksgiving, I was reminded that I indeed have so may blessings to be thankful for.

How was your Thanksgiving last week? Despite any emotional or relational struggles, what are some emotional and relational things you’re thankful for this year?

* Photo courtesy jal33, Creative Commons.

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