a hug is a simple, yet powerful, action. it can be a greeting among old friends who haven't seen each other in ages (felicia and christina), or friends you see on a consistent basis. it can be a sign of help and support, a shoulder to cry on. they can be an encouragement and reassurance.
growing up, there was the sweetest old lady at my church. she was like a grandma to everyone. she was and still is one of the strongest women i have known, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. every week i made sure to get my betty bender hug. she hugged with a strength that 1. was surprising to have coming from a sweet little old lady, and 2. let you know everything was going to be okay. it like set the tone for my whole week. when i got baptized, her and her husband gave me this wind chime that i still keep in my room. (i freaked out on a friend when she was helping me clean my room and asked if she could get rid of it)
then i started going to restore. it took a while for me to find a "replacement" for my betty bender hugs. (although, let'e be honest, there's no replacement for special hugs like that) but i found my weekly hugs from dale. he is a great, godly man. i met him because he and his wife are in the same small group as my parents. his hugs were a different kind of reassurance. his hugs were a bit softer, but still strong. they let me know i had a friend i could talk to. but now he is in new mexico for a new job.
i haven't found a replacement for my weekly dale hugs, but i trust that i will. hugs on a sunday morning can set the tone for a whole week. tonight, i went to small group with my mom, and it was so great to hugs from all the people there. they have all be great friends and role models for me, and are my adopted families when i'm at church alone. i know that they are people i can always count on.
(plus the guy i like may or may not be the son of one of these families)
i know i've said before that my favorite part of baptisms is the hugs after the person comes up out of the water. it's where you see so much happiness and being proud of them for taking that public step.
this one of my all time favorites. my friend nichole was able to be in the water as her dad got baptized. this one still makes me want to cry from happiness.
my other favorite kinds of hugs, are the ones from my best friends. they are the hugs that last for a few minutes at least, and have all of your strength put in to them. the ones that say "i'm so happy to see you". i haven't had a hug like this in forever, and i can't wait to get one again.
i am such a fan of hugs. they are such a simple action, yet mean so much.