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They were left as gifts outside our front door. Pencil scratches on folded paper with sporadic splashes of color adhered, awaiting our arrival and discovery.  They were received with  a warm reception, with mumbling lips deciphering the jumbled words, that would later be tucked away into the memory box for safe keeping.

Sweet as the gestures seem, it is disheartening. The same hands that scribbled kindness and compliments across those scraps of paper were the same hands that just a few days earlier were snatching and tearing. They left her that day tear stained and in disbelief. Just as they had a couple of weeks before.

I found myself  fumbling for those words that would help to make the moments less bitter. Trying to explain to her that this world is fallen, that we are all skin scrapped and bruised, and that sadly, yes, sometimes we even purposefully knock each other down.

I’ve had to bite my tongue and watch, for these are lessons that I can not teach her.  I can help to guide her, yes. Point out the wanted qualities in others, sure.  But these are lessons that scars must be endured in order to understand. It is the withstanding of the tender brokenness that will make her wiser. She must learn to navigate friendships with a compass that holds steady, one that will in fact point her to the sweetest souls and truest friends.

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