I say "our" because if it were not for the belief that all of you had in me, I NEVER would have been able to do this! You have cried with me, prayed with me, listened to me complain and cheered me on the entire way. I am forever indebted to each and every one of you. There were so many times that I wanted to give up and just quit, but you would NOT have it! You believed in me like no one else ever has.
I have learned much by going back to school, but I have learned just as much by getting to know all of you. You have shared experiences with me that I can never learn in a book. You have taught me a language that cannot be taught in a classroom. It is the language of “True Friendship”! True Friendship is something that I have never really experienced until God led me to NOTH. I still have no idea how I ever wandered into your lives, but I believe that it was God Himself that placed each of you into my life. Most of you I will never meet on this earth, but I know you like I know no other person. I know what you think, I know what you feel. I know how big your hearts are and I also know that you believe in the power of prayer. You have proven this to me time after time.
This road has been a long crooked one with many uphill battles. I struggled, but have never felt alone. When I was afraid I ran to you, when I was ready to quit, I looked to you for guidance. When I thought that I could not go any further, somehow you seemed to know and you reached out in love and friendship.
I have shared my heartaches and struggles knowing that my secrets were safe with you. I have learned to look deep inside the heart of a person without just looking at the outside. I have done this and as I have, I have been pleasantly surprised at what I have discovered. I discovered that we are all so uniquely ourselves and yet we are one, as we are mankind.
I have met some of you, spoken to others on the phone, received cards, letters and even flowers, but more importantly, I have felt loved and appreciated. For once in my life I have found freedom. I have found the freedom to be me. No one has judged me or looked at my faults; instead you have looked at me with love and friendship.
Notoverthehill.com has become such a special place in my heart. It is not the website, but the people that touch the keys on the keyboard and become alive with every stroke of the key. We breathe and we live, together in harmony. NOTH is a place where dreams really do come true. All prejudices are forgotten and men and women are free to love and be loved without the restrictions of society. Oh we have boundaries, but it is boundaries that we have chosen for our lives that were not forced on us by a world gone mad. Our boundaries are ours to set and ours to change. What more can we as humans ask for? What more can we want?
Deep within each of us is the desire to rise above what is expected of us and become what we were meant to be. NOTH has given us the freedom and the power to reach for our dreams and see them become a reality. I know this to be true as I hold this diploma in my hand. I know that I am finally free to be me and it is such a great feeling. It has been a long road, but thanks to you it turned from a dark lonely road to a bright sunny path lighted by the love of friendship.
I am not finished. I have only begun to reach for the stars and as I do, I am sure that there will be bleak moments when I want to throw in the towel; it will be on those days that as I struggle, I will once again find the encouragement that I will need to go another day. It will be then that I will once more be reminded of just how loved I am as you reach out to me in friendship.
More than that, I want to be the friend to each of you that you have proven that you could be to me. If I can do that, then I really will have accomplished something which degrees are not given for, “A True Friend!”
I have begun my B.A. program and it will take me another two years to finish it. That seems like such a long time, but as I look back on the last two years and the support that you have given me, I believe that I just might make it.
Thank you so very much my dear, dear friends. I love you so much. I just wish that I could do justice to my feelings for you, but the pen cannot write words that cannot be spoken, nor does it need too, because I believe that you already know. That’s what real friends accomplish, they intertwine their lives and as they weave themselves into each other’s hearts they just somehow know what so many others will never feel. That is what you have given me, something so sacred that it cannot even be expressed because to do so would lessen its value.
Thank you again for not only believing in me, but for teaching me to believe in myself. It was that belief that helped me to overcome each hurdle that sprang up along the path. Without you, none of this would have happened and I would not know the joy that this accomplishment has brought into my life, nor would I know what it is like to finish what I started and finish in style. It feels great!
May God bless each and every one of you. May you have all your needs met and may those that you love the most be ever near your heart. Once again, from the depths of my very soul, “THANK YOU!”
Tags: College Friendshipcour Age Belieflovedeg Reediploma