Sometimes all you need is a HUG and that’s exactly what Sabrina Giles from Shelby, NC wanted to give out for free to all who needed one. Saturday (January 5th) Sabrina stood uptown Shelby holding a sign that read “Free Hugs,” as she waved at passing cars. This isn’t something new for Sabrina, she’s been giving out free hugs in Cleveland County since last year and she plans to continue hosting at least 6 more “free hug” events this year.
As she stood in uptown Shelby this past Saturday, many strangers took Sabrina up on her offer for a free hug. You truly never know what people are going through and a hug is that one gesture that lets someone know that they’re not alone and that someone cares for them. As we enter in this new year, what a great reminder this is to share love and kindness to those we come in contact with. Although you can’t always see it, everyone is going through their own personal battles and it’s nice to know that a complete stranger cares.
I’m really big on the importance of a hug.
In 2010 I wrote a blog about the healing that follows a hug. I had gone through a tough season in my life and it was a hug that let me know I would make it... a physical embrace encouraging me to not throw in the towel. Below is my blog post from that time in my life. It's raw but it's real....(and reading it takes me back to every emotion I felt during those times... I'm so thankful to God for bringing me full circle back home to North Carolina) To this day I'm so thankful for those friends in my life who walk up and just embrace me when I need it most. May this also be a great reminder to be present and any chance you get... share a hug with someone. You may never know how it will impact their life.
A down south girl in a big city equals a million distractions. I’ve been in NYC for almost a year now and the hardest thing to conquer is time. There is always something to be done and my calendar has more graffiti than the NYC road signs. Somewhere between my odd work schedule and delirium I’ve lost contact with people that mean the most to me.
When a hug is all you need:
Back in 2009 (It seems so long ago now- but the pain still hurts like yesterday) on Jan 22, 2009 to be exact I was let go from my job and after that the negatives piled higher while my life was on a downward spiral. Reality proved that noise from the crowd leaves when you no longer have anything to offer and even the friends you stood by the longest sometimes can’t endure the storm. I still remember the pain my heart was going through… I lost EVERYTHING.. anything that was of comfort for me was gone. I was angry, sad, humiliated, and terrified on what I was supposed to do next. The only advice that was given was “pray about it” and to this day I don’t understand why those overly religious – couldn’t hear the holy spirit if it was screaming – over sanctified people can’t just pray FOR YOU or use discernment and shut UP… you know what to do but you need more than “just pray.”
I know folks mean well but during that time in my life it wasn’t working for me. I couldn’t hear God, I couldn’t feel joy, I could barely get my butt out of bed. The friends before this moment had vanished… Why God, is all I asked.
It’s always when you least expect it that God just slams blessings in your life, as undeserving as I was God blessed me with a friend whose friendship to me was better than silver or gold. I knew the second I met him that we would have something in common because we just “got each other” – not on relationship levels but something deeper – A true friendship. I honestly believe our spirits identified with the same fight and the same victory… God blessed me with my friend DB.
When you first make a new friend you definitely don’t wanna play your crazy card but that’s exactly what I did with DB. I cried and vented almost everyday about how I’ve been dealt a bad card and instead of acting like everyone else in my life – cheering my pity party on he just listened… he didn’t add his two cents… he just listened and then he hugged me. Not a one handed – or pat on the back – but an embrace.
It was at that very moment that I realized the healing power in something as simple as a hug. When DB hugged me – he was telling me without words that I’m here for you, I got your back, and everything’s gonna be ok. HE DIDN’T EVEN REALLY KNOW ME… but he KNOWS God and he wouldn’t say “pray about it” he would speak faith given things in my life. Faith is the things hoped for not seen. He would speak words that my spirit knew all to well… he spoke LIFE, he spoke JOY, and daily (and I mean daily) he cheered me on!
Day after day DB poured stories in my life. His testimony! Without realizing each day I got a little stronger. Then – out of know where job offers came my way. With new offers came a new fear… CHANGE – again!! I had my first out of state job interview and guess who picked me up out of state for my interview. My best friend DB. God had placed him in the same exact city and place at the same time I was out in this no name place of no where. God loves me and I’m proving that angels do exist and walk this earth.
Around 4 months after meeting DB, he had encouraged me to the point I was motivated again. Before I knew it my bags were packed and I moved in faith to NYC. I had no place to live, had no real job … just a part time street team position … but I was HAPPY!! DB and I talked every day !! God continued to bless me and God continued to bless DB and then we would skip a day talking … a couple days… and then weeks. I’ve worked my way up from a street team member, to phone screener, to co producer, to executive producer for the Nick Cannon Morning show. My homesickness would take over most days but recently my sleep deprived mind almost forgets the times where things were simple, slow, and enjoyable.
This Morning I FB’d that God sets out blessings for you each day and its up to you to find them and to claim them. I’ve had an extremely difficult week but I reminded myself to speak positively… and today… after claiming my blessing… God blessed me with the one thing he knew money couldn’t buy. the one thing words couldn’t mend, today God blessed me with a visit in NYC – at my job- from my best friend DB.
– There he was… standing right before my eyes as if God was just reminding me to ask and I shall receive… reminding me that he is an on time God and will take care of your needs right on time. Right in front of me was my best friend… arms reached out… no words spoken… BEAR HUG…
Wrapped in the embrace … the cold NY wind couldn’t cut at my heart… I was protected… I was healed… no longer homesick… no longer stressed… but healed in the embrace of a hug.
Tell me that Gods not real… and I’ll tell you how he hears my cries. Tell me that God doesn’t care… and realize that God sent my best friend all the way to NYC in perfect timing. Tell me… that God doesn’t have everything in control… and I’ll tell you … how despite of my sins… the times I should have been harmed but was protected… I will tell you of the God I know… my best friend… my provider… my protector… my peace… my comforter… and the best gift giver I know.
Be encouraged and know that God knows where you’re at… and in the darkest hour he will send a comforter… God will never leave you nor forsake you. If God places you in front of someone … HUG THEM… don’t ask if you can… don’t explain why… just embrace them… let them know that you are THERE… you are RIGHT THERE… and that embrace will let them know that everything’s going to be ok.
My friend DB was only in NYC for 2 hours… he is now safely flying back to his home in Orlando… it’s amazing how 2 hours can change your entire day, week, month.
Thank you DB for being such a great friend!!! May God continue to bless you one hundred fold and open supernatural doors for you that no man can shut. Jeremiah 29:11 (and as we always say… look what he brought us from) In HIS love, I love you…