First, as always, great post! We were talking about writing strong leads in my writing class and the lead you used certainly pulls the reader. The anecdote about Steve was great—he sounds like a great friend!
Second, thank you for sharing such a vulnerable topic. I've always found you to be a great friend, and I'm sure if you ask yourself now, "who would call you in a bind?" There are a number of people that would put you on their short list. :)
In addition, I think that it's great that you asked God to help you become a better friend. What a selfless prayer and I know that God will answer. And it's also a prayer that we should all pray too!