We all arrived at the parsonage at dusk.
As I walked toward the house, I could hear bursts of laughter through the open windows. A smile spread across my face and my spirit sang, anticipating a wonderful evening ahead with these dear ladies. We all have the immense joy of leading Bible studies each week at our church and our hearts have been knit together as a result of this ministry. We love the women we are privileged to serve and we love each other.
Tonight, we gathered to have dinner together, followed by some Bible study.
I walked in and hugged each one…and then proceeding to accidentally step on the tail of our pastor’s cat! The poor thing let out a loud screech, dashed across the room and cowered under a chair, shooting nasty looks in my direction.
It was certainly not an auspicious beginning to the evening. Fortunately, that did not set the tone for things to come. 🙂
We gathered around the dining room table that overlooks the most incredible view of the lakes and the mountains. A refreshing wind carried the sweet smell of lilacs through the wide screen doors as we enjoyed a delicious meal.
Our time together ranged from raucous laughter to celebrating good news, to heartfelt tears as painful trials were shared.
That is what is so precious about these friendships. We don’t wear masks. We are completely real…unafraid to share our joys and heartaches, as we encourage each other to hold on tight to Jesus through it all.
Jesus is the One who binds our hearts together. We are all wildly in love with Him. He has taken each of our broken lives and shown us the stunning beauty of the glorious redemption that only He can give. He is everything to us.
Their faith inspires me every day. They have all been through the fires of affliction; yet have emerged closer to their Savior than ever. I see His likeness in each one of them.
It is an incredible gift to have friends who accept me as I am, who will lend a listening ear, who aren’t afraid to be honest when need be…and who graciously put up with my many “blonde” moments without judgment. 🙂
I arrived at the house tonight extremely tired…but I left uplifted, refreshed, and filled with gratitude. That is the power and beauty of friendship.
My prayer for all of the precious friends God has given me echoes the apostle Paul, when he writes: “Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy .” (Philippians 1:3-4)