It became a moment of laughter for the two of us. We could not have orchestrated such meet-ups, nor could we have predicted how God would use scheduled conference breaks to bring two strangers together. But after four days of unplanned run-ins in front of the door marked “Women,” we acknowledged these were no accident, and surely God had a plan we were unaware of at the moment.
As weeks and months passed, each of us sharing bits of our lives, we came to understand how connected and parallel our journeys had become. We walked our journeys together…..
sharing our fears
praying for strength
crying out for understanding
laughing through adversity
challenging each other to surrender
grieving unspeakable losses
sharpening each other’s faith
celebrating even the tiniest victories
And we became stronger, together. A tapestry of friendship, woven with grace, knotted with mercy and made beautiful through imperfections.
There was a time when doing “together” wasn’t something I did very well.
Huddling up in my space and doing my thing was less consuming, more comfortable and safe. Sharing space with others wasn’t always what I wanted. Questions of doubt plagued my thinking and kept me frozen and fearfully content with “alone.”
What if they do not like who they see?
What if I can’t trust them?
What if they find out my life is often messy?
All too often, the very thing we don’t want is the very thing we most need.
Have you been there friend? Alone is a lonely place to stay for too long.
Stepping out into vulnerable and extending the hand of friendship can be a scary space to enter and a risky place to remain, especially when we get bruised or even betrayed. The tendency to withdraw and give up can seem less painful, but in the end the pain is a powerful kind of lonely.
God meant for us to do life together, and this weaving of lives cannot be accomplished apart from the risk.The promise of together can never be fulfilled apart from the possibility of pain. Click To Tweet
How thankful we should be for the unlikely and unusual God-woven moments, when we did not possess the will nor the courage to enter into “together.” When it was all Him, safely uncovering our vulnerable places, never judging and always handling with care.
Like me, I’m sure your life is filled with many sweet friends who sprinkle joy and happiness across your days. And for those who step into our world and linger, the richness they bring to our lives can hardly be expressed-
They have surrounded us with mercy and draped our souls with forgiveness.
They have showered us with grace and freed us to extend the same.
They have helped us wade in the beauty born from vulnerability.
They have continually whittled us of self and filled us with community.
And when we’ve been bent and bruised and torn…..their unconditional love has been a mending balm.
They have softened and strengthened and sharpened us.
And in this divinely constructed weaving, we’ve learned the truth…
of how much more wonderful life is when God weaves women TOGETHER!
Before you leave…
Be sure to visit our Featured Fresh Find – April Knapp, as she challenges us to be more intentional in allowing ourselves to feel and experience our God-given emotions in a healthy, non-controlling manner. She shows how easy it is to buy into the lie that our emotions are bad, and how when allowed to take root, that lie can bring chaos and destruction to our soul. This is for anyone who needs to come out of hiding and as April so beautifully states….let our emotions fly us into the embrace of Jesus.
Won’t you please visit April’s and leave her some Fresh Market Friday encouragement…because we all need a little encouragement!
If you’re new to Fresh Market Friday, you can find more about the community here.Sharing our passionate pursuits on #FreshMarketFriday! Join the #linkup! Today is Friendship! Click To Tweet
And here’s another fresh piece of goodness…
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Marriage Matters Series Continues…
You’re invited here every Tuesday in September for the Marriage Matters Series! Come prepared to be encouraged and strengthened as my friends Lori Schumaker, Crystal Storms and Denise Hughes share some great wisdom and insight to help us get through the unhappy times, focus on the positives, breathe life in our marriage and find lasting joy in a long-term view!
And it get’s even better – Denise J. Hughes will be giving away 2 copies of her new Word Writers study on Ephesians, just in time for the online study which begins October 24th, and Ruth Schwenk will be giving away a copy of her new book, For Better or for Kids to 1 lucky reader.
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