When I got the text with a picture of my friend’s back porch dripping with wisteria and the invitation to “come” I was on the tail end of a stomach bug that had wiped me out and my initial response was … no way! But because I was challenging myself to “Thirty Days of Happy” I reconsidered. On many occasions, I’ll hop a plane to Tulsa for twenty-four hours of catching up. We have it down, and our time together never disappoints. I looked at the flights and saw that I could leave early on Tuesday morning, have lunch, coffee and wine and get back home that night and sleep in my own bed! It was a plan.
After picking me up at the airport we headed straight to Utica Square. It was absolutely breathtaking! Dogwoods and rebuds were in full bloom! We grabbed a cup of coffee, made ourselves comfortable on a bench surrounded by tulips, and began catching up. I think in a span of 15 minutes we had talked about aging, kids, grandkids, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the most delicious thing we had eaten lately. It was amazing!
We met one of her daughters and a grandson around the corner and continued the conversation over a delicious lunch at Stonehorse Cafe. I loved watching my friend with her grandson!
Then we headed to the wisteria. It covered her patio and the smell…it was intoxicating! Such a beautiful home and I always love my time spent within its walls. We continued to pour out our hearts over coffee, what the Lord has been showing us, passages of scripture that have been speaking to us, new books we are enjoying, savoring the time we had together.
What a beautiful gift the day was and so refreshing!
But this is the thing…I almost missed this gift of friendship. Years ago, when we first met, I almost let the enemy steal this friendship from me. You see, my friend is a strong, beautiful woman. On fire for the Lord, passionate, and I was intimidated. She had a bigger and more beautiful home than me, she had more education than me, she was more. I was working through some of my own insecurities, learning who I was in Christ, but still not believing that it was true. I almost walked away, scared I would not be enough. That who I really was would be found lacking.
The enemy of our souls does not want us to have those divine connections that encourage. That call us on. That call us higher. He is a liar.
As you read this, is there a relationship in your life that comes to mind? Somebody that you have met that maybe the Lord wants to use in your life to grow you up? To encourage you? Are you playing it safe spiritually?
May I challenge you to open yourself up to the possibility of new friendship? Maybe you have been playing it safe. Maybe you are even avoiding friends altogether, afraid you might come up short. It is worth the risk.
As I type these words, I wonder, do I really want to put myself out like there like this? Why don’t I just write a pretty little post about our visit and how much fun we had with some pretty picture of my friend’s pretty house. But I can’t. I know the importance of telling our stories. That by telling our stories it gives others permission to tell theirs.
I sat on my porch just today with a beautiful young lady and heard some of the lies that the enemy had been telling her and the thing about it is this, they might sound a little different but they all have a familiar ring, “you are not enough.” But as believers in Jesus Christ, we are more than enough! Because He is enough!
One of the books that I took with me to share with my friend is Captivating by John & Stasi Eldridge. I had read it years ago but was encouraged by another friend to pick it up again. (There it is again, a FRIEND encouraged me to pick it back up) Oh my goodness…so timely!
“Our God finds you lovely. Jesus has moved heaven and earth to win you for himself. He will not rest until you are completely his. The King is enthralled by your beauty. He finds you captivating.”
My friend, you are captivating and He is enthralled with your beauty. My heart’s desire is that we would all begin to believe the truth of God’s word. That we would trust Him. That we would step out and embrace all of the beautiful friendships that He has waiting!