This past Saturday I had the privilege of speaking at a ladies' brunch at a friend's church here in our community (and if you were there Saturday and thus found your way to this blog then a big "Hello" and "Welcome" to you!). It was a great honor to share God's Word--humbling too. How I hope and pray I was a faithful witness to the glories of God in Christ! My friend tagged along and I am glad; though I knew several ladies there it's nice to have the presence of a good friend to support with prayer during and then with much-needed encouragement after.
Always, always, after I teach or speak I suffer from acute doubt. Maybe not immediately, sometimes even a couple of days afterwards, but it always comes. I will find myself worrying and obsessing almost to distraction over what I should have said and didn't, what I did say and shouldn't have, and all that I said that was dumb or silly or...well, you get the picture. About the time I was indulging in these usual fears and worries, I received a text from another friend who was there Saturday, a text of affirmation and testimony of how the Lord used my words (mine?!??) to bless. My friend probably doesn't have any idea how timely her text was for me but I am thankful for friends who encourage!
Later that same evening yet another friend texted (I love text messaging--anyone else?) to see how the brunch went and expressed full confidence in me (me???!). I texted back confessing zero confidence in myself but that the Lord was faithful. She had prayed for me, she said. I am thankful for friends who pray. The Lord is indeed faithful.
On Friday I cooked a meal for my son's basketball team. Well, to be fair, I cooked most of a meal. Two of the aforementioned friends helped me out just a little: one with a pot of green beans and one with a basket of homemade yeast rolls (with honey butter, yes and amen). My friends were glad, even delighted, to help me out and make me look good in the process.
I am thankful for friends like these I've mentioned and many more I haven't. Friends who will cook a dish or two because I ask, friends who send encouraging texts, friends who give me gifts just because they think of me, friends who love me and love my family and love my boys, friends who let my kids crash at their place while we're out of town, friends who support and encourage, friends who I know I could call no matter the day or the time and they would help with whatever I needed, friends who sharpen me, friends whose passionate pursuit of the Lord inspire my own. Good friends are indeed blessings from the Lord!
To be honest, I don't make friends easily. I really am as much of an introverted hermit as I confess here on the blog. Social situations intimidate me. I tend to retreat to my own society and I'm convinced you prefer just the opposite! It is precisely because of this shy (and sometimes sinful) tendency to keep to myself that I am all the more grateful for those who extend their friendship with such open pleasure. It may sound silly and self deprecating but it's true: I am sometimes surprised when someone truly wants to be my friend.
So, to my friends, and I'm quite certain you know who you are, let me say here that I am grateful for your friendship and for how the Lord has so richly blessed me through you. You encourage me and you make me better as you continually point me to the Friend who sticks closer than a brother: Christ Himself. Thank you for gifting me with your your company, your companionship, and your camaraderie! I am glad we walk this journey together as sisters in Christ. The Lord is so good!