Saturday, September 20, 2014

on fences and banana bread...

we met on a sticky saturday.
i was in florence to visit my boyfriend.
he was helping her and her husband put up a fence in their backyard.
my boyfriend invited me over.
i was little apprehensive.
after all, i've always bit a wee bit awkward when it comes to making new friends.

a long, lasting friendship was forged in the lumber yard of lowe's on about the sixth trip that afternoon.

funny how God answers prayers in the most unexpected places.

after six years, she moved.
to another time zone, no less.
it is hard to make sense of the happy and sad your heart feels in a moment such as that.

it's been almost two years.
for the better portion of that time, my heart was sealed off from approaching new friendships.
don't ask me to explain.
i'm not even sure i understand all of it.

here is what i do know.

this past week, i started a new Bible study.
with twenty-six women.
twenty-six, y'all!
that is not something i take lightly.

and the timing of this study could not be more perfect.
we are studying children of the day by beth moore.
a study on first and second thessalonians.

the study starts with a sharp change in the relationship of paul and barnabas.
and then it weaves together how the friendship with paul and silas and timothy was formed.

sometimes we are so upset by an unwelcomed change in a relationship that we are blind to the next great relationship God has for us.

this truth hit me square in the chest.

i've been mourning the physical closeness of one friendship and shielding myself from closeness that new friends bring.

my best friend and i are just that.
best friends.
despite the distance.

but that doesn't mean that i have to quit making new friends.

i jokingly told her she could make me some banana bread.
she surprised with me a loaf on wednesday.

we met in the back of the sanctuary on the weekend her husband was chosen as the new youth minister at our church.
we have the privilege of serving high school girls together on sunday evenings.
after a year of meeting together and serving together, my heart is opening wide to the relationship only He could purpose.

she is one of the dearest women in my life.
the renewal my heart needed was found in the midst of an unwanted change.
yet, it has become one of the sweetest.

what began as an answered prayer eight years ago continues to be shaped and molded by the One who knows my heart. 
i stand in awe of all the people He places in my life and how He fashions these friendships to build His kingdom here on earth.

though she may live far away, i am blessed with a best friend who loves me and knows me and accepts me.  her talent never stops amazing me.  her honesty and love are two of the biggest gifts.  

and i am blessed with a friend who serves together and prays together with me.  her laugh is contagious.  and her heart is made of gold.

one should be so lucky.

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