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Faithful Friendships

Sometimes women are not very straightforward. On occasion we can be catty or rude. So maybe this explains why, at one point in my life, I actually did not enjoy having women as friends.

Maybe there was just too much drama.

But guys, on the other hand — they were a different story. So easy! What I saw is what I got. They were always my very dear friends.

Until, well …

I signed up to go on a week-long retreat deep in the heart of Texas very early in my married life. Little did I know that my entire M.O. would be so radically changed.

I signed up to go on a week-long retreat deep in the heart of Texas very early in my married life, before I had four children (all of which would happen to be girls!), and little did I know that my entire M.O. would be so radically changed.

A pastor along with his wife were the keynote speakers. He spoke first, then she followed  (and by the way, she looked like a very normal and reasonable person). She began by pouring out tales about her women’s ministry and all the wonderful things she did with them and for them. She said they had grown incredibly close over the years and formed super-strong bonds.

She said women friends will be your support system as you grow older and encounter bad health, or if your husband gets itchy, or your kids go sideways, or if and when things become just less than ideal.

She said there is nothing like a band of sisters to rally around you and pray for you during these trying times. They will boost your spirit, she said, and encourage your heart like no other.

I looked behind me to see the person she was addressing, and much to my surprise, she was speaking to me.

To my rather skeptical ears, all I could think was, Hmmm, well, maybe that’s good for you! 

After her talk was over, she came walking toward me and said, “You are going to have a big impact on women!”

I looked behind me to see the person she was addressing, and much to my surprise, she was speaking to me.

I said, “What?”

She said, “Yes, you. God has inspired me to tell you that you are going to have a great love and heart for God’s daughters.”

I found it very hard to hear, much less believe. But as we spoke, she asked if she could pray for me.

I said, “Sure.” I said that mostly just to be nice, since I thought it might be awkward to refuse her request.

When she prayed, though, I felt a deep love wash over me. That is all that I can say.

Nothing else feels like Christmas, and your grandmother’s embrace, and fireworks, and peace, and rock solid stillness, all at the same time: just God.

I knew it had to be God, for nothing else feels like Christmas, and your grandmother’s embrace, and fireworks, and peace, and rock solid stillness, all at the same time: just God.

Years later, as I was sitting at a table with a ring of beautiful women encircling it like jewels, I began to recall how I had gotten to know these gals. Each woman had a story, a passion, and a deep love for God. And I had somehow met each one of these precious souls in connection with, of all things, a Bible study that, by God’s grace, I had started in Washington, D.C about 20 years ago. To this day, it is still ministering to the hearts and souls of women in the nation’s capitol.

I finally knew what that speaker meant. Young or old, happy or sad, through the good and the bad, this gift of women friends — friends connected at the deepest level; the heart and spirit level — are truly God’s gift to me.

She knew this and I pass it on to others I meet: It takes more than just a village to make life work. It takes the Body and we are all in it together.

Eph: 4:4-6:

“One body and one Spirit,

As you were also called to the one hope of your call;

One Lord, one faith, one baptism;

One God and Father of all,

Who is over all and through all and in all.”

Founder of the Georgetown Women’s Bible Study, an interdenominational study group, the author has taught the Bible for over 30 years.