This weekend I was blessed to be able to attend a women's retreat hosted by a chruch in Tennessee. This retreat was so very special to me for two reasons. First, my Mom was the speaker and I love being with her anytime! It was fun getting to be roomies for a few days and just enjoy each other's company. The sessions she taught were such an encouragement to me! I probably appreciated them more because I knew how much time and energy she spent preparing and studying for them.
The other highlight of my weekend was seeing my "Iron Girls." A little over 6 years ago, God brought a group of four women together and bound us as friends. They are my Iron Friends as found in Proverbs 27:17- "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." God has used each of them, many times to sharpen my countenance. They have encouraged me, been honest with me, even when there were tough things to say, and they have shared many memories.
I share all of this as a reminder that we must be thankful for our friends! True friends like these girls do not come along every day. In fact, our friendships are a direct result of prayer. At the time God brought all of us together, we were all lonely and needed a true, Godly, heart-connected friend.
Personally, I had just moved and left my Mom, sister, and two other heart friends. I was a young mom with little ones, a husband that was finding his way in a new ministry, and I was so very lonely. I was surrounded by people and yet felt very alone. I started praying, asking God to please just help me find one real friend. He blessed my with three!
In the six years we have all been friends, we have gone through many changes in each of our lives. We have since moved again to our current ministry. One of my chums has moved twice due to some very challenging and unexpected circumstances. One recently moved away from our church in Tennessee as her husband took a pastorate in Virginia. And my final chum is leaving in a few short weeks to begin her new life with her family as missionaries in Uganda. God is busy in our group and I pray that continues. As ministry has now spread us out across the globe, we strive to find ways to stay connected. Friendships like these are too valuable to die. We send "round-robin" messages through Face Book and we will begin a Bible study together as soon as our Uganda Girl gets settled. I am blessed beyond measure and I praise God for my friends!!! If you have friends like these, take a moment and let them know how thankful you are for them. If you do not, ask God to connect you with someone. He will!
How do you stay connected with your friends near and far? Leave me a comment with some ideas. Thank you for stopping by today. God bless!