For the last 2 weeks I have been playing hostess to the dearest of friends. One of whom I met at college and connected to via Christ, the other in high school through the typical “high school” click. Our click fell away and yet we held on tightly to one another, stubbornly refusing to let go.
For 2 weeks I have been swimming in sleepovers, late night conversations, and major quality time with these women. I have been overwhelmed with love, support, and strength through so many during a season of transition and intense growing pains. It has been so needed. The laughter and encouragement echoes in the various halls and rooms of my 2 bedroom apt. which can seem empty at times. Now it is overflowing with life and love and PEOPLE. God is intentional with the gifts He gives us in each season. I am blessed that my gifts of friendships have extended throughout not just years, but decades of my life. As often as I have tried to keep up my guard and push them away, these women insist on drawing near, placing my hurtful comments on shelves and chalking them up to my lack of knowledge of true love.
They continually demonstrate true love to me.
It is amazing especially since their backgrounds are full of ugly, hurtful, traumatic experiences. It is a miracle that in spite of their horrendous situations, they embraced the sweetness of Christ, and allowed His fragrance to transform their hearts into something beautiful.
I see them and I see the loveliest of roses growing out of broken, dirty, cracked concrete. These roses flourished in spite of the environments they were sown in. In spite of the lack of nourishment. The lack of assistance and care. The lack of love. There was something in them that said “I don’t care if the storms of life beat down on me, if people keep walking by and stepping on me, if the concrete I’m planted in tries its best to keep me from growing. Just because of your attempts to destroy me, I will grow stronger and more beautiful. Just because you said I can’t, I will. And even more so”.
It is resilience. It is strength. It is something I’m realizing not everyone has. And yet I am surrounded by it through these women who foster an environment of strength around me.
I am realizing I don’t always have to be “strong”. I don’t always have to have it together and neither do they. We can take our turns being fragile. We can take our turns being vulnerable. We can take our turns leaning on one another as we journey through life. We are all weak and any resilience we have demonstrated will always fail if it does not come from Christ. Only He is our strength where we are weak. But sometimes He shines through the people in our lives to demonstrate to us His Personhood. Sometimes He provides healing in the midst of storms, laughter in the midst of grief, and joy in the midst of sorrow. Sometimes He awakens us to the gifts we didn’t realize we had all along. And we see that all of the yearning, and waiting and desiring was for not. Because we were already blessed. And free. And healed.