This morning as I was listening to the words of I Need Thee Every Hour, I thought about how God is always ready to meet my deepest needs, often before I ask or am even aware of them. For the past week or so I have been blessed with an abundance of girl time. It wasn’t really planned to happen all at once…I guess it was just God’s timing. So I’ve had a couple of lunches and even a precious sleepover, a grown-up slumber party. Some of these girls have been my friends for years and years. Others have been more casual friends, but these friendships have been deepened in the last few days. I have even been blessed with a new friend.
When I was getting my degrees I had to lay my friendships down for a while. It was a conscious but difficult decision. I just didn’t have the time. Every day was a school day, and for two years those days included a commute to Stillwater and back. Nights and weekends were for studying, family, and church. There just weren’t enough hours for joining the ladies who lunch. I say that as if girl lunches are a frivolous thing but to me, they are precious. However I had to put them on the back burner even after I got my doctorate. Because after school came a time of getting licensed and growing a psychology practice, although I was able to squeeze in a ladies Bible study for a few years. But life got busy, so I felt I needed to give that up too.
These days I am winding down my career and looking forward to retirement. And I am finding more time for my women friends. And I have gone back to that ladies Bible study. There is just something so special about girl time, the time with trusted friends that allow you to let your hair down and be real. These are unguarded moments, bound by our love for the Lord. When we get together we laugh and we cry. We share our secrets, our hurts, our failures and victories, our fears, and most of all, we share our God. We pray together. We pray for each other and for the families we have. Yesterday a sweet friend showed me a prayer list she carries around on a note card. She has had it for years. I recognized many of the names on that card, including my daughters and grandchildren. I had no idea that she had been praying for them all this time. Another friend has been a mentor and special friend to one of my girls, and I have a special love for her daughter.
As I think about these friendships, I see how God has worked to bring us together. We have all been interconnected even though we may not have known it. It may have seen like chance at the time, but looking back I can see His design. One woman has sweetly pursued time with me. We have a friend in common and the three of us have determined to get together once a month. Another woman has been walking parallel to me many for many years, but for some of those years we were merely acquaintances. At one time she actually lived around the corner. Now I realize the Lord was trying to get my attention. “You need her in your life!” I get it, Lord. A brand new friend hugged me and said how happy she is that God put us together. I look forward to that friendship deepening.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the wonderful women in my family. I know they have special roles in my life, but I actually likethem. There is nothing as special as a day with my daughters and granddaughters. Sisters, nieces, and cousins, and those special women who are no longer with us…God has blessed me with many wise and wonderful women.
So this morning in my prayer journal I wrote a thank you note to God. I thank him for the friendship of godly women. Some friends I get to see every Sunday at church, while others live far away…one even in Kenya. Some I haven’t seen in a long time but I still carry them in my heart. I know I could call on them in a time of need, and they could do the same with me. I have sweet friends I have known since high school, and though I don’t get to see them very often, I still count them as treasured friends. When we get together we pick up right where we left off. These friends nurture my soul. I pray the words of the hymn, “God be with Thee till we meet again.”
I have decided that girl time is essential. I hope to be a better friend and to do a better job of cultivating and maintaining friendships. And I pray that I will be aware when God brings an important relationship right in front of my face. I need my tribe of special women.