Yesterday I was able to worship with the body of Christ for the first time in almost two months.
Greetings and hugs and exclamations of , "Oh, I've missed you!" littered the morning.
Faces I have not seen, people I have not talked to, preaching I have not heard ~ all enveloped me in the most warm and welcoming way.
I sat with my groom and good friends ~ worshiping together through song and prayer.
I enjoyed a good conversation with a new friend in the lobby. (I had to sneak out with Ellie and she had to escape due to a coughing fit.)
I saw the smiles of my girlfriends.
I watched my boys run all over the campus with their friends. (What is it about Sunday morning, donuts, dress clothes, and church property that makes kids go wild, I wonder?!?)
I saw my parents and their friends, and all of them came to say hello and see Ellie.
Tears fell over my cheeks as I was overwhelmed with the goodness of my God as we sang and praised Him.
And something else happened ... I was reminded of how much passion and intensity I have for my sisters in Christ. Each face I saw reminded me how much I enjoy walking alongside these women. Each smile and hug reminded me how much I NEED these women. And when I found out that a sweet sister whom I barely know, but have a true affection for, is hurting and in need of encouragement, all I could think of was, "How can I get to her?"
If I could, I would meet with a different woman every single night of the week. I love listening to their hearts, talking about ridiculous things, debating issues, laughing, hearing what God is doing in their lives, how He is changing them, challenging, shaping them ... I love being invited in ... because I know it is a privilege and not a right. I am so fortunate to have a life filled with women of all ages and stages. Women who love God and desire to know Him more. Women who are willing to share the ugly parts of life as well as the beautiful. Even if we only enjoy one date night a year, it is a wonderful night and the Lord uses it to keep us linked together until we are given the opportunity to meet again.
The Lord has renewed my passion for encouraging and pursuing my sisters in Christ. I feel energized and eager to follow where He is leading and see how I can be a source of joy, enthusiastic support, and compassion to the women he places in my path.
I am so excited I can hardly stand it!
Lord, give me an insatiable desire to pursue You each day. Make me hunger for Your Word so I am equipped to meet the needs of each woman You ask me to serve. And may I always get out of the way, lose my own opinions, and be completely used by You in Your way, in Your time, and for Your purposes. Less of me and ALL of you, Lord.