The Gift of Friendship

I recently travelled to Tulsa, Ok to attend a Women’s Conference and joined 3 dear friends for 4 days and nights of ministry and girl time. Now let me paint you a picture, 4 women, sleeping accommodations for a family, luggage, laptops, kindles/nooks, ipods, toiletries, flat irons, many, many pairs of shoes, many outfits and ONE…I repeat ONE bathroom! Do you get the picture? Thankfully we were in the “gathering place” to feed our spirits. If we had been attending some… oh maybe hip-hop concert, the fact that 4 women with all our baggage (both physical and emotional) were in such close proximity for 4 days could have been a diva train wreck! On the contrary, our bond has been strengthened.

Now if you think there were no “spirited conversations”, you are wrong. We are all strong women with varied opinions and not very shy. It was HOT in that suite some of the time.(and not because of menopause) The wonderful thing is that we love and respect each other and most importantly we share a common faith. The truth is we have all chosen to navigate this minefield called life with absolute dependence on our Savior, Jesus Christ.

We have made this journey to Tulsa several times and we are asked repeatedly why we all share a room. Most women have one roommate or even choose to be alone, citing this time as a sacred retreat from work, husbands and children, we choose to treat this concentrated fellowship as a kind of “Sister Boot Camp”. We may or may not participate in physical exercise but our spirits and emotions are strengthened. You don’t get to go to bed “mad” or change rooms. Nope, during this time together we have the privilege of living what we believe…the truth that “love never fails”. We are allowed to arrive at the conclusion that we may disagree on our perception and/or our approach, but our “like precious faith”, is the glue that makes our friendship real.

I have been blessed to have many friends, a somewhat unique thing for many women. Women (even Christian women) seem to have that Eve/curse thing going on. We can be jealous and petty and competitive and gossipy and totally intolerant of others shortcomings. We also categorize people. One thing I’ve learned is simply not to judge. I have no idea why another woman may be doing something that seems just plain crazy to me. What I do know is that we all have a story and believe or not, whether right or wrong that woman has chosen her path based on something. I also have realized that our lives are both purposeful and seasonal. We learn something from every person and every situation. Never discount the importance of the people who have travelled in and out of your life. Some will be with you for a lifetime and even beyond, others only for a season.

Our lives are to be lived, vigorously. We only have one and as someone said “this is no dress rehearsal”. Love and live your life on purpose. It is God’s gift to you, what you do with it is your gift to Him.

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