|Colton's Steakhouse, comfort food at its finest.|
She had no idea.
Even though we had spent time talking on the phone a few days prior to our lunch date, she had no idea how much I was really hurting. She had no idea that I hadn't really eaten much for days, and that even the thought of food made me nauseous. As I stared at the bucket of peanuts on the table, I tried so hard not to let the tears fall.
And then she walked up to the table.
My dear friend of 16 years who knows me so well smiled as she gave me the warmest hug ever, and it was all over. The tears came. My thoughts and fears came bubbling up out of my heart in words that I could only say to a friend who I knew accepted me. She allowed me to voice my doubts, fears and questions about my future without judgment. She offered no easy solutions, no "this is what I think you should do, Teresa." Nope. She just listened. With warmth, love, compassion, trust, and grace. Because that's what bosom buddies do . . . they believe in us no matter what, and extend to us unconditional love and grace. By the end of the meal, I felt so much better. I was renewed and strengthened once again in my faith. Sometimes a meal with those we love does as much to feed our soul as it does to nourish our body.
How incredibly thankful I am for the wonderful friends God has blessed me with over the years. Friends who have been with me through the highs and lows of life, the joys and sorrows, the blessings and the losses, the victories and the defeats. Close friends . . . bosom buddies. Those who continually point me to Jesus in every season of life. I am reminded over and over each day that we need one another.
We need to have friends.
And we need to be a friend.
We need friends who encourage us and extend grace to us during times of testing and questioning.
And we need to be the kind of friend who encourages others and extends grace also.
Because everyone has a story, a struggle, a burden that is too heavy to carry, and everyone needs grace.
The incredible gift of grace. Where would we be without it?
Grace is the free and unmerited favor of God and is demonstrated by forgiveness and salvation.
Grace is the love and kindness of God shown to all of us.
Grace is love that cares and stoops and rescues.
Grace is extravagant demonstrations of care and favor.
Grace is most needed and best understood in the midst of suffering and brokenness.
Grace transforms our desires, motivations and behavior.
Grace brings life and strengthens the heart.
Grace is unconditional love.
How thankful I am for the love and grace of God!
God's grace has been with me and my family every day and in every circumstance over the years. His grace has always been there in every time of need. His grace has restored and strengthened each one of us in unimaginable ways. We are a picture of God's healing power and His Amazing Grace. And even when things don't make sense, we have learned to rest in the grace of God.
When I began this blog journey 2 months ago, I really had no idea the direction it would take. I had topics and titles in mind that I wanted to explore. I wanted to tell the stories of God's grace and faithfulness in our family for my children and grandchildren to read and remember. I wanted to brag on God, and I wanted to have it written down for all to see. And my hope and prayer was that anyone reading about these "pearls" - these stories of pain becoming beauty - would be encouraged and inspired in their own life situations. I truly did not expect this to become a daily/weekly journal of my current life events. And I certainly never expected to be writing about the twists and turns and questions and confusion of the past couple of months. But you know what?
I think this is exactly what the Lord had in mind. Through each season of life, we all have unexpected opportunities to experience the gift of God's grace. And the gift of friendship. We need both.
So . . . kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, family, friends near and far/old and new, please be encouraged today with this post no matter your age. Please, be a friend - a true friend. The friends that God brings into your life are gifts - they need you and you need them. You will have a few bosom buddies in your life - treasure them.
Take them to lunch.
Listen with your heart.
Be the world's biggest encourager. Use words.
Care and stoop and rescue.
Be honest and loyal.
Extravagantly demonstrate your care for them.
Pray with them and for them.
Accept the grace of God for yourself.
And then extend the gift of grace to all you meet.
And so, my precious friends, because of your love, acceptance, support and encouragement, I consider myself to be one very rich lady! You are my heart. Thank you once again for your prayers.
May The Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May The Lord show you His favor and give you His peace.
|God's grace is enough, even in our weakness. Beautiful pearls are in the making.|