Sending my loving greetings! It’s been another of those whirlwind weeks! Good in so many ways, yet as I get older I notice my stamina sagging! I know I’m not alone, as I hear that in conversations so very often.
I returned last night from a retreat where I was privileged to present a breakout session based on my new book. It was such joy, not only to be able to do that, but also to connect again with friends I had made last year, and to find some extraordinary new friends! I want to tell you about them!
Following dinner the first night, I was walking back to my room. My hip was hurting…I know that’s because I am not used to walking up and down hills, over gravel paths, etc…, but as I limped down the hill I heard a voice asking, “Ma’am, can we help you to your room?” Two lovely ladies were approaching me, so I stopped and asked them “Why? Was I limping?” “Yes, you were, and we thought we could help you!” I hadn’t thought it was noticeable, but I was wrong. I asked them, “How were you going to help me?” and they replied, “Well, we would have picked you up and carried you if we had needed to!”
We all laughed, and began a conversation. How can it be that we can find a connection almost immediately sometimes? I learned a lot about them in just a few minutes, and we prayed together and hugged in a beautiful moment. My prayer was “Oh God, thank you for my limp!”
They may not have literally carried me, but they carried me emotionally. Encouraging me, wanting to be with me, always saving a place beside them and including me in their activities. One of the two had never been to a women’s retreat, or conference, and it was pure joy to watch her open up and bloom in learning and worship. As we said goodbye yesterday morning, there were tears and I know I have made some lifelong friends. I thank God; and I’m still wrapped in the memory of the precious fellowship we experienced.
I always treasure the connections I am blessed to make at women’s events. This year was no exception. Meeting up with other friends who welcomed me back with open arms, attended my breakout session, bought my books and prayed with and for me. We enjoyed meals together and promised to get together during the year!
So as I’ve been pondering about the people in our lives, I’d like to share something from my book; the segment called “Connections”. “I am deeply touched to consider how wonderful it is to explore with joy and thanksgiving the connections God sends our way. 1 Corinthians 12 talks a lot about the body of Christ and how we are all individuals, but yet a part of something so much greater. ‘For as the body is one and has many members but all ten members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.’ 1 Corinthians 12:12. I also rejoice to read Verse 18, ‘But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.‘ These connections, these relationships, are not by accident and I am very grateful for what He has pleased to do for us.”
Last week I talked about how important it is for us to notice those around us, to offer assistance, to watch. Today I want to say to Carol and Donna, “Thank you for noticing me! You have blessed me with your loving attention.”
And to all of you who read my words, I thank you, because you do mean so much to me. May we keep on keeping on, in gratitude.