I just came off of a wonderful weekend away with girl friends. Not just any girl friends. These ladies – some from my past but most in the-here-and-now are the ones who I surround myself with to keep me grounded. I hold each of them near to my heart, as they are the ones who make me feel that I have value. I am humbled that they walk this journey with me, and I am so thankful for the special part each of them play in my life. When we get together, all our different personalities come to the surface and you can imagine the fun we have. They kidnapped me unknowingly (or at least tried to) for a R&R weekend in Tahoe, and before you could say “pass the M&M’s“, Christ’s bond knit us together and the laughter began, the wine was opened, the stories began to spill out, the chocolate began to be consumed and before you know it we began to make another special memory together. These ladies take very good care of me, and this weekend was meant to honor me in a special way when I needed it most. I am so grateful.
Shortly before the drive up the hill to Lake Tahoe (my favorite place on the planet) a new friend, Sara gave me an encouraging note to help lift the burden of a big project we are working on together. It came with some wild flowers and hand delivered by her sweet children with a big hug, and a note that said “…let these wild flowers remind you that our God brings order to wild things and makes rebels into His children.” On the front was one simple word.…”Holiness”.
Sara and I have had conversation about our former lives, and how by God’s grace we are changed women, so the part about making rebels into His children especially hit home with me. Like those wild flowers, I was a bit of a rebel in my past – oh, probably tame by many standards but rebellious towards God nonetheless. My mouth (no filter) and actions (most of which were geared towards attention towards self) sometimes were a reflection of my desire to hold on to some bit of control of my own life and not have to turn everything over to this cosmic killjoy in the sky.
As you can guess, I’m typically the kind of gal that you can warn, “You’d better not run into that brick wall…it’s going to hurt” and I’ll still end up running head-on into it because I somehow don’t believe you. When I was young, I wasn’t exactly listening well to God. Yet He has been so kind to me in that vein and He hasn’t forced Himself upon me. He’s allowed me to walk through life full of myself and often going my own way until I bash into a few walls and finally come running back to His side. There, He enfolds me in His arms with nothing but unconditional love. “He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. for as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear him..” (Psalm 103:10-11)
So there we all sat, gathered on the deck of this beautiful cabin and one friend started sharing some old stories about some of my antics from years ago. Admittedly, we have some pretty funny stories from our younger years – when I wasn’t exactly plugged in to the Holy Spirit. As she spoke there were moments where I cringed. Did I really say that? Ugh. I did what? My main concern was that those in the group that might still be holding on to a thread of misconception that I might possibly have it somewhat together, surely they would be shocked to hear some of the less than holy things that I had done. Again, trying to look better than I was.
But as we walked through the weekend together, and I was loved and encouraged by these precious sisters, it was a sweet reminder of the grace God has shown me. Just like those wild flowers Sara brought me, He has brought order to this wild thing and taken a rebel and turned her into one of His children. My hope is that someday I’ll end up resembling just a inkling of the flip side of the card ….something that I could never achieve on my own – just a tiny glimpse of holiness.
I am so grateful that these ladies water and nourish this wild flower. Thanks girl friends!