I find it interesting.
I find it interesting that we all go about our days, go to work, go to school, take care of our children, take care of our husbands, and have the option of not having any deep or meaningful conversations with the people that we spend the most time with.
I find interesting that in the past 2 years with all of our moving,
the people that I've met, the ones who've taken a special interest in me, or made a point to get to know me are also the ones who I've now discovered have been through some real challenging tragedies in their own lives.
I find it interesting that these are the women my heart is drawn toward. These are the women that I have never felt the need to dress-up for, so to speak. I've instantly felt, or known in my heart, that I don't need to pretend anything, or to even be perky or convince them that I'm fine. These are the ones who WANT to know the details, who WANT to know the pain, who WANT to encourage, who WANT to stand by my side, who WANT to know the deepest parts of me and hold my hand as I go through new onslaughts of obstacles and challenges. And these are the women that I WANT to listen to, that I WANT to be with me. They're the ones whose strength is felt the moment you meet them. There's a depth to their person that you recognize almost instantly.
Is it just a depth of hurt that draws me? Is it that morbid? Is it that simple?
No, it's not. It's the depth of wisdom that comes with a depth of pain. It's the depth of character that comes with a depth of heartache. It's the depth of understanding that comes with a depth of sorrow.
I find it interesting that I can open my bible and read this:
"We can rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."
THIS is what I see in these friends.
"After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will HIMSELF perfect, confirm, and strengthen and establish you. To HIM be dominion forever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 5:10-11
THIS is what I see in these friends.
"Consider it pure joy when you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But LET endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be people perfectly and fully developed with no defects, lacking in nothing. If any of you is deficient in wisdom let him ask of the giving God, who gives to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or finding fault, and it will be given to him." James 1:3-5
These traits don't come easy.
Life doesn't come easy.
It hurts......and yet........
Is it possible to find peace? Is it truly possible to develop these traits? Is it truly possible to be content?
"for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME." Philippians 4:11-13
Each woman I meet with a depth of character has begun this process and is in the midst. And this brings me comfort....to not feel like I have to have completed this process yet, but to be IN THE MIDST with these ladies that I meet. What a joy and a gift to have others who are standing here with me, having gone through trials in the past and currently going through their own trials. None of us have been fully developed, but we're on our way.....through Christ who strengthens us......
May we all LET endurance and steadfastness and patience have it's full work......that we may lack NOTHING.