A Letter to My Favorite Sister Friends Ever (HINT: if you have ever been a Stringing Pearls Bible Babe in any way, shape, or form…I’m talking to YOU):
You know how there’s that saying, “She’s a woman of few words”?
Yeah. Well, whoever “she” is…I’ve never met her. 😉
I mean, that has certainly NEVER been said about me (and this post will prove that, sorry…).
AND it hasn’t been said about any of you either!
Verbose. Wordy. A little too hyperbolic. Yeah. That’s us when we get around this table of ours we lovingly call “BS” (Bible Study, people. Sheesh, move your mind up! 😉 ). There is very little that I can think of that makes my heart happier than a lively gaggle of girlies yakking it up around said table together about life, and specifically spiritual life with Jesus!
Because one thing has become abundantly clear to me this session: life around the Bible study table matters. It defines our people and our relationship to them. It gives us a sense of belonging. It provides a space in time and place to rest our souls with sisters we trust and it blesses us with opportunities to serve each other. The table, sweet friends, is where it’s at. And somehow, it’s magic.
“Woohoo!” (Oh Margaret Feinberg, we DO love you…! 😉 )
We each bring a solid support leg to our table. Without each leg in place, the table doesn’t feel quite right. It can function, for the most part, but it’s far more stable with all of us holding our unique seat, set by God with a royal place setting meant only for the one seated in that spot.
My favorite tablescapes are the ones with vintage or super unique table cloths and each setting has a different plate and mismatched flatware. I adore different glasses and mugs. A vase with wildflowers and sunflowers just makes it all the better. Every single thing is different and unique in its own right, but gorgeously perfect nonetheless.
Just like you and you and you…
If there’s one thing we can say about doing life around the BS Table, it’s that we are never bored, never at a loss for words, and NEVER at a loss for love. These seven years have been so full of wonder, haven’t they? Never in a million years could we have put ourselves together as a cohesive, tight-knit group of sister friends without God’s divine intervention. Sure, some of us were friends beforehand, and many of us attend the same churches and schools. And yet…we couldn’t have all found each other without God.
OH how like our God, right?! Our amazing and WONDER-FULL GOD. He did this. And I, for one, am forever in a stunned state of gratitude and giddy joy because of it.
He’s got plans for us, doesn’t He? That is the first scripture we learned back in 2009 (and then grew by leaps and bounds in 2012!) when we all took a big ole step of faith and formed this ministry together. So it seems like we should end this chapter there, as well.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.
Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.
Plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11, NIV
You guys know how much I love that verse. It always give me hope. But I’ve suddenly realized that I’m a girl that likes it a bit more spelled out. Like – “HERE is the plan I have for you – now go and enjoy the prosperity today!” But that’s not what this verse says, is it? It’s basically saying, “Girlie, chillax. I got this. It may (or may not) be awhile before you get to see it. But either way, just remember that I got it. Keep calm and carry on. xoxo, God.”
The thing is…I want to know NOW. I’m a little like Veruca Salt in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (as in: “I want a Golden Goose NOW, Daddy!”). It sorta reminds me of this HGTV show I love. It’s called “Fixer Upper”; you’ve probably seen it, too, because it’s like, UBER successful. I love it for so many reasons starting with Joanna, and I’ve sort of fallen for Chip, too – he is such a goof! They’re basically my “reality show crushes”!
But the huge-iest reason I love the show is the big reveal. (I know. You are SO going to miss my made-up words and awesome grammar…) If you’ve seen the show, you know what I’m talking about . It’s that moment when Joanna and Chip are standing in front of this fixed-up renovated place and, in unison, they enthusiastically yell out, “Are you ready to see your fixer upper?” And every time, my heart screams back, “YES! YES! YES, you guys!!! I’m SO ready for the big reveal! Show me the finished product of what you have had planned all along!”
It’s almost as if I’m just begging God to make my life as tidy and easy to wrap up as an episode of Fixer Upper…
So if you are anything like me, I want to leave you a smidgen of encouragement “in the waiting” as we take this hiatus from BS together because it is something I, myself, am totally struggling with. Here’s the cool part: what I’m starting to learn is that there are these perfect blessings hidden in the uncertainty of the “big reveal”. I’m starting to learn that it’s all about faith IN the uncertainty, not in opposition to it.
Click here for an amazing piece of poetic comfort on the blessing of the wait and unfolding: Pierre T Peilhard de Chardin’s lovely piece about growing within uncertainty. I’ll hang here while you read it…
Goodness me, I love that. And I love you.
Thank you for taking the leap of faith to join me and your sisters in this awesome adventure of Bible study. I am honored, humbled, thrilled, and giggly happy to have been your guide for a season. We’ll be back together in some fashion or another; I just know it!. And I know that Jesus is so happy with you, so proud of your commitment to growing spiritually and making this a priority in your world. Keep up the great work, girlies!
Thank you for allowing me the time, the space, and the grace to step back and let him work His Fixer Upper magic in my life for a season. And I can’t wait to see and hear what He does with your spiritual renovations!
I will miss seeing your unbelievably gorgeous grins each week so don’t be strangers, okay? I won’t be one either. (Unless you run into me in the grocery store, and well…most of you know what happens then…ha ha ha ha ha!)
To quasi-quote Ruth, “We are each other’s people. We share the same, amazing God. Let’s do this thing called life together.”
Until we meet again, here’s my prayer for you, most fittingly from Paul…my Bible boyfriend:
Be assured that from the first day I heard of you, I haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. I pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. I pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us. Colossians 1:9 MSG
Peace, love, and so much JOY and gratitude for your incredible selves,