The time is 10:03 am on Monday, October 19. I’m sitting in a little coffee shop in Shreveport, Louisiana. Ordinarily, I’d be doing some last minute edits before updating this blog, but, as I’m sitting here, these are the only words on the page. And I’m fine with that.
I feel like I’ve been running nonstop lately. Between school and church, I haven’t had a ton of time to myself. My life has become a giant “to-do” list, and I’ve been struggling to keep up with everything as more and more items get added daily. Even now, thoughts of assignments and responsibilities that wait around the corner can easily overwhelm me. But at this moment, I’m full of joy and peace.
God has been faithful in every trial, working all things together for good (Romans 8:28). My devotional life with him has been challenged, but it’s growing by his grace. I’m learning to rest in him. I’m learning to recognize his blessings in my life more and more. He is daily proving to be far better, far sweeter, and far more satisfying than anything else in this life.
Specifically, though, I’m recognizing today how much he’s blessed me and sustained me through the friends he’s placed in my life. Saturday, I watched two of my best friends get married in Natchitoches, where the majority of my closest friendships were formed. The beauty of the wedding was sweetened by the fact that so many of those close friends were present. Now, a couple of days later, I’m spending some time visiting other good friends God’s given me over the years. Later this week, I’ll get to see the newer members of this group when I get back to New Orleans. Though the friendships vary in span and depth, each of these has become like family to me, and God has used each one to encourage me, to challenge me, and to further refine me. “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another,” as Proverbs puts it (Proverbs 27:17).
So thank you. Thank you for laying pride aside to create places of transparency and trust in the Lord as we seek to know him better and to follow him more faithfully. Thank you for checking my heart when I’m not seeing clearly and for pointing me back to Jesus. Thank you for listening to me vent about my struggles for the thousandth time and for responding in grace and love when I just can’t seem to figure things out. Thank you for encouraging me and for helping me to see my worth in the Lord. Thank you for reading all of the blog posts and poems and stories I’ve sent for critique and feedback. Thank you for being examples of Christlikeness for me to look up to. Thank you for putting up with the constant stream of puns. Thank you for letting me text you when I get overly excited about Doctor Who. Thank you for staying in touch despite the distance. Thank you for sticking around even when there were bumps in the road. Thank you for all the times spent in coffee shops studying, attempting to study, talking about life and ministry, and laughing a lot. Thank you for the inside jokes. Thank you for the many movie nights and tv show marathons. Thank you for the pizza, the wings, the tacos, the burgers, the veggie options, and whatever else we could find to eat. Thank you for all of the long road trips, all of the deep conversations, all of the adventures, and all of the memories. May they continue to increase, and may God be glorified through them all.