I received a birthday card this year that said, “Let your dreams be bigger than your fears; your actions louder than your words; and your faith stronger than your feelings.”
In the basement of a sweet little church last week, I stood up in front a group of women and let my dream of saying something intelligent be bigger than my fear of choking on the spot and dying a very public death.
For sure, leading a gym class and gaining perspiration would’ve been easier than leading a Bible class and gaining inspiration.
And as it turns out, when I stood in front of these beautiful women, my faith wasn’t in my own abilities to speak, but rather in their intentions to listen. I had to believe that somewhere in my ramblings, each of them would hear something that spoke directly to her own heart. Something gloriously small and explicit. Something, I hope, that made them glad they were sitting down with enough time to enjoy the new thought.
The title of my classes, “On the Care and Feeding of Your BFF”, was chosen by a group of girlfriends months ago, as they were lounging pool-side. I actually asked them to vote on what I should talk about in Canada.
I’m cool like that. (I’m also sadly unfocussed like that.)
But, as every writer knows, all bets are off when you sit down at the keyboard.
Martha and Mary of Bethany kept butting into my notes and no matter how hard I explained to them that they had lost the vote, they would not get out of my face.
So I let them take the floor, and Class 1 was born.
They showed me how to behave like a “best friend forever”. And how not to. And what happens when you let Christ take over your heart. And what happens when you don’t. They both looked me in the eyes and reminded me that the Good Samaritan hadn’t seen his choices coming, but when he saw a wounded man, he didn’t see danger or calculate a backstory or contemplate excuses.
He just reached into his bag and pulled out a massive can of instant and lavish compassion.
“Let’s do this,” I hear him think.
End of story. But also the beginning of ours.
The ladies in Ontario played along with me as we explored the many languages of love that feed and nurture those deliberately connected relationships.
We had soul-warming soups for lunch, and faith-building, hand-holding conversational comfort food; the kind made of good old fashioned face time, bubbling along with laughter, our individual flavors melding together.
Later, we went deep into the pits with Jeremiah and up to the mountain top with Elijah.
Caring for your friendships needn’t stop when one stumbles into a pit.
For the girlfriend who suddenly doesn’t know what to say or do, this class held tools for building ladders out of pits and ways to hold on to each other when life gets real.
It does get real, doesn’t it?
How wonderful to know someone has your back.
Amazing things happen when women gather together.
Their love for each other is so tangible.
I am thankful for the prayers and encouragement, the mentoring and editing that countless women supported me with as I walked this road to Canada.
It’s changed me in ways I haven’t yet put words to.
And I know that, one BFF at a time, we are going to make it through this crazy life of ours, holding hands, pressing onward, and yes – very likely – giggling a lot of the time.