Thursday, November 3, 2011

“The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.” Proverbs 27:9

We met online. Okay, I know that may sound funny or odd, but we did. She is part of a team of ladies in ministry. A ministry that has become kind of like a family. Encouraging, supportive and affirming in so many ways.

I didn’t know her all that well – just tweets and some Facebook comments. But, when my flight to a conference we were both attending was delayed, she was the first to respond to my cry for help. After offering to drive nearly 40 minutes each way very late at night to pick me up, I knew she was special! When I did arrive, she was waiting in the hotel lobby, ready to give me a big bear hug to say “welcome!”

After that weekend, we were friends. We kept in touch, sharing a few more tidbits about life. Then, one day, she emailed. We had both signed up for an online Bible study. She was being obedient. The Holy Spirit had prompted her to reach out and partner with me for the study. Of course, I said yes!

We have had deep, meaningful conversations about things we both have carried far too long. Our time in the study has helped us take steps of faith in order to walk further ahead in our journey with Christ. We have had to release strongholds that have been burdens on each of our hearts. And, we’ve prayed for each other, keeping a promise we made early on.

What she may not know is that while I jumped on the offer to partner, there was some trepidation in my heart. Because, when you commit to partnering one-on-one with someone, you can’t sugar-coat the impact a study may have on you, and you are going to have to share. I can be a mile wide and an inch deep when it comes to things that I struggle with, glossing over wounds so the truth doesn’t surface. But, that wasn’t going to work with this partner!

She has counseled me wisely. She’s been there to talk through things she may not even realize she’s helping me with. She has forced me out of my comfort zone on more than one occasion. And, she has helped me grow.

The Bible says in Proverbs 27:9 – “The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.” Truer words could not be written about my precious friend.

Do you have someone like her? If you don’t, I urge you to pray and ask God to bring someone into your life like her. And if you do, pray for that person and tell them how grateful you are for the gift of their wise counsel!

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