Friendships – Ties That Bind

I just finished a Bible study. It was one of those REAL good ones where you are sad it has ended. It was not a big group of ladies, as a matter of fact there were only three of us. This study literally was the beginning bridge to a brand new friendship and a precious extension to a friendship that had already been established. The study itself was so valuable, it had real applicable tools that can be used in our daily lives. We are three friends that ended up unexpectedly at my kitchen table and there we met every Friday for 7 weeks. There was no grand plan for that to happen, it was not months in the making. As a matter of fact my newest friend did not even live in this state when I ordered my book in October. My attempts to get into that study kept stalling, not because my heart wasn’t in it, because it was, I literally went over that first week’s introductory lesson for 8 weeks by myself. I knew it was awesome, I couldn’t get enough, God kept my heart excited but it wasn’t time. I had to wait for my friend I had not even met yet to move here so we could walk that journey together. It was orchestrated by Him! How awesome is that??? Thank you Lord!

I have friendships all over the country and world. Some are brand new, some are old, some have been constant, some have been for a season, some are because of my kids, some are because of work, some are because of church, one sweet gal I literally met on the beach one summer and she had boys and I had boys and viola a Facebook friendship was born. I have been invested in praying for her, and her kids, and her pets, and her parents, and she for mine for over 7 years. We have only met one time, one weekend, face to face, but there is something special about that connection, I’m hanging on to her tight in my social network life, there is some tie that binds me to her. Our friendship was orchestrated by Him and I want to say thank you Lord!

I have one friendship that is older than time, my time anyways, as we were born a few months apart to families one house away. She was a redhead, I was a redhead, we fought like cats and dogs, hair pulling, wrestling matches on the front porch, then we would run off to play Barbie’s. She moved away but by the graciousness of a neighboring family they hosted her for summers on end to ensure we remained close. We grew into teenagers and went to parties and double dates, then as if in a race with time we were young women and stood at the altar together as witnesses to marriages, and births, and deaths, in life as confidantes forever. We do not see eye to eye on some major things but we always stay in close contact. God has always had a plan for our friendship, the fact we are still friends can only be explained as a supernatural endowment. There are many times she doesn’t like me and I don’t like her, we are just too grown to pull hair anymore. God gave us each other and a special tie that binds our hearts together, we have things to accomplish together, so, remarkably, we have walked in relative peace for 44 years. I will write more about our story one day. 😉😘🤐 Thank you Lord!

I have girlfriends from high school, a pack of them. Like literally a small tribe, most of us carried the name Becky, well three of us did anyways, and the others were all original. We learned to drive together, we celebrated birthdays with sleep overs watching the movie- 16 Candles, probably 16 times in that one year that we all marked that big birthday on our calendars. We ran the mall together, partied together, dared each other to race trains on high bridges…. I can not believe we lived through that stage of life. We all have kids the same age now and I am gunning for some arranged marriages because they are people I could “in-law” with, I want more history with them. There are ties that bind all our hearts together even today from long ago teenagers to middle-aged mamas, it is something special. Thank you Lord!

I remember when I left home, home being Kentucky, and got on the plane to Florida to live with my sister I was worried. I prayed that God would give me friends in my new life down there. Real friendships that were built on solid ground. Roots and all. God seems to have granted that teenage request all the adult years of my life, everywhere I have gone. One of the best friendships I ever could have imagined came in the form of a co-worker I met during the first two years of living in Florida. I was such a young woman, just out of high school, dropping out of college to move into the business world. I had acquired a fast car and needed to make the car payments. I was shy and bashful and she saw me sitting at the front desk of our company and she took me under her wing. She showed me how to behave in the corporate world. She was ten years my senior, a New Yorker, and was proud of it. She taught me to be tough, speak up, don’t take crap, and to be independent. I had never looked up to anyone like I did her, she turned out to be one of the very best friends I will ever have. I lost her a few years back to cancer, but I rejoice because she knows Jesus, present tense. Boy is that a tie that binds!!! Thank you Lord!

One of the scariest times of my life was when my husband and I had to move 2500 miles from our home in Florida to California. I had two babies under 2 years old and knew no one. Not a soul. It is remarkable how being obedient to a nudging from the Holy Spirit in the simplest act of kindness can bring about a life long relationship. I remember feeling particularly lonely and the door bell rang. It was my neighbor who I had never met, and she brought me coupons for diapers. I believe if I could see in the spiritual realm at that very moment I would have seen Jesus introducing me to my family there. That one act of her walking across the street to tell me she saw me and that I had babies and thought I might be able to use those coupons for their diapers was the beginning of a connection to the people that made my time in California feel safe and like home, it was the family God gave me to lean on there. To this day even though we live back on the other side of the country they reach out to me, even if it is just a nudge to say I am here, they will always be my family and I theirs. For the rest of our lives, it is a tie that binds. I am so thankful to God for them! Thank you Lord!

Some women are networkers that link others together and that is beyond awesome, it is a gifting, I was first introduced to a dynamo like this when we lived in California and my kids were toddlers. She was in my mom’s group and had an easy way about her. Everyone was special to her and she had time to give each of them. Granted it might be because she hosted 15 mom’s and 40 kids at her pool but “Oh Bo!”, did I learn from her and love her still even though we are miles apart. She taught me how to be a friend to  many, she is a bringer of people, a connection, a tie that binds. I thank God for her example.

These friendships are not necessarily rare, or specific just to me. Most ladies can relate to these friendships. We all experience those ties that bind, whether we realize it or not. That tie might not last any longer than the length of time it takes to chat with the lady at the checkout, or help that mama who is juggling one too many babies on the airplane, or to pray with the elderly lady who is sitting outside the market waiting for her ride. Our desires to come beside one another and walk in life together is truly spiritual, inspired. It is not because we are good but because He is good and He is our friend, it is a gift from our Good Father in Heaven. These relationships help us to get through the mess of living here on earth. One day soon we shall find each other together rejoicing on the New Earth. Completely enlightened and then aware of how these ties that bound us as friends on this fallen earth furthered the Kingdom of Heaven. Thankfulness will abound!

We are Christ’s friend. (John 15:15) We are Christ’s ambassadors. (2 Cor. 5:20) Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint again another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. Above all, put on love- the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be Thankful (Col. 3:12-15) For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know in whole. (1 Cor. 13:12)

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