>Created for relationship

>Though I work early-ish tomorrow and have a busy weekend ahead, I can’t help but get some thoughts down about relationship.

We were created in God’s image. We were created for two types of relationships: one with the Lord and one with people. To live a fulfilled life with a purpose, one has to have both.

I think it’s a beautiful concept. I think the fact that we’re created in God’s image is just beautiful in itself. I grew up hearing those words from Genesis. Remember the felt Bible characters in Sunday school? Coloring pages? It was all there. It wasn’t until I went to Beth Moore in St. Louis in June with Darla that I really understood what it meant to be made in His image.

Since Aaron left for Basic a long time ago (17 months now) I threw myself into Bible study, hanging out with people and felt like I’ve poured out myself. I know there is something to spending time with the Lord alone with no one else around. That’s so important. It’s just funny because I’ve never considered myself a “social” person. And lately, within the last few months, I’ve been spending time with lots of people. Family, and friends. And out of my friends, a lot of ladies from church of all ages.

Some are five years younger, some are fifteen years older. I have gleaned so much wisdom and truth from my friends, and I feel like I have innumerable sisters, aunts and moms. (I love my mom, of course. I just love to have that type nurturing though from other ladies I know.)

One of the most beautiful things I’ve seen is the willingness to encourage and edify. It’s really brought Scripture to life for me.

Ephesians 4:29: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 
Hebrews 10:24-25: 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

In no particular order, thanks to Amelia, Darla, Tammy, Kristen, Gabriela, Leigh Ann and Lee Ann, Kim, Karen, Trish, my two Megans, Lois, my two Sherris, Carey, Malory, Heather, Hannah, Cathy, Kathy, Suzie, Lanelle, Dana, Hayley, Tina, Marta, Trixie, Mila, Michelle, Jessica… I could literally list dozens of women who have spoken into my life and been such an encouragement to me.

You all will never know the extent of the seeds you’ve planted. You’ve prayed with me and listened to me. You’ve inspired me to strive for that Proverbs 31 woman that you all exemplify. You’ve shared difficult times, happy times, advice about parenting, advice about marriage. Thank you for asking how I’m doing. Thank you for sharing about what the Lord has done in your life. Thank you for the countless hugs and cups of coffee. Thank you for the sisters, moms, daughters, and wives you are.

To turn a corner, tonight at small group we prayed for someone in our group who recently had a very hard time. It brought tears to my eyes as she shared her struggle and I was almost immediately on my feet to lay hands and pray for her.

Isn’t it beautiful how we spur one another to good works? How we pray for one another, even if we don’t know each other well? How we make ourselves vulnerable so that we can let God work and weave together a friendship that could very well last a lifetime?

My faith in friendship with women has been renewed. My expectations are not of the people I’m in relationship with, but in the Lord to provide the fruits of the spirit for that relationship.

Genesis 1:27: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

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