1 Thessalonians 5:11 New Living Translation (NLT)
11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
Marlene has been my friend since the fourth grade. Over the years our friendship has changed many times and in many ways. We go months sometimes, without talking, but it does not hinder either of us when we pick up the phone and begin a conversation.
This past week I was able to spend time with Marlene. She came to visit and it was refreshing for me. We greeted each other with hugs and the usual catching up of families.
We spent our days talking nonstop. We laughed often and loudly. We revisited our memories from elementary school, junior high and high school. We cried for those we have lost along the way. We talked about hard things that neither of us wanted to think about. We cried, we laughed, and we relaxed in the comfort of our friendship.
Marlene has always been a steadfast person in my life. Her faithfulness in being a friend to me is a gift. She has shown me what it means to be steadfast. She is unwavering in her friendship. She has given me strength at times when I have lost focus. She stands firm, pointing to things in my life and redirecting me to remember.
A quiet person, for the most part, this friend has gently entreated me to see myself as she sees me. Her encouragement is softly spoken but echoes in my spirit. I leave her presence feeling refreshed, renewed.
She points to the direction of my heart. She encourages me in my walk with the Lord. She reminds me that our Lord is that gentle touch in the center of my back, holding me steady, giving me courage and urging me onward towards Him.
Whether spending time with a friend or with the Lord, it is good to be encouraged, to be built up. To be reminded that I have done well in areas where I have doubted, areas where I feel like the Lord has been silent (or I haven’t heard what He is saying to me) is a treasure. Marlene, thank you for the gift of your steadfast friendship. Thank you also for building me up with your quiet grace. Most of all, thank you for redirecting and steadying me in my walk.
Lord, keep my eyes steadfast on You. Do not allow me to waver in my walk with You. Steady me when I start to drift to the sides. Thank You for Your guiding hands keeping me safe.
Thank you for stopping by today, Cathi (DAF)