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Good Friend…

A couple of weeks ago, I sat across from a good friend.

We were in McDonalds.

And we were fasting.

Fortunately, I find nothing on the menu appealing, well, not anymore. A few years ago, I was addicted to their Coca Cola. While others in the morning walked into work with a coffee in their hands, I had my medium Coca Cola. I’m convinced they add extra sugar to their mix.

This was an issue until  four years ago when a fast stopped that horrible habit. Tear, tear!

So, there we were, in a booth, sitting across from each other, with our small coffee (which is a must during our talks) and dried oatmeal topped with some want-to-be fresh fruits. We definitely weren’t there for the gourmet cuisine, or the ambiance for that matter, rather, we were there to empty our hearts, to listen, and to love one another unconditionally.

Neither of us put on masks, or speak with religious lingo- “all is well” and  “blessed and highly favored”.

There is no religious superstition, such as, being careful to not speak bad things or death into our lives, or “calling things that be not as though they were”.

On the contrary, we prefer to let our guards down, and speak without any filter. So, we can be real and raw.  There is plenty of venting and releasing of the things that are heavy on our souls, and yes, at times it can be scary.

But, you see, we are spirt-led women, of God, that have the capability to tap into our spirits, so we can help guide one another with sensitivity, understanding, and wisdom.

When we share the dark areas of our lives- the hot messes, the dirty laundry, the things the enemy wants for us to keep tucked away in our closets- with frustration and anger, and the shaking of our fist, we tell the enemy “not here buddy!”

We know that darkness flees from light, so we share and keep each other in prayer.

We share the good that God is doing in our lives, and we are quick to rejoice for each other. There is no competition or jealousy, just pure joy for one another.

We also share the funny, out there kind of stories, and we are able to laugh uncontrollably at- the simple, yet silly things.

We weren’t always like this with each other. It took some unfortunate circumstances to bring us together.

Almost 4 years ago, grief brought us together. For me, it was my very sick mother, and for her, it was the loss of her husband.

He was her best friend, her soulmate, and the father of her four children.

Over the years, my friend and I have built a friendship based on trust, honesty, transparency, and vulnerability.

She has been God’s image of love to me. She accepts me and she also challenges me to grow in the areas I need to. She tells me what I need to hear, not what my flesh desires to hear.

Many times, God has used her as a light house and a whisper of hope for me. Speaking to me with unearthly wisdom and compassion.

Through her life’s journey I have witnessed God’s faithfulness. How He hears us, how He see us, and how He is well able to hold us, and deliver us.

God has sustained her, even during the bad days, when she wanted to give up. He is faithful to give her an extra portion of grace, strength and courage to carry on.

There have been complaints through out the modern church, about the lack of the older, mature and “seasoned” women (Titus 2) present in our congregations today. I understand the concern, and I myself have witnessed it.

Instead of sitting on the sidelines complaining or griping, my friend and I have chosen to be this to one another. Though, we are the same age, we have mastered the art of being a mentor and mentee at a flip of a sentence.

I just know that our friendship brings God such joy. When I minister to her, and when she ministers to me, I know that our friendship is honoring Him. He is truly at the center of it.

It is important to mention that God has blessed me with other friendships just like this one. And ladies, you know who you are, and I want you to know, that my heart swells with gratitude and joy to God for having criss-crossed our lives and I count it a blessing, to sojourn through this life with you also.

To my dear friend,

It has been such an honor to love you through this season. If I can’t take the pain away, I would’ve by now, if possible. But for now, I want you to know, that I am always available for a cup a coffee, so I can sit across from you, listen to you, and at times cry with you. I will never rush your grieving process, because my heart’s desire is to be a good friend to you. I pray that the Lord continues to use our friendship for His glory, and that He will continue giving you glimpses of your husband’s love for you, like the random hearts you come across.

A few scriptures about friendships…

“Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” Proverbs 27:5-6

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Proverbs 17:17

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.” Roman 12:10

“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14

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Rosabel Sanchez is a woman who loves God- serves Him with great humbleness, loves her family and friends- serves them with great love, and love life with such a great appreciation for all that she has been blessed with. She, her husband and 4 children lead two churches on the southwest-side of Chicago, where they all live. As I embark on this new journey, I pray and hope I can become a part of one of your daily practices- your morning inspiration, your afternoon break from the world, or your evening cool down. So join me with a cup of your choice- coffee, tea, chocolate- and you will be blessed with encouraging words to warm your heart & soul.

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