“In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets…In this, Friendship exhibits a glorious “nearness by resemblance” to heaven itself where the very multitude of the blessed (which no man can number) increases the fruition which each of us has of God. For every soul, seeing Him in her own way, doubtless communicates that unique vision to all the rest. That, says an old author, is why the Seraphim in Isaiah’s vision are crying, “Holy, Holy, Holy” to one another (Isaiah 6:3). The more thus we share the Heavenly Bread between us, the more we shall have.”
~C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves~
There is so much more to say and to write…and perhaps someday I will be able to do this subject matter justice. For now, I’ll just simply stick to the idea of how my life has been enriched by community. As I think about each of these women, I can’t help but be amazed by how we fit together…not because we are carbon copies, but because there are distinct differences mixed into common ground. Differences that both encourage and challenge me. Differences that bring comfort, but also disequalibrium. Differences because there is so much grace in our conversation, but also much needed truth. I need their honesty just as much as I need their encouragement.
I was struck this morning by the first few lines of this C.S. Lewis quote, because it’s true. I need each of their unique perspectives. In each of them I get a little tiny taste of future glory.
I was truthfully a little afraid to turn 25. I had heard horror stories of quarter life crises. I know myself well enough to know that my mind can sometimes snowball out of control if I allow it to. I was afraid of an avalanche because in all honesty, the life I have today is nothing like what I thought it would be like growing up.
Last summer I wrote a 6 Word Memoir for the Writing Project. There is a whole website devoted to the process and you can check it out here. These are the 6 words I chose,
“Not what I wanted, but better.”
While there are moments when I waver, those 6 words are an accurate representation. They were the words that played in my mind as I fell asleep last night after painting pottery and so much more. They were the words I contemplated this morning after a coffee date with good conversation and an even better friend. They are an accurate representation, in large part, because I am embraced by a community where I can be myself. Where I am loved. Where I am continually reminded of His Sovereignty regardless of circumstance. Where I can’t help but be anything but grateful because I’ve received so much more than I deserve.
There are other pictures I could post, and still other sweet friends I could include…but I think I’ll stick with these two for tonight.
More Than You’ll Ever Know
Something brought you to my mind today
I thought about the funny ways you make me laugh
And yet I feel like it’s okay to cry with you
Something about just being with you
When I leave I feel like I’ve been near God
And that’s the way it ought to be…
‘Cause you’ve been more than a friend to me
You fight off my enemies
‘Cause you’ve spoken the Truth over my life
And you’ll never know what it means to me
Just to know you’ve been on your knees for me
Oh, you have blessed my life
More than you’ll ever know…
You had faith, when I had none
You prayed God would bring me a brand new song
When I didn’t think I could find the strength to sing
And all the while I’m hoping that I’ll
Do the kind of praying for you that you’ve done for me
And that’s the way it ought to be…
You have carried me
You have taken upon a burden that wasn’t your own
And may the blessing return to you