These girls, ladies, women, amazing friends and sisters in Christ. They’ve been an integral thread in my life for a dozen years. We met during a women’s retreat at our parish and many of our husbands participated in the men’s retreat that took place after ours. Our retreat group was probably twice this size after formation, but this group……THIS group struck a bond. A bond that went beyond formation and providing the next retreat. A bond strengthened over bible studies, rosaries, dinners and desserts. In spite of busy lives and season changes, we’ve managed to stick together, each taking a piece of the other’s heart so that we are all forever sisters regardless of distance and life’s plans for us. These are life giving friends.
This picture captures a rare moment of togetherness recently, and marks the move of one friend and her family to Washington D.C. The fact that we were ALL able to make the dinner (with school over and summer ON, one with laryngitis, one leaving the next day with her husband and 6 kiddos on vacation, myself being 4 hours away, and one with a newborn) was an amazing accomplishment in itself–on a Wednesday night no less! It was a bittersweet dinner (saying goodbye is NEVER easy) however, we were ALL able to take turns “catching up” in a roundtable discussion and enjoy each other’s company, laughing at stories and enjoying super delicious food, too–BONUS!
12 years brings much opportunity for prayer, encouragement, hope, love and comfort. What a blessing in these friendships, an abundant harvest resulting from following the prompting of our Lord to attend a weekend retreat.
These friendships are a tapestry of prayer and God reveals the image one story at a time. Through the years He’s weaved that tapestry through praying for one another and sharing in each other’s lives.
Prayers for struggling marriages and praises for God’s gift of forgiveness, compromise, commitment, and strength in fighting through the challenges and the fruit of healed hearts.
Prayers for babies born and unborn and praises for those who took their sweet, sweet time.
Prayers for being open to life and praises for the many varied gifts of life in this culture of death.
Prayers for children’s health, novenas for treatment and praises in God’s gift of talented physicians, compassionate nurses and a network of prayer warriors storming heaven.
Prayers for children lost in the sea of peer pressure and hurt as they spread their wings and fly solo, praises for God’s path and the gift of healing through angels on earth who allow the Holy Spirit to form their words and gently redirect their path.
Prayers for the unfairness of cancer and all the promises it robs, praises for the power of prayer, God’s will and the promises of His plan far exceeding our own.
Prayers for guidance and advice in the ongoing vocation of motherhood and marriage, and praises for God’s wisdom and love provided through friends as we all weave our families through this obstacle course of life.
Prayers through job loss and financial struggles and praises for jobs found, opportunities presented a faith to step out of comfort zones into Trust.
Prayers throughout a family’s prison ordeal and praises for a family restored.
Prayers for friends who move away and praises for the unexpected gifts received in stepping out in love and hope.
Prayers spoken, fears whispered, tears shed, hope restored, love shared, faith renewed. Prayer warriors and lifetime friends. A bond not weakened by distance. A bond strengthened through prayer, sharing, love and faith.
Thank you, Lord for the gift of friends. I am truly blessed.
Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.