24 May 12,000 Miles and Counting
Think of your BFF, your closest girlfriend who knows everything about you. Then think of women who are especially dear to you, whose friendship holds a special place in your heart. Finally, think of all the other women who’ve touched your life in some way, who left their unique mark on your heart.
Ponder the hours you’ve spent with these friends: talking, confiding, laughing, crying—covering the serious to the silly. Then take a moment to recognize how those relationships embody the essence of biblical femininity.
I got to thinking about that recently as I reminisced with my dear friend and walking partner about our history. Yes, we estimate that since 1994, we’ve walked and talked our way over about 12,000 miles of Powdersville pavement! From grade-schoolers to grandbabies, we’ve covered a lot of conversational ground. But beyond the exercise and companionship we’ve experienced, our friendship has illustrated—as the friendships of women so often do—the ezer capacities of inviting, nurturing, and partnering.
No matter our season of life, one universal reality for the female sex—from elementary school to the nursing home—is girlfriends! Our friendships with women are really, really important! But think about it, each of those relationships begins with one woman inviting another into her life. “Meet me for coffee? Join me for a walk around the block?” Friendship grows over time as we move from the conversational shallows into the depths of emotion and experience. Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, we become a safe place for each other.
“Friendship grows over time as we move from the conversational shallows into the depths of emotion and experience.”
Over time, as trust and affection grow, we begin to take a more active part in the other’s life; this is where nurturing begins. We share our lives and invest in each other. We speak counsel and correction into life’s many corners. Friendship with a Christian sister brings the blessed dimension of those words being grounded in God’s truth. Wrestling through gospel applications is far easier in the company of another who loves Jesus, and loves me! And where our friends are not believers, we exercise that same nurturing attitude as we lovingly engage them with the truth and grace that flow from the Spirit within us, ultimately bringing the life of Christ to bear upon their lives.
Finally, it’s not hard to see how friendship and partnering are practically synonymous. From walking a couple of miles to walking a lifetime alongside my girlfriend, my goal is to bring God’s life and benefit to this one who’s dear to me. Intentionality and sacrifice are required. Patience and steadfastness over the long haul will be essential. The truth is, in the unique bond of female community, God has given us a priceless gift and the opportunity to display His wonderful ezer character. That’s something to celebrate for a few more miles!
Think about the friendships in your life. How are you inviting, nurturing, and partnering with the women you know? How would God use you in another woman’s life to point her to gospel truth and life?
– Libby Thomas