I was headed west last Saturday surrounded by friends whose laughter and our common histories bind us forever. We were headed toward the Mississippi Delta for a day of B.B. King, mile-high coconut pie, gourmet food and shopping. We found all of that…and more.
When we’re all together, we have quite the talent for having several conversations going and still being attuned to those others around us. It’s not unusual for someone to suddenly jump into a conversation being held across the room…and then hop right back into the one they were originally participating in at the start. Our conversations were wide-ranging and often hysterical. We really crack ourselves up.
Since our time together at Mississippi University for Women, this has been a very tight-knit group. We’ve made it a point to maintain our relationships and we do that by getting together at least once a year “just us girls” and, if we’re fortunate, we also come together at least once with as many accompanying husbands, children and friends as can make it. The “kids” range in age from 21-12 and act like they’re related even though there isn’t a speck of shared blood in the whole group. They, like us, pick up conversations in mid-stream…left over from the last time they saw each other. In another odd twist, they’ve often been the ones to insist that WE were being too loud! That always makes us laugh…and then we get louder.
This year, due to multiple schedule conflicts, our long weekend together turned into a day trip. Although small in number this year–only four of us–we carried the hearts of a much larger group of women, and our conversations naturally included various updates about the rest of the line. The members of the line are numbered 1-12 and we go by our numbers as much as by our names. I am #7.
In one of our conversations, my #12 and I talked about our gratitude for the strong women God has placed in our lives. Far from being intimidated, we’ve learned to welcome women with opinions and a strong sense of self. We value the strength that comes from life experiences…some of which match our own and others that do not. We spoke of how grateful we are that God has surrounded by these friends from our college days and also by others who have many of the same characteristics and strengths.
I’ve thought of that conversation a lot this week. You see, I’ve been particularly blessed by the number of strong women in my life. These are women of Godly character who are not afraid to love and live out loud wherever they find themselves. Although I may not see them with regularity, I am always aware that they are a simple phone call, text or email away. These are the women God has given to me as gifts during different portions of my life. They have been through the fire and they are strong. They are survivors. They are humble and yet they are like amazing Amazon prayer warriors of the highest order.
According to Greek mythology–which doesn’t have a whole lot to do with Scripture! (grin)–the Amazons were a nation of powerful warrior women. Like those mythical warriors, these strong women in my life are the ones to have on your side whether you’re in the midst of a trial or in need of a really good laugh. They are the women to do the faith life with in style. These are the ones I know will pray for me and for my family. They will even go to battle in prayer for those they do not know simply because I ask. Israel’s King David had his mighty men of valor…and I am graced with these warrior women of faith.
For these strong women of faith and the many gifts that they have added to my life…I am filled with gratitude. I am amazed by their friendships and blessed by their lives. I am the most blessed person I know…wow, God! What abundance you have given to me!