Hi friends! Sorry I haven’t posted anything lately, things were exciting and a little hectic, as Zach and I finally tied the knot!
The past two weeks carried joy, peace and family time. But the main feeling that I kept resonating on was thanksgiving.
I can’t thank God enough for the blessings that He’s provided. Zach and I had an intimate God centred wedding, and we shared it with our immediate family. It was exciting, relaxing and special to share our vows with each other and take communion as a family. After the ceremony, we celebrated [Canadian] Thanksgiving with everyone – our first family holiday. The evening radiated God’s love and the sweet smell of turkey and apple pie.
I am thankful for this family, near and far. I am thankful for the love that God gave us. I am thankful for the memories that we shared. And, I am thankful for the covenant of marriage, which began when I said “I do.” My wedding day was filled with many blessings, all of which I am overwhelmed with. I don’t think that we could have picked a better holiday to celebrate our union. Thanksgiving has always been the best outlet to observe our blessings and praise the Creator for all His compassion.
These people, my family, they are the ones that I thank my Father for the most. October 8th, wasn’t just my wedding to Zach, no, it was the joining of our families. The two families combined. The two countries brought together. God paved a way across the continent to make this day possible. I am thankful for His mercy, and overarching plans.
As Zach and I got closer to our wedding, I saw so many answered prayers unfold. Before I met Zach, I intentionally prayed for my future family. I wanted my future in-laws to get along with each other. I wanted my future in-laws to laugh, and share memories with each other. I wanted my future in-laws to be my family, not people that I dreaded to be around.
I witnessed my grandparents share a deep friendship with each other, it sustained a stronger love within my family. It sustained a stronger desire in my heart for that same relationship with my in-laws. I know that not everyone has this experience. If you find yourself in a situation unlike mine, I pray that you are able to find friends or parts of your family that you can create new traditions with. You don’t need to grow up with them to consider them family. God gives amazing people that become family. We are His children and He made us one in His family.
These wonderful people that God placed in my life are exactly what I’ve needed. God heard my prayer and provided for one of my deepest longings. The beautiful part of these relationships have helped my adjust more into my new life in a new country. Whether they are biologically related, friends or family by marriage, I love them.
The time we spent together – prior to the wedding and the days after – I got to see the importance of the people that I surround myself with. The people we choose to spend life with requires wisdom. The people that God graciously gave me, helped me weather life. I’ve held them close and called upon them at all hours of the day – especially when there was a four hour time difference 😛
Since I moved to a new city, I have found it hard to make friends. Hard to find people who I can walk alongside me and hard to find someone who could fill the longing in my heart for a best friend. The girls that I met in early elementary, are the amazing women that I have grown up with and still talk to today.
Now these women are and have been exactly what I’ve needed in each season of life. Over the years we followed the pattern of growth and ebbed and flowed within closeness. It wasn’t until high school where we united together and forged a friendship that would last across the country. We weren’t perfect but we knew what it meant to be true friends. We confided in each other with our struggles, looked for comfort and celebrated together as we grew.
Not only did I learn so much about who I am with these women but, these women taught me so many new and challenging things. These women are my role models. They chased their dreams, traveled and took risks. They made mistakes – like we all do – but they got up and worked harder for the next challenge. I admire their strength and joy. I want to be like these women.
God blessed me with great examples of love and forgiveness over the years. He allowed me to see healthy relationships which directed me to live those out. In these relationships I found more of what it means to be a friend. A true friend. The bible shares many verses on friendship. One verse that I have struggled over and sought wisdom on is Proverbs 27:17
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” [NIV}
I feel like the real meaning isn’t discovered when this verse is quoted. I have fallen into misusing it. I think that we use this as an encouragement for friendships. I don’t mean to say that it isn’t, but if you truly think about what the verse says, you’ll realize that this isn’t an encouraging thing. Iron sharpening iron is a hard, hot and dangerous duty. Think of a sword being made, before machines did. Iron rods got heated in a fire and were beat with another iron hammer to smooth out the edges.
Wow. That’s a rough picture. And God calls us to be like that with friends. But what does that really mean? I like to think that it means we are supposed to call each other out – in love- and help them stay focused on the Lord. We as Christians have the hard duty, but also the joyful duty, to help those in our lives be shaped and molded into their God-given potential.
Sharpening iron isn’t an easy task. No, it means walking alongside those friends even in their hardship, even in their stubbornness and their denial. It is not leaving when it gets rough. But through this sharpening, we as Godly women are able to get down in the mud and pull our friends up. We are called to take example from Him. Christ did that for us. He descended down, sat with the poor, marginalized, and outcast to save us. Jesus willingly sharpened us, so we need to willingly sharpen our friends.
It isn’t easy. But it is well worth it. The women that are in my life have taken the role of sharpening me seriously. We honestly point out stubbornness and share our opinions when necessary. But we stand beside each other proudly and ensure that each of us fulfill our purposes. As cliché as it is, I wouldn’t be who I am without these beautiful women. God graciously gave me these women during my valleys and they pushed me up the mountains. Friendships are precious. Iron sharpening friendships are rare, but their worth is priceless.
I’ve had many friendships fail, or fade. But the ones that persevere through the struggles, the ones that persevere through stubbornness, the ones that persevere through the joys, those are worth it. We can share our hearts with one another, and know that we are safe within their love. God holds us close, showers us with His love and He provides the friendships that we need. He convicts us to love each other, and say the hard things. Even if those aren’t want we want to hear.
I encourage you as you seek friendships, to pray and be the light that God wants. If you have a friend that God has placed on your heart and you are convicted to share Jesus with them. Do it. Take the step in faith and trust that God will provide the right conversation to help. Don’t take the women in your life for granted, even when they call you out. Take some time and pray over what they said and seek God’s direction. I hope that you are able to hear Him lead you through the struggle, and know that He placed these friends in your life to help you become the woman you were created for.
As this thanksgiving season hits its height in the USA, spend time cherishing your loved ones and sharpening your friendships. Trust me, we all need some godly women to help sand off the edges. God will help solidify your needs.
Sending much love,