Friends Like Diamonds

It seems to me as if there’s something in the water around here-everyone seems to be getting into relationships, engaged or married! This past Friday I was blessed to witness and celebrate the marriage of a long time friend, Morgan, to a fantastic guy-her Mr. Right, Josiah. I’ve known Morgan since she was five. Now she has not one but two rings on her finger. One of my best friends, Michaela, is Morgan’s older sister, and the maid of honor at the wedding. Both of our ring fingers remain bare-but did that deter us from celebrating, dancing the night away and smiling until our faces hurt? Not one bit. I must’ve hugged Michaela a gazillion times Friday night and we just laughed. I am so grateful that I can laugh with all my friends, no matter what stage of life we find ourselves in. Each of my friends is utterly unique-like a unique facet on each and every diamond. Trust me, I’ve seen a lot of them recently on the hands of my friends!

Romans 12:6 says, Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them…

Through each of my friends, I have been the recipient of much grace. Each of our unique gifts only enhance our friendships, our relationships with family and everyone we come in contact with. What’s funny is that my dearest friends and I-we don’t even go to the same church. But we all serve, love and worship the one true God and further His kingdom in a myriad of ways. Each of our callings is different-but one thing remains the same, one reason I am eternally grateful to God for MOHL. As God’s daughters, our Christian walks are not meant to be walked alone.

Also like diamonds with many facets are the gifts we have that may have been borne through a difficult time or season in life. Diamonds are mined. Then pounded and broken. Then, slowly but surely, diamonds are refined until they gleam and sparkle in the light. Proverbs 17:17 says, A friend loves at all times, and  a brother is born for adversity. Those friends who have stuck by you in the heartbreaking times, the best times and everything in between? Our gracious God gave them to you so you could be drawn closer to Himself, so gifts and skills could be developed by His perfect plan.

I wrote in the back of my book to two such diamond-like friends, I am forever thankful for all you are, all you give, and how you love. Every person we ever come in contact with impacts us and is used by the Lord for His divine purposes, yes, even those no longer in our lives. But there are those you can count on for a lifetime, who have been there for you all along, thanks to the abundant grace of God.

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Friends Are Flowers

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I have no two friends alike. There are a scant few I’ve known for the same long amount of time. Others I’ve known for a comparatively less amount of time but am inexplicably close to. Each of my relationships-friends & family-has had their share of ups & downs. As all the beautiful flowers & even the bright dandelions in the yard now that spring’s finally sprung-each of our relationships, present, past & future-serve a purpose.

This purpose is God’s alone. One we may never be able to see, even looking back, until we reach Paradise. When I was younger, I wanted so much to have a whole big crowd of friends to do things with every week & be invited to their birthday parties & sleepovers. As I grew older & saw that many of the girls who went to school together every day were a little inclusive, my shyness morphed partly into being overly sensitive & feeling slighted at the littlest thing. All the while in these formative years I made friends in other avenues, wrote letters back & forth, made up stories & plays & make-believe. And I am blessed to say two of these friends I slightly took for granted at a young impressionable age I am still close friends with. And next year I’ll stand beside one as a maid of honor.

My friends & I  have had our misunderstandings & issues we’ve needed to air. For my long distance sisters, it’s increasingly bittersweet to not be able to visit or see each other in person for special events & moments. But because of each & everyone of my friends, I have been challenged. Encouraged. Embraced even across the miles. I’ve been taught. I’ve been accepted & loved for just who I am. My friends are the hands, feet & heart of Jesus to me.

Think back on the times of utter happiness & the heartbreaking times when your friends were there. When they spoke God’s truth to you even if you didn’t want to hear it but God spoke through them. If you have broken friendships in your past that left scars on your heart, thank God for how He drew you closer to Himself & how He brought your current heart-sisters into your life.

Thank our gracious Lord for those friends who continue to love you unconditionally continuously.
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Guest Post: You are LOVED!

by: Savoury

“Come on Skinny Love what happened here?”

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It’s what I whisper to myself when the party’s over, when my smiles feel tired. And I know lots of the girls will feel the same when they close their doors late that night. It’s hardly a new theme…

You see… I want to make people happy. I want people to like me…and when they don’t… it’s hard. Partly because: I don’t compete with others, I don’t like putting others down, I like being nice… so when others reject you as if you were something evil …it’s hard.

There was a guy in my life. I tried to make him happy too. He walked away. So have many people I’ve known. Some leave nicely, others make sure I have something to remember them by. And I spend the night wondering if I “did it right” when they were all here. I replay in my head what I could have said different…agonizing everything.

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I’ve tried to figure out why I’m this way…why girls are this way.

Why we’re always trying to be good at “things”…trying to be popular, trying to please or satisfy. If They are unhappy…if They leave us… who are we to care?

But I do care… a lot…

Is this wrong?

Is this natural?

I have come to believe the answer is: yes. Because I was created to please. Women were created to please. This is a God-desire placed within us. However, just because it came from God doesn’t mean it can’t be warped. And it is

“Acceptance. It is the true thing everyone longs for. It is the one thing everyone craves”

Everywhere the pressures of this life drive us to one madness or another. To please. Always to please.  And so we put on make-up, we work out, we try for good grades, we socialize, we create ourselves to bring smiles to others.  Perform, deliver, entertain.

And we keep trying to gratify people who apparently can’t stand us anyway. Making people happy is a full time job. But we rarely get paid. What in the world are we doing?

I want to feel confident. I want to feel loved. How can I get to this place: an unshakable strength that is still intact when people dislike you?

Then it struck me:  I’m looking for love and affirmation in all the wrong places.  I place a lot of self worth on whether people like me. And that’s when love gets thin.

If I know God is smiling on what I’m doing and where my heart is, why should I care what others think? It’s impossible to make everyone happy all the time…I need to be getting my security from the assurance that God loves and approves of me…and that I KNOW He does.

So girls. Stand tall. This world wants to suck us in and drag us out. Stay strong in the path you know is right. We of all others, have the power to harness steady strength in who we are.

“We want unconditional love, because we were made for unconditional love.”

If you don’t feel  it…look up in the Bible who God says we are. He calls us His “beloved”, His “Chosen”…We are His “redeemed”. Those are some pretty reassuring names.

So, it doesn’t matter what other people call you.

You are LOVED.

And the more loved you feel, the more prepared you are to love others…despite what they do and in some cases because of what they do.

You are loved, now go Love your people.

You don’t have to feel Skinny anymore.

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Savoury is a young adult who has a passion for writing, travel, friendship, and sincerity. She lives with her family in beautiful Central Oregon. You can find her writing her heart out on Savory Thoughts.

 

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