|This is what JOY looks like!|
Following the wedding, as we were walking by she peeked out this window. Seeing her reminded me of Portuguese women whom I saw leaning out windows of white-washed homes on narrow cobblestone streets when I lived in the Azores as a child. It was a common occurrence to see a single woman leaning out an open window while the man who was courting her would be in the street below. (Notice, my dear friend's man is no longer in the street below).
Courtship. What does it look like and what is it supposed to be? There are many books written on the subject, but what I saw in the relationship of this precious couple over the last year offers a great definition. Hope, commitment, determination, sacrifice, love, and most importantly a Christ-centeredness.
Just over two years ago, I met this kind-hearted, gentle young gal while volunteering at a summer Vacation Bible School week through our church. Following our week of VBS, two of the gals and I formed a Bible study group. They were both single and wanted to meet with an "older" mentor. God had placed mentorship on my heart, but I wasn't sure who I was to mentor. He figured it all out! Our group of three grew to four and we've been meeting consistently for the past two years.
|In addition to the bride, here are my other girlies.|
Over the last couple years we've done many studies and had many conversations, but one of our most commonly discussed topics is being a single Christian woman. We're currently doing a study on Falling in Love With Jesus. It's applicable to both married and single women. It's written by a married woman, Dee Brestin, and a single woman, Kathy Troccoli. It's been a great book to remind us of our First Love and to seek after Him. Daily, I gain nuggets to cling to as we are all continuing to grow in our relationship with Him.
Although it's been many years since I've been single, I know there are times it can be tough. Life can be tough married or single, but we're reminded God has a plan. We cling to that! In Jeremiah 29:11 (The Message) God reminds us, "I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out- plans to take care of you, not to abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for."
We all need that reminder now and again. He knows what He's doing. He has our future planned out. Sometimes it's just hard to be patient.
I've been so incredibly blessed by these gals sharing their hearts and lives with me. I think of how much each of us has grown through our struggles, achievements, heartaches, and joy. I especially love how God has knit our hearts together for such a time as this.
About a year ago, I told my gals, I hoped to see them walk down the aisle. God is faithful and we've seen his answered prayers. I'm so excited for what lies ahead for our precious newlyweds.
Our newlywed gave us the book, Ocean Star, awhile back. Here's The Ocean Star Blessing for my girls. It is written by Christina DiMari.
Today, may you now your are a Star that is Designed to Shine.
Always stay connected to your Source of Life &
May the Living Water make you whole.
Always travel with a pod of people who bring out the best in you &
May you be protected from those who would destroy your Dreams.
Always remember your Heart is the wellspring of life &
May it be guarded by Truth and filled with Peace.
Always hold on to your Rock when the waves of adversity come &
May you be surprised by Pearls of encouragement along the way.
Always Look Up when choosing which way to go &
May the Bright Morning Star light your path.
Always believe in the infinite possibilities that are born of Faith &
May you use your gifts to Shine Brightly for others.~