Yesterday, our old reunion group got together for lunch at the gorgeous new home of one of our original members. The six of us met every Monday at La Madeleine Bakery over coffee for some 25 years. We poured our hearts out as we navigated times that we thought so difficult and beautiful and so full of life and blessing and every facet of emotion. Little did we know what the next years would bring.
We called it reunion group but it was our therapy session–truly our lifeline to sanity and everything sacred as we journeyed through what Anne Morrow Lindbergh referred to as the Oyster Bed years in Gift from the Sea–years where family and chores and the busyness of a full house demanded so much of our time that we often wondered if we had lost ourselves entirely in the laundry piles somewhere. We grounded ourselves in those wondrous years with a weekly visit about the deep mysteries of a sacred life and reset the course each week to walk closely with our Savior and to know Him better as we muddled our way through this messy chaotic, and blessed time of life. Finally, we closed the meeting with a prayer for each other and discussed our moment closest to Christ that week.
Yesterday as we gathered, we knew how changed we were from life’s blows. Beautifully, each had managed to maintain an inner glow that only Christ can give. We had all centered ourselves on that inexplicable Peace that comes in the storm, not once we are free from it. Three of the six of us had lost our husbands in the past three years. Another’s husband was recovering from a heart attack that he had suffered just this past November. We had lost parents, suffered serious health issues, breast cancer, and a stroke, financial struggles, and we had dealt with grown children who had major struggles, substance abuse, divorces, and some had lost their way. Life imprinted its indelible scars on each of our hearts, and the captivating result were hearts more full of love and mercy than I ever remembered so many years ago.
Aren’t these women beautiful! If you knew them, you would know also that their beauty runs through and through coursing through their veins, not simply through their alluring smiles. They survived the curves life has thrown them, and they stand as sweet testimony to a victorious life when you have Jesus deep inside.
I so love these women and am overflowing with gratitude that God chose them to walk with me over all of these years and show me Christ in their love for me and others. And for the record, this luncheon was my moment closest to Christ this week!
Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.