For as many years as I can remember, I have referred to those closest of the close friends, colleagues, and accountability partners as my “heart friends.” Those people you can pour out your soul to, and they will listen, show empathy when appropriate, and encouragement when needed, and then feed Truth back to me. Those hard words that are hard to say, hard to digest, hard to hear, and the hardest to obey. But, I am incredibly grateful these friends love Jesus so well that they love me like they love Him, and that the truth of His word is reflected back to me in their actions and words.
I was reflecting on this very topic about a week ago after having coffee with a dear friend I do not get to see very often as she lives halfway across the world, but each time we meet (as infrequent as it may be), my soul sings and my spirit is enriched. It is gut-wrenching, honest, and raw conversation about our faith, our fears, our trials, and our fragile hearts. She reflects Jesus back to me. And I hope I do the same for her.
Then, I came home a few days later from a business trip, and while catching up on my emails, my eyes roved greedily over this post delivered to my inbox. “The Scribbled Truth that Changed my Life” on Proverbs 31 Ministries website, written by founder Lysa Terkeurst, and as I read, a little crack in the dam began to develop and I read.
“When my baby sister died tragically and unexpectedly, my entire world flipped upside down. It was a very dark season of my life.
What I once knew to be true suddenly became questionable.
Is God good? If so, why this? And if I never know why, how can I ever trust God again?
Hard questions. Honest questions. Questions that haunted me.
Until one day, I got a note from a friend. A girl I not-so-affectionately called my “Bible friend.” She honestly got on my nerves with all her Bible verse quoting. I wasn’t on good terms with God at that point in my life. I didn’t want to believe God even existed. And I certainly wasn’t reading the Bible.
I made all of this very known to my Bible friend. But in her gentle, sweet, kind way … she kept slipping me notes of truth with gently woven verses tucked within. And one day, one verse cracked the dam of my soul. Truth slipped in and split my hardhearted views of life open, just enough for God to make Himself known to me.
I held that simple note with one Bible verse scribbled on the front as the tears of honest need streamed down my cheeks. My stiff knees bent. And a whispered, “Yes, God,” changed the course of my life.
My “Bible friend” had reached me. And because of her, I’m determined to use my words as a gift to others who may be in hard places … like a friend of mine who recently told me she is struggling with feeling like she has no real purpose.
Life rushes at her each day with overwhelming demands. Everything feels hard, with very little reprieve.
If ever there were a drowning with no water involved, this is where my friend is. Maybe you have a hurting friend, too.
So I sat down to write my friend a card and send her a little gift. I desperately wanted to love her through my words. My heart was full of care, compassion and a strong desire to encourage, but I struggled to translate all I felt on paper.
As I prayed about it, the word “loved” kept coming to mind.
Remind her she is loved. Remind her how much you respect her. Remind her that she is a woman who has so much to offer. Remind her she is valuable and she is enough.
In Acts 3, Peter and John encountered a crippled man at the temple gate called Beautiful. They stopped. They noticed. They decided to touch. Riches weren’t available to them but the ability to value was.
As our key verse of Acts 3:6-7a says, “‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’ Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up …”
Peter and John didn’t have silver, but they had a hand to offer and value to give. The man in need was worth touching. The hurting one in need was a man who needed someone to see him as a man. The man in need had so much to offer. After he got up, he went into the temple courts, praising God and stirring up wonder and amazement about God.
I want my friend to remember she, too, has praise left inside her for our God. She, too, can get up. She, too, can stir up amazement and wonder about our God.
Yes, she is loved and God has a good plan for her. I want to help her see that, just like my “Bible friend” did for me all those years ago.
I will never doubt the power of one woman reaching into the life of another woman with some written whispers of love.”
“Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you.’” Acts 3:6a (NIV)
I hope and pray that we can all be like that aforementioned “Bible Friend” that regularly reached out to Lysa to encourage her and to scribble little Truths for her on those hard days; those days were we feel alone, unloved, and uninvited.
Use the gift of words that the Lord has given. Use whatever gifts He has given for the furtherance of His kingdom and for His glory.