These three words have been pregnant with meaning for me the past few months. It seems like the Lord keeps speaking them to me, in different ways, in different forms, in different areas of my life.
Friendship first came to me while I was reading a new devotional (well, new to me, but a classic) that a friend bought for me recently entitled, “Space for God” by Don Postema. In it he wrote:
“I’ve come to believe that being a friend of God is a deeper basis for spirituality and prayer than being a servant or even a child of God.”
Those words really hit me. Because when I first found Jesus late in my senior year of high school, I knew I wanted to serve him. So, my heart was set on doing that for many years, (well, hit and miss for the first few). Then, the realization that I was a child of God was HUGE for me. To know that I was adopted by my Father, chosen and loved and even received all that He has was even HUGE-ER (not a word, but you know what I mean). I lingered in that truth for a very long time. It changed my life. But, now I am in a season where I think I agree with Postema, that being a friend of God is an even deeper relationship in prayer than I’ve ever experienced. We are at a place in our relationship that is truly friendship. Friendship is easy. It’s comfortable (and I don’t mean so irreverently). He actually calls us friends and not servants, right? And because of many, many hours in quiet with him, I love that I am known and loved in his presence, and I know him better than I ever have, because of it. There is still a lot of discovery ahead, and I love that about friendship, too. There is so much joy as well. I am forever grateful for this eternal friendship. And I am enjoying it daily.
I am also learning to appreciate and even enjoy the season of friendship that I find myself in currently. You see, my husband and I have been in our local church as pastors for over 30 years, having many friendships inside and outside our church. And when we left local church ministry, we found it harder to find consistent community, to be honest. (Plus, we haven’t lived in Idaho that long, either.) So now, our main community is our kids and grandkids and it has been an incredible gift. We love it! But as far as friendships, we now have much of our community online. It’s crazy, but our closest friends live all over the country and even the world. It was hard at first for us, but through this word of friendship, He has shown me what a rich group of friends that He has given to us: friends that we carry each other’s burdens, laugh with, play hard with, love their kids and challenge each other in the things of God. Plus, we even get to be in the same room with them several times a year, and we make it a priority to do that because of what it does for our soul. I am so blessed by such rich relationships, and I’ve found that they don’t need to live down the street, as well as, embrace what God has given to me now.
Favor has also been a word that the Lord has spoken to me in many ways lately. He has given me favor these days…in my workplace, in my ministry, as a woman and even as a mom. I have prayed for it for a long time, and tried to position myself for it in the past. But, only God gives us favor and sometimes we don’t even notice it. Or maybe we notice it late. But, he has shown me many times and in many settings where this is true lately. And then he said to just walk in it. And so, I am learning to do that. Because it hasn’t always been true for me. I don’t take it lightly, and I acknowledge that it only comes from him. But I must be honest, it really feels good.
Freedom is such a powerful word. I want to walk in freedom in really, every area of my life. I mean, I have experienced a ton of freedom in this season of my life, but I want more. I want to be free in my relationships, not to carry stuff that is not mine to carry, and then not continue to worry about it. I want to be free to let things go, and let God take care of stuff, not me. I am learning to walk in freedom as a woman in leadership, as someone who doesn’t always need to think the same way as my co-workers, but to know that it is still the right way to think because I am just being who God made me to be. Even the current leadership team that I am on, (which is all men and myself), has really had an enormous impact on me in that way. Their belief in me and appreciation of my voice is freeing me to lead like never before, that’s for sure.
Friendship, favor and freedom is real, tangible and I am being made aware of how God is working these things in my life. How about you? Are you in a season of friendship with God? Do you sense his favor, or have you even thought about it? How is your freedom meter? Are you becoming more free or less free these days?
I bless you with deep, life-changing friendship with God and friends.
His unmerited and powerful favor on your life,
And the freedom to enjoy the life he intended for you.