Monday, July 1, 2024

The Gift of Friendships

 This summer our church is doing a sermon series on topics from the book of Proverbs. One of the sermons was on the wisdom of having Godly friendships. Ironically at the time of this sermon one of my dearest friends is in the process of moving. We have chosen to lean into change this will bring to not only us, but to the many who call her friend. Not only has she been a friend, but she has also been a partner in the ministry that we serve in together. We recently had a going away party and I am going to share some of the thoughts I shared with her at that party. Her name is Tanna and I started by sharing adjectives for the letters of her name

T -- tactful, talented, thoughtful, trustworthy, tenacious

A -- admirable, ambitious, affectionate, adventurous

N -- natty, natural, nectarous, neighborly, nurturer

N -- noteworthy, noble, nourisher, nice, nifty

A -- altruistic, approachable, amiable, amazing, awesome

The emotions I have felt about Tanna leaving have been big. I am experiencing a big sadness that there will be so much physical space between us, that her face won't be seen at our Monday night groups, Sad that coffee and lunch dates will be so far apart, that our plans of a long-term partnership in ministry have ultimately been changed by our good and loving Abba.  

I am experiencing a big anger that the timing of her move is out of my hands as it should be. For we both truly want to follow hard after our God. 

I am experiencing big anxiety for her and all the new she will experience and anxiety for me as I have come to rely heavily on her wisdom, stability, encouragement, and ability to see things my emotions sometimes keep me from seeing accurately, and her validation of the things I sense and the emotions that at times still feel crazy to me. 

I am experiencing big fear that her new people at first might not recognize all the beauty, wisdom, and intelligence she brings to the table, which I know doesn't make sense cause those attributes are so pronounced in her. I also am experiencing fear in wondering if I can keep doing what I do with this huge gaping hole her absence will create in our beautiful ministry "family." 

Over the last few weeks, the most dominate emotions that keeps bubbling to the surface is gratitude. 

Gratitude that we have gotten to be in each other's lives for the last 16 years. Because of this I have had the privilege of watching her grow from a a young lady who could barely make eye contact and who often shook her head "NO," as if she didn't believe her own words to the confident princess-warrior she is now. She continues daily to fight for her own growth, her family's growth, and the growth of every woman who has been in one of her groups or who has simply crossed her path as friends.

Gratitude that she and God allowed me to be her prayer director as she walked through a healing prayer. It allowed me to hear more of her story and enabled me to recognize the miraculous growth God has done in her life. 

Gratitude for her sweet friendship and encouraging words and patience big enough to hear the same stories over and over when events trigger that pesky old stuff. Gratitude for the many times you have seen attitudes or heard things said with a sting and quietly and unassumingly let me know you saw it and reminded me it wasn't something I made up in my head, but a heart issue in another's soul.     

Gratitude that Tanna have been such an excellent sounding board for meeting and retreat prep, for writing that felt so vulnerable that it needed to be said out loud, and a willingness to listen to my blog posts, especially the most prophetic ones or the more vulnerable ones that tell more of my story to the world, as those felt a bit too scary to post.

Gratitude that her partnership in ministry changed from me being her mentor to having a mutual friend who became as a friend and cheerleader to our other ministry leaders. Gratitude that she has always be able to readily see others' strengths and point out how they can best fit into the ministry we do. Gratitude that she can see past all of our weaknesses and see where God is taking us. Gratitude that many have found her to be a safe person and that she has been so proactive in building relationships and offering rich encouragement to our team.

The things I desire for Tanny are many. I desire she go in the adventurous spirit of God's princess-warrior to wherever God leads her. I desire for her to be brave even when she might feel scared, unsure, confused, or invalidated, I desire for her to continue to use her beautiful strong voice to bring healing truth to the lives of women she has yet to meet. I desire for her to foster the same types of friendships in her new location that she fostered here--cause those ladies need Jesus with skin on, too. I desire for her to continue to look to our great God for help as she has been doing. I desire for her to continue doing the hard work of fostering healthy relationships with her family because that is what bondage breakers do.

Lastly, I most strongly desire her to continue to shine ever so bright as spending time with Tanna has been spending time with Jeus with skin on. As I have watched her navigate this move, I have seen her lean in to the hard with a willingness to experience both the big painful and the sweet joyful emotions. I have seen her align her thinking with God's truth, and because of that she has represented her Abba well.

So, Tanna girl, continue to grow and continue to represent Jesus well and you will do for others what you have done so well for us. You were one of the most surprising gifts God gave me in a move I drug my feet on.      



  1. So beautifully expressed, Wendy. Prayers for you and Tanna as the Lord makes a way for her in a new place and provides for PH as this pillar is moved.

    1. Thank you for the kind comment and the prayers. God is so good and working in the midst of the change for us all.



Several years ago I realized that I often sped through my Scripture reading and gave it little thought. Yet, when I had meaningful conversations with friends or family members I replayed them over and over in my head. One day it occurred to me, that if I thought more about what God says in his word that I would not only know more about Him, but I would come to know Him in a personal way. I would know more about His thoughts, His character, His intentions, His passions, and His actions. So, I began to take one verse at a time and think on it and then journal about it. At the time I was served as a volunteer in youth ministry and shared my “Thoughts on God” with those girls. For a while I have been rewriting and posting them on this blog. I have realized when I am in the Word or move through my day focusing on God's presence that I have wonderful opportunities to Meet God in the Everyday. The Everyday can include storms, blessings, hard things, scary things, exciting things...just any where, anyplace, any time. I hope that you will be able to engage with what I write with both your head and your heart. I also hope you will be challenged to love, trust, and know the God of the Scriptures. It is my prayer that as you read you will experience Him at a deeper level and share pieces of your journey in the comments. It is my desire that we form a safe community of believers who pursue the God who loves us radically, eternally, and without reserve. As a precious pastor once told me, "Don't forget, Wendy, God is Good!" I find myself compelled by His Goodness and His Love to share so others can know Him through all the ups and downs of life. Please feel free to dialogue back and to share how each passage impacts you. If if there is a passage you would like me to write on or if you would like to be a guest blogger, please let me know. I am just learning to navigate this blog and appreciate the kind comments you have made in the past...I promise I will even try to respond if you leave a note. If you are blessed please share the blog with friends!