Tess: HI! Good morning . . . I don’t think I’ve seen you here before.
Laura: Yes, this is my first time attending. My husband and I just moved to Lincoln and his co-worker mentioned this church.
Tess: Well, welcome . . . to Lincoln and to Lincoln Berean!
Laura: Thanks. So, is everyone here this morning a member of this church?
Tess: No. Our Tuesday morning classes are open to anyone in the community. I know there are ladies here who regularly worship at another church on the weekend.
Laura: But, is it better to be from the same church background to really get something out of the class? I don’t really know a ton about the Bible.
Tess: Not really. There are women exploring, learning and getting connected from many backgrounds & places in their journey . . . Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian. We have a little of everything.
Laura: How will I ever “get connected,” as you’ve said, when I don’t know ANYone?
Tess: Let me share a little bit about what God has recently done for me at Equip Her . . . even though I’ve been attending Berean for many years. Did I tell you my name is Tess Willman? And Jesus is my very best friend! I’ve got to say, I just really like being WITH Him.
Laura: What do you mean by that?
Tess: Well, I walk with Him every morning and talk to Him about everything. I ask Him for protection for my family, friends and myself. I ask Him for guidance and wisdom and to be used for His will throughout my day. I thank Him for so many answered prayers. I ask for forgiveness when I’ve offended Him. I sing to Him in my car and in my home. I can’t see Him, but I know He sees me and hears my voice!
Laura: Sounds like you’ve got it figured out.
Tess: No. Jesus knows that I can’t do life on my own. Even though I know that I can count on Him, He knows I also need to . . . see a face, hear a human voice, laugh with someone, and have someone to cry with when I need to.
That’s why He’s given me precious friends. He put me in a prayer group in the Equip Her class I took last fall that gives me all of that.
Laura: A group smaller than this one then?
Tess: On Tuesday morning we have a wide range of ages and life stages. Our MUMs group is the beautiful young gals with the darling sweet babies; there is new group this year, called Selah, for moms with kids working their way from Kindergarten to 12th grade; last year a group called the Berean Babes shared with us. They ranged in age from 75 to 90 and are the amazing wise women who have mentored so many others.
But the ladies sharing my current life-journey’s challenges, joys, heartaches and chuckles falls somewhere in the middle!
Laura: I get THAT!!
Tess: The amazing ladies God brought together for my table were JUST what I needed. And we’ve really bonded . . . without having the same family upbringing or spiritual background or being at the same place in our knowledge of the Bible or relationship with Jesus.
The best part of friendship is getting to share our real, “now” lives with each other. We’ve married, raised families, are now Empty-nesters. At this point, we walk along-side our adult kids and do life with them. We’re so thankful when they’re walking with the Lord. We rejoice at our children’s graduations and career paths. We share blessings over weddings and new babies. We get the privilege of sharing Jesus with our grandkids.
We also walk along-side our aging parents and help them, when we can, to do life with health issues. Some of us have already ushered one or more of them into the arms of Jesus.
We cry with each other in struggles and trials. We send Bible verses and words of encouragement. ALWAYS, we pray for each other.
FUN is also a wonderful part of friendship! We make coffee & lunch dates and plan girl trips together.
Laura: Sounds great!
Tess: These ladies have been such a gift to me.
I see Jesus in their hearts,
I hear Jesus in their voices,
I feel Jesus in their hugs.
THEY are Jesus’s hands & feet here on earth to me! I thank the Lord that He has given me His love, peace and comfort through these friends. We all love the Lord and each other. HE is the ONE that brings us, and binds us, together.
Laura: Thank you, Tess, for sharing this with me. I do hope that I, and others, will find new friends. I know that connecting takes effort, but it sure sounds like it’s worth it!
John 15:5 – I am Christ’s friend.
John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:12-13 – This is my commandment, Love one another as I have loved you. You are my friend if you do what I command you.
Proverbs 27:9 – Oil & perfume make the heart glad, so a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.