I want to share a little story with you about divine appointments and sweet sisterhood God has provided me when I needed it most. But first, a little background information for your pretty minds… I was raised by a beautiful, eccentric, single mother. From age 4 until 22 we lived in the same house and were a dynamic duo. With a relationship more like sisters or friends, we argued hard and loved even harder. We shared shoes, books, laughter, and on stormy nights we slept in the same bed. Friends frequently asked me why I hadn’t moved out yet since most have already by age 22. I didn’t have a desire to do so. Now to say God gave me a perfect mother or that we had a “Gilmore Girls” relationship is not the case; however, our relationship was so unique and deeply treasured. I can remember being in a restaurant where the waiter kept referring to us as sisters. My mom was thrilled and I was so embarrassed. We laughed and talked about that for days.
In August of 2014, heaven couldn’t wait for my sweet mama any longer; she was called home. This was very unexpected and shocking, as she was just 56 and had no major health problems. The first month after her death was a whirlwind. I barely remember it actually. What I remember seems so hazy. An out of body experience. Looking back, God carried me through every moment. I was so stoic: planning her funeral, delivering the eulogy, and packing up my things in the house we shared. I ran errands every day and filled my time with the busy work that comes after someone close passes. But I never ceased praying. I prayed for everyone affected by her loss. I mentioned all her family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers when I sat sleepless at night. I prayed for their strength and healing. The only time I included myself in the prayers was to ask God to bring a friend into my life who truly understood what I was living with every day. I was yearning for a friend who had a similar situation and knew my emotions and would pray with me and for me, not because they wanted to, but because they knew their prayers fueled my strength.
I frequent The Simply Beloved on Instagram regularly and have written a piece here before. One day, I was on their page and stumbled upon a girl who had commented on a post. I went to her profile and was instantly pushed to follow her. Shortly after doing so, I noticed she had posted that her dad recently passed away. That night I sat and prayed for her and her family. I cried out to God to provide comfort and healing for her. All I knew was her first name and that she had blonde, mermaid hair. I wrote about the pain I knew she was feeling in my prayer journal. The very next day I decided to send her a message explaining how I found her and sharing my story. Piper and I have been communicating for a while now. She’s all the way up in Washington and I’m down in Arkansas. I can’t help but thank God for the introduction because I know it was a divine appointment and a prayer answered.
All the late nights I spent crying out for a familiar wounded heart led up to this.
She prays for me and sends me the sweetest messages. The genuine tone in her written words is so evident. She has opened up her home to me if I ever find myself in her town. We have never met in person, but I know her to be one of the most sincere people I’ve encountered. She exudes Christ in all of her photos. If those aren’t qualities of a true, strong, Christian woman then I don’t know what are. While I find my heart is still healing – and to be honest, it will never be mended – I choose every single day to thank the Lord for His mighty choice in calling my mama home. It led to a true, blossoming friendship. Without The Simply Beloved I wouldn’t have found Piper. And without trusting in Him I wouldn’t have found The Simply Beloved. Who knows…maybe one day I will make it up to Seattle. Piper and I can chat in a coffee shop for hours and cry together just like we’ve discussed. Until then, we’ll continue to thank Him for our sisterhood across the miles.
To God be the glory for all the things He has done.
X O, Abby
I want to share with you about my blossoming friendship with one of my fellow TSB sisters. I want to share a prayer I have prayed and a testimony of God’s faithfulness and perfect timing. But before I tell you about this sweet TSB sister-friend of mine, here’s a little bit about how we came into one another’s lives and a bit about who I am.
I am one of nine children. My parents have been married for over 30 years. My mama homeschooled all nine of us while my dad worked hard and relentlessly loved us. I went to college for a running start program at 16 for my AA degree. I have experienced love in a ridiculously beautiful way, I have been saved through a divine grace that only Christ gives. I had the best childhood: my dad told me the story of David and Goliath, my mama taught me what it takes to bake a mean blackberry pie, and my younger brother, Hutton, and I were best buds. I’ve had the most steadfast love given, shown and extended to me by the grace of God, and through His goodness I am set free.
I’ve learned that there is no fear in love – through my family, through my circumstances, this has held a steady truth.
As of February of this year, I lost my dad. I lost him to an unexpected battle of stage four kidney cancer. He was just 53. He was just about to retire. He was just beginning a new season of life with his children, grandchildren and his beautiful wife. It’s only been a few months since his passing, and it still feels as if someone is telling me for the first time all over again. His battle with cancer was ugly and painful to watch. He was diagnosed a few days after he walked me down the aisle, giving me away to my husband. I never expected to be the one to have to let go. I remember the countless nights my entire family spent praying over him. The Lord’s presence was evident to all who spoke to him, touched his hand, or looked into his light blue eyes. Praise Him who restores the broken, heals the sick, and gives strength to the weak. His mercy sings me the promise of His love. I thank the Lord my dad is no longer suffering. And though my family has to bear the loss of a father, husband, brother, and leader, we know that it is already finished through Christ’s blood. I am especially thankful for my dear sister, Abby.
She and I have had the opportunity to become soul sisters because of The Simply Beloved.
It all started when she came across a post I had shared on my Instagram feed a while back, and shortly after reading it, she messaged me. Abby had also recently lost a parent, and her loving words were raw and filled with Christ’s truth. She understood me. She felt the hurt and the emptiness I had been feeling, she prayed for me sincerely and texted me frequently. Since our conversation, I knew she was driven with passion. Passion for people, for Christ, and for everything that has beauty. She has a beautiful blog where she shares what tugs at her heartstrings. She is kind and thoughtful, and as sweet as cotton candy. As Abby has shared, I too had a prayer answered when God arranged for our words to intertwine and our sisterhood to blossom. Abby is sincere with every word she has sent me, prayed over me, and shared with me. As she said, we have never met in person, but I sure hope to one day meet Abby.
Abby, I am so thankful for the gift that you are to this community, and to this world.
Your mama is so proud.
I am healing, learning, and expanding as I go. I am so thankful for The Simply Beloved, and the sisterhood that TSB inspires. We are all a little bit broken, and we all need to be reminded that we are in the same garden. We all need someone to help water, prune, and be there as we grow.