Written by my friend Chris Wills:
This weekend, the five women in my couples small group decided to take a trip to Texas. Why Texas? Well, since I was born and bred there, I would ask, “Why not?” The truth is our favorite HGTV show, Fixer Upper, was having the huge grand opening of their new store in Waco, Texas. We saw this as a perfect opportunity to hop on a plane for a quick girls trip. Not an easy feat.
Though we are mostly empty nesters, we were leaving behind: husbands—one with ALS, work, five children, and one new foster daughter. In spite of all that, we were giddy. Flash flood warnings all around Texas did NOT slow us down. We got drenched in Waco. We drove through some horrendous rainstorms. We learned that one in our group is terrified of torrential rain. We enjoyed Magnolia Market, Harp Designs, and Common Grounds coffee shop. We sipped our coffee on the Common Grounds porch as the rain came down in sheets around us. And we took more social media pictures than I care to admit.
But, for me, the icing on the cake was getting to see my two worlds collide. Georgia friends, whom I have done life with for almost 20 years, got to meet my Texas friends, who have been dear to me since college. Sisters-in-law also intersected in some of these relationships, making it even that much sweeter! We went from In-N-Out Burger for dinner one evening—where we all ate each and every French-fry— to the Zodiac Room at Neiman Marcus the next. There was no rush. No huge agenda. Shopping one day, taking in a Presidential library the next morning. Not laying eyes on Chip and Joanna Gaines, but running into Laura Bush at lunch, and, of course, having a picture made with her! Heart-felt conversations were had, some with tears. At other times we were laughing so hard those tears came again.
All the while, I watched some of my favorite people in the world not only meet, but become sweet instant friends with one another. Then it hit me. At some point in my life, I have been in a circle with each one of these ladies. We have married one another off, birthed children, encouraged each other through years of mothering and baseball games. We have celebrated and grieved the ups and downs of life together. We have known life’s joys, beauty, death, sickness, surgeries, divorce, recovery, and the need to have others navigate it all with us.
As I fly home, I am overwhelmed with how the Lord has blessed me through the friendships of these fearless, faithful women. The extra bonus, or hug, I felt like I received this weekend, was getting to see these friendships that span my lifetime connect with one another.
“In this world we will have trouble . . .” God promises that. But in this world, we experience glimpses of heaven as well. This weekend was one of those glimpses for me.