I Call You Friend

“The Cullen’s* are going to leave your team.” I heard this message whispered to my heart while I was on medical leave almost a decade ago. My “team” referring to faithful brothers and sisters in Christ who sustained my ministry through prayer and giving was especially precious to me during that difficult time because I wasn’t able to work due to physical struggles. I wrestled with continuing to receive their support even though I had a doctor’s order and provision through human resources for a leave of absence.

When these words hit my heart, I immediately tried to shake off the unsettling impression. And then I went on with my day. A revelation occurred several days later when I received a note from Mrs. Cullen saying how heartbroken she was to share with me that she and her husband were unable to remain on my team since they had changes in their lives. She expressed her fervent prayer for God to make it up to me double fold.

I so valued the Cullen’s presence on my team as cherished friends whose faith in me and my ministry meant the world. My heart needed an extra dose of encouragement from the Lord since I was vulnerable to the lie that people would think I wasn’t worth sustaining if I couldn’t be productive. Even though I revisited my confidence in God to provide for my financial needs including medical expenses, I felt affirmed by the Lord as a faithful and merciful confidant who protects my heart.

Jesus says in John 15:15, “No longer do I call you slaves for the slave does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends for all things I have heard from the Father I have made known to you.” His communication to His children isn’t as a slaves who solely receive orders, never knowing the intimate companionship with the one who has all power and authority.

Jesus identifies Himself in many ways but let’s not miss His friendship. He imparts comfort and encouragement. He confides in us about His Father’s heart and purposes. He likes who we are as individuals and enjoys our company. His voice may bring disturbing feelings on occasion but rest assured, Jesus’ intentions reside in our best interest. He wants to journey with us and support those moments in our story when we feel fragile and perhaps aren’t aware of all we are processing.

I share a rare instance when I received an impression from the Lord about what was going to happen so you can join me in reflecting on His unfailing friendship. Dearest sister, pause with me to thank Him for not relating to us as a slave but as a companion whose loving care and concern supports us.

I also wouldn’t miss this opportunity to extend my heartfelt gratitude for the ways your friendship mirrors to me our Lord’s love. I am so grateful to have “Jesus with skin on” (and might I add sassy accessories and cute hair do’s) through you sister.

~Laura

*The name is a pseudonym.

 

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