Friday, April 30, 2010

Faith's Journey to Hope, Part 3: The Voice of Hope

(So excited that Diane is sharing today's post. This is not just my story, it's ours. Love ya friend!)

“You need to be careful, after all, you don’t even really know this person.”
“ Remind me, how did you connect with her again?”
“ Isn’t 10 days a little long? Are you sure about this?”

Those were just a few of the loving questions of concern I was met with the day I told my close friends that Joy was coming to visit me. Isn’t it a shame that we live in a society where we have to challenge our hearts and motives? As much as I appreciated their care and interest, never once did I doubt the motive of Joy's visit. I had been given perfect peace about the timing, length and purpose of her trip. Let me take you back to the beginning of my story.

I met Joy when I joined an on line blog with Proverbs31 Ministries. I was amazed that because of one woman's commitment to read through the bible in a year, “Faith” met “Hope”. Every day I would go to this blog and read the comments from precious women who were daily seeking God's heart. We became a circle of friends. We shared in each others everyday lives. The only thing missing was physically meeting eye-to-eye.

As the months went by and this group grew closer, I felt led to pray and petition for many of my new friends. I purchased a new pink journal where I recorded their names, as well as their “blog” names. Before I knew it, I had filled page after page with prayers and praises for them and their loved ones. These women were from all around the world. Kristen from California, Lori from Arizona, Nancy from Missouri, Channa from the Bahamas, and the list goes on. We all connected because of one woman, Wendy from North Carolina, who simply said, “Yes God, I’ll commit to facilitate this study.”

When Wendy needed to travel for a speaking engagement or take time away, although seldom done, she would ask Joy to fill in for her. That is when I think I really connected with Joy.

I had met her on the blog, loved reading her comments, and found her insight amazing. I also knew that during this time her heart was heavy for her daddy. You see, he was very sick and Joy asked for a lot of prayer for him. I remember praying continually for her dad. As time went on, her dad's condition worsened. All of us were praying daily for God to show Joy, and her loved one, evidence of His mighty hand.

I would pop in and out on Joy’s blog, leaving her notes to try and let her know she wasn’t alone. Others did the same and there was such a bond with this particular group of women, that words fail to give it justice. Over the next year Joy and I would write back and forth. As I reflect now, I think God was planting roots in our hearts.

Several of us planned to meet at the She Speaks Conference in North Carolina last summer, but Joy was not able to attend. I felt led to be her eyes. I took pictures for her and narrated the entire trip. It was funny how I would seem to capture pictures of the exact people Joy knew and wanted to see without her even asking. Since that time she has revealed to me how precious it was that I sacrificed the time to do this for her. It made her feel so special...almost as if she was there.

Now, let's return to our present adventure. Joy has already started you on the journey, but there are two things, that out of love she has not revealed to you yet. Through all of this I was going through a divorce. I also live with some disabilities. These details don't matter, except that if I omit mentioning them I will rob the Lord of countless praises and fail to let you see the many wonders of His mighty love for me!

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Lutiemom said...

What a fun addition to the story. So excited to hear from you, Diane.


Leah @ Point Ministries said...

How neat! Thanks for sharing your jouney of friendship with us.


Lori said...

God's ways always awe me! I, too, was apart of this bond of gals, journeying through God's Word, with Wendy! From Jan. 1st on I was drawn to Joy's blog. Daily, I would pop in and be awed by her writing. Day by day she showed me that God's Word, was living. Never had I looked at the Bible from the way she did. She was always able to pull out a scripture and apply it to her own life. This was new to me. God used this special sister, to open His Word and show me how we live it, today! That it not only is history, but current, meant for us to live it out! She also showed me that His Word, and clinging to Him, during our trials and sufferings gives us hope and peace. Honestly, I really was not a praying Christian, and I was missing out on the most intimate part of the relationship that Jesus so desires. As, I began praying along side her for her father, every morning, God began working in a mighty way on my end. And, at about the same time, I felt drawn to Diane! She had prayer requests, and quite innocently, I began praying for her. At times, the enemy would come in and say stuff to my mind: "you don't even know her, why are you daily praying for her!" But. God. His pull, thankfully, was stronger, and I felt so close to Diane, words can not even describe it! I loved her! I prayed daily for her and God began speaking to me! This period of my life was a changing - God time! I found that the more I prayed, the more God blessed me! That while I was praying for these 2 ladies, He was actually speaking to me, during this quiet time! Giving me attention as I prayed over them! My prayer time increased and my closeness became indescribable! Intimate. Close. Nothing compares to an intimate relationship with our Father!

So, what totally awes me, is that these 2 ladies, whom I will never be able to thank enough, were drawn together! Joy taught me through her modeling how to read God's Word, and look for and anticipate nuggets, while Diane started my personal prayer time with God...and now, to come to find out that God drew these 2 ladies together! Two of my favorite bloggy friends were blessed as they so deserved to be, with the friendship of each other! Like I said in an earlier post, a friendship made in heaven!

You have know idea how special it is to me to read about your 10 day journey! The sprinkles on the ice-cream cone that God continues to add upon! My, my, His sprinkles are better than ice-cream itself!

Keep the posts coming lovely ladies, daughters of our Most High! ox, Lori

PS Nancy, I've missed you and keep your husband tucked in my prayers!

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

Good, good, good! Keep 'em coming ladies! Can't wait to read the next installment! :) Mississippi

Lutiemom said...

I miss you too, Lori! It's always good to hear from you!

Sharon Sloan - Joy In The Truth said...

I just love this testimony about God's faithfulness to bring you sisters together! Will continue to look forward to more parts of the testimony!!!!!

On Purpose said...

I am enjoying seeing the beauty of God in all this!

~Grace and Peace said...

I love reading about this journey from Diane's perspective. I can't wait to see the next installment.

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Love reading this.....

Have missed you...

Stop by and check out my Mother's Day Giveaway.

Patty said...

I loved reading this story.
I was also a part of this group of bible reading sisters.
I have truly missed the closeness that we all shared as we prayed for each others hurts and victories, even though we had never met.
Joy, you took the time to send me an email when my husband was out of work last year and I could feel your prayers cutting across the miles. Thank you for that. Your special insight into scripture just blows me away.
I am so happy that you two girls have been able to meet in person and spend some time together. I wish I could have been there too.
Keep us posted.

Lori said...

ok, Joy...I think it's about time for Part