“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!