I met one of my dearest friends at Ozark Christian College. In my sophomore year, she came in as a freshman. It didn’t start out as a deep friendship, but it grew more and more as our time at Ozark went on. We started sharing about our lives, eating meals together, and going to coffee shops to work on homework. A friendship was slowly developing the more we spent time together. Eventually, we became next-door neighbors in the dorms, started hanging out regularly and sharing things that were close to our hearts – some things that no one else knew. Being friends with her brings joy, peace, and a sense of belonging into my life. I knew that when I was with her, I was known and loved.
Sadly, our time at Ozark ended and we now live almost 9 hours apart. We don’t eat many meals together anymore, nor are we next-door neighbors. However, we still share our lives with one another. Thankfully, technology has made it possible for us to stay in touch. We schedule a weekly facetime, we share about life, and we send each other funny videos. I find myself pulling up my texts with her to tell her about the most mundane things. I’ll tell her about something funny that my dog did, or a random thought I had. She shares the same things with me as well. We can text about the most random things all day long, but we also send each other prayer requests, worries, and fears. I am deeply grateful for her friendship.
Our friendship reminds me of something that I am learning about God. We’ve all seen the posts on social media with someone’s morning coffee and Bible. I myself have made that same post and don’t get me wrong, I love these kinds of pictures and hope people keep posting them. I love being able to have that time in the morning to recenter and focus on God as I prepare for my day. But I don’t love the guilt I feel when it doesn’t happen, which is more often than I wish it was. But God isn’t only available in that window of time where my coffee is still hot and the world is still quiet. Psalm 37 says that God delights in every detail of our life. Yes, every detail. When I share the minor details with my friend, it deepens our friendship. I love that we are so close I can tell her about something random and she will love to hear it. I think God likes it when we tell Him about the mundane things in our lives as well. It deepens our relationship with Him.
I am learning that I have freedom in my relationship with God. That I can connect with Him throughout my day in multiple ways. I am learning to take away the guilt that I am not doing enough, reading enough, loving enough, praying enough… being enough. The truth is I’m not enough, but He makes me enough, and that is freeing. I’ve been thinking a lot about John 15. Jesus is speaking to His disciples when He says “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit…” The word “remain” is also translated as “abide.” Both mean to continue to stay. When we connect with God throughout the day, during mundane tasks as well as in major life moments, we are remaining in Him. That is when we bear fruit. That is where we will find peace and joy. That is where we will know that we are known and loved.