In this week’s Worship Wednesday, Hillary shares about the time God turned a running date into a divine appointment and reminded her she is never alone in this life!
by Hillary Baggett
The answer was yes. The question was, “Could I maybe run with you, sometime?”
A simple question, but one that took a lot of courage to ask my friend. I had watched her run, slow and steady and nearly every single day. Even my sweet kids said, “Mom there is no way you could keep up with her. She runs EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.”
We attended the same chapel service. She was a substitute teacher for each of my kids, and she shined the light of Christ – in her marriage, with her kids, and as she taught. That is why I needed courage. I had built her up to be too perfect to be my friend, or my running buddy.
Finally, I summoned the courage, felt a prompting from the Holy Spirit (apparently where I often find my courage), and asked. I was new to THIS particular town, having moved from just two miles away. And, for those of us in this awesome and sometimes unpredictable military life, even moving two miles can feel like relocating to a whole new state or a different country. Connecting with friends can be a challenge. Meeting other Moms at the bus stop would have been an option, but for three years my kids were the only ones at their stop.
Add the gray skies of Germany and some serious seasonal affective disorder (yep, abbreviated SAD because that is also how one feels when you do not see the sun for weeks on end), my energy level plummeted. I felt like the bed or couch was calling me to stay another hour or two. Lifting up my head felt like an Olympic feat.
Then, one day, we met for a run. She came to the bus stop after I sent my last child on her way. I confessed that I did not consider myself a runner and I was nervous about keeping up with her. She gently replied, “Just let me know, I can adjust my pace.” I had to also let her know I had ruptured some ankle ligaments and may have to walk some, too.
What I did not realize, was this friendship was a divine appointment. We would walk, talk, jog, and later pray together and open up our hearts so we could encourage each other: in marriage, in faith, as mothers, daughters, sisters, and believers in Christ.
Just this morning, she texted me, several years later, to say she felt so incredibly blessed that I asked if I could run with her.
What neither of us knew at the time was that God was blessing us with more than just a running partner. He gave us each the gift of a friend to run alongside us through life, with all its joys, sorrows, heartbreaks, celebrations, and moves. It took me some time to truly appreciate how precious this was.
After a short time, we had to say goodbye as she moved to another country and I eventually returned to the U.S.A.
The Treasure of Togetherness
What a treasure God gives us in each other. To have a friend who will speak truth, share love, and encourage me to seek the Lord with all my heart.
In the spirit of friendship and building community, I encourage you to find a friend who wants you to seek truth in God’s Word and obey it (Galatians 5:7), trust the Lord from the bottom of your heart and run to God with everything (Proverbs 3:5-7 The Message), and avoid comparing yourself to others by running the race set specifically for you (Hebrews 12:1). Any friend who will do this for you is more than just a friend, she is a sister in Christ. She is to be cherished. Satan seeks to isolate us so we become easier prey for him, but praise God for his provision of sisters in Christ who remind us we are never alone.
That is what this song, “Brother” by Needtobreathe featuring Gavin Degraw reminds me to do. I pray it will remind you that you are never alone either.
Father God, I confess that I am insecure when it comes to choosing friends. Help me, Lord, to seek you when choosing friends to run through this race of faith in life towards you. Encourage me to grow in faith, in strength, in trust, and in obedience. Grant me courage to persevere even when life is tough. Lead me to friends who will speak the truth in love. (Eph 4:15 NIV) Show me how to soar on wings like eagles, to run and not grow weary. (Isaiah 40:31) Help me to remember that with you, Lord, and the friends you send to me, I am indeed never alone. Amen.