In this week’s Monday Minute, Kori talks about the power of showing up for the people God places in our lives. Who needs you to show up for them today?
The Power of Showing Up
by Kori Yates
I could not have done it alone.
The first time I ran a half marathon was a doozy. Living in Georgia with two young kids at the time, I felt a long way from my time in the Marine Corps when “fit” was my middle name. I was determined and, thankfully, so was my battle buddy, my fabulous friend who decided to run this with me.
We began to train, running on our own during the week and then meeting up on Saturday mornings to get those long runs in. In order to keep you from thinking I looked like some amazingly cute runner in my matching outfit, I need to clarify. After one of our longer runs, I attended church the following morning. A friend mentioned she thought she had seen me out running the day before, then noted the fact that I looked like I was about to die. Exactly how I felt. My battle buddy, a much faster runner than I, continued to push and challenge me. Our families went together to the mountains of North Georgia for our race. The hills were crazy and I’m pretty sure one guy that passed me was about seventy years old, but I finished.
Coming in at the end of the race and seeing the face of my friend, I knew very well I had finished because of her. She had challenged me, encouraged me, and hit the road with me. We were in it together.
I learned the power of showing up that day.
My battle buddy has done the same for me in many circumstances in this military life. We had become friends the first time I showed up on her doorstep with dinner after bringing home their first little one. Our paths have crossed IRL (in real life) multiple times since and we do life together long-distance in between.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”
(Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 ESV)
Finding these friendships, true battle buddies, can be hard in military life. In uniform, I struggled to find other military women who were pursuing Christ as well. Thinking it would be easier as a military wife was a false assumption.
Hard or not, though, battle buddies are vital in our lives. They encourage, help, challenge, protect, and pray. They keep us going when we’re pretty sure we’d rather give up. They show up. And they point us back to Jesus when our focus starts to wander. Hopefully, we do the same for them.
Military life causes tons of people to cross our path. What I have found is that I have to invest and choose. I don’t get these battle buddies by staying home and hoping they show up. As in the case of my running friend, it all started when I took dinner to her house. I had no idea what God was going to do with that, but I am forever glad I showed up. We have to step out whether becoming part of a church, joining a Bible study, getting involved with a local club, or meeting our neighbors.
We have to show up.
The second part for me is to decide. I make multiple friends at every duty station. With social media I can certainly stay in contact with them across the miles, but I honestly can’t maintain a million friendships like that for the long haul. I just don’t have it in me and I have a feeling neither do you.
This is where I choose.
We have friends for a season and friends for life. Both are a necessity and both are good, but they are very different. Spending time with people, getting to know them, I tend to find one or two at each place that float to the top. We have some kind of connection that my heart says, “Keep this one.”
Someday we will come to the end of this military journey and I will still say, “I could not have done it alone.” Battle buddies are vital. No doubt civilian life is much the same.
Two are better than one. They keep us moving, hold us up, and point us back to Jesus. Together we labor for Christ even when we live on different continents.
Who has God put in your path?
God has a battle buddy for all of us. Go looking. Never forget the power of showing up.
Reflect: Ponder the friendships you read about in the verses above. Look at what they walked through together. Consider what they each brought to the friendship in their gifts, knowledge, and circumstance.
Respond: Who has God put in your life and how can you nurture that relationship by showing up for them?
Lord, show me the friendships you have brought into my life to grow me, teach me, and help me. Please guide me in the way you would have me to grow that friendship and the power of showing up that we may both honor you. Amen.
Last week, Michelle talked about the importance of nurturing our relationships with our battle buddies. We’d love to hear your stories of the power of showing up for your battle buddies.