Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Faithful and Fantastic Friends

"First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you..." Romans 1:8
"I always thank God for you because of His grace given you in Christ Jesus."  1 Corinthians 1:4
 "I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. " Ephesians 1:16
"I thank my God every time I remember you.  In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy." Philippians 1:3-4
"We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you."  Colossians 1:3
"We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers."  1 Thessalonians 1:2
"We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing." 2 Thessalonians 2:3
"I thank God...as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers." 2 Timothy 1:3
 "I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers..."Philemon 4

I love the way Paul kicks off many of his letters.  I love that he expresses gratitude to the Lord for whomever he is writing.  I really enjoy reading Paul's letters in their entirety.  He is a passionate writer.  His letters are honest and filled with heart.  God gifted him in the area of communication, and if we choose to, we can benefit from his words.

I would like to take the Paul approach and express my gratitude to the wonderful people God has placed in my life, especially over the past six months...I'm going to take a stab at some Paul-ish writing...

Amber, a follower of Christ,
To my amazing friends near and far, to my incredible BBC East Campus Family, to my wonderful family, to those I have known for years, to those I have recently met:

I always thank my God for you every time I pray.  I am beyond blessed to have such a network of support and encouragement.  When my children are hurting, you reach out and love on them.  You have allowed them to express their hurt and pain.  You have supplied them with hours of happy distraction.  You have taken them out for milkshakes and enough frozen yogurt to cover Asheville.  You have invited them to ball games, movies, and playgrounds.  You have showered them with unconditional love.  You have provided consistency that they have desperately needed.  For that, I am truly grateful.

As for me, I cannot understand the depth of your love for me.  I have felt overwhelmed by the love and support you have shown me.  From bringing Chick-fil-A to sustain us when I could not find the energy to cook to watching Cecely and Titus so I could sleep.  From inviting us into your homes for rest and respite to taking us on adventures.  From answering midnight phone calls to texting me at 3am to make sure I'm ok.

Most importantly, I am grateful for the prayers you have offered up to our Father on my behalf.  I have felt strength on days when I had none.  I have experienced joy when I doubted I ever would again.  I have been encouraged and lifted up daily through your prayers to the Lord.  There have been days when I have been so low, so discouraged, so distracted by doubt and fear where I could literally feel God's presence encircle me...I know this was through the prayers of the saints.

I do not have the words to fully express how thankful I am.  I am blessed beyond measure.  Thank you for the role you have had in my life's story.  Thank you for being faithful to Him.  Thank you for your love to my children and me.  I am simply grateful!

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