How often do you cross paths with individuals who seem to be sincere answers to prayer? It isn't something that occurs on a regular basis. How many friends have I known who can testify to the feeling of moving somewhere new and not having those friends around who really know you? Or, in comparison to my own experience, how often are you in a setting where the weight of nobody really knowing you seems to never lift from your shoulders? I don't ask such questions as someone who has been in despair over such things, but I can say that I have experienced that loneliness on occasion for almost two years. I had resolved to accept that I wasn't known, really known, by anyone here. I know plenty of wonderful, encouraging women, but I have never gone beyond mere acquaintance and frequent hugs with them, aside from some of the older women at my church. I confess that I have been somewhat lonely for a kindred spirit in close proximity. Those who know me best, aside from my wonderful boyfriend, live hundreds of miles away, whereas there are no friends here with whom I have the freedom of candidness and digging deep into conversation. However, the Lord has been my steadfast Sustainer. On those nights when I could have really used an evening with a dear friend at a coffee shop, or sitting on my couch watching a girly movie, He has been near. He has also blessed me with an encouraging boyfriend who knows me enough to know when I'm lonely for the "girl talks."
If you read my recent post, you will know that I am thankful for this clever outlet of communication called blogging. It has provided a creative way of staying in touch with the best of friends, and has also been a door to meeting the new acquaintances. I met Gretchen a couple of months ago after she came across my blog and left a comment. Time quickly told of our similarities, whether in books, opinions, or deep convictions. Gret and her husband were moving to Louisville soon, so we made it a point to meet up when they made their first trek down to get some moving details taken care of. Then, just a few days after they officially moved, I invited them over for some Texas-style chili (sorry, no pictures). We had SUCH a good time simply getting to know each other over bowls of chili and cornbread. I quickly sensed the humor and like-mindedness between them and my boyfriend and I. After such a nice evening, we made immediate plans to meet for dinner at their apartment just a short week later. Therefore, I present to you pictures from Saturday night!
I know that there is still plenty of "getting to know you" left, but I also know that I have met a kindred spirit after all. You can tell quite a bit about someone by the things they share with the world on a blog, and I was definitely in anticipation upon meeting Gretchen. In a nutshell that doesn't remotely do my joy justice, I have been so encouraged in recent weeks. How refreshing (and relieving on some days) it is to have a dear friend with whom you can share both joys and frustrations without feeling like you have to hold back. At this point in time, my prayer is simple: that I hope to somehow given in return the honesty, genuine opinion on both big and "small" matters, and joy that I have seen in my new friend.