Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Tie that Binds

When I grow up I want to be just like … Quick, who just came to mind? Isn’t it funny that no matter how old we get, we (hopefully) always have friends a step ahead of us whom we admire, women we would love to follow as they are obviously following Jesus?

These past few weeks I have had the rare treat of having one such woman here in town, close by, to enjoy and to learn from. I first met Ann and her husband 22 years ago this very month, when they attended a conference in Guatemala. Back then I was a young mother with a baby and a toddler, expecting my third. Bob and Ann loved on me and encouraged me in a tangible way that I’ll never forget.

I’ve only seen these dear friends a total of five times in all the years following that divine appointment, but they left an indelible mark on my life. They soon left the pastorate to join a group called Barnabas International, which, like Women of the Harvest, is all about encouraging missionaries on the field. It is a perfect fit for the gifts and abilities of this precious couple. Maybe some of you even know them. I wouldn’t be surprised.

Ann first taught me about hospitality when we visited them in Texas on one of our long journeys from Guatemala to Ohio. I can still picture how she took me in her kitchen and swung wide every cabinet and pantry, showing me the contents. If there was anything we needed or wanted, we could help ourselves. It was the most welcoming home I have ever visited.

Another time Bob and Ann made a special quick trip all the way to Oaxaca simply because they read between the lines in a personal letter I had written them, and they knew I was in desperate need of encouragement. I will never forget their sacrifice that provided a healing balm for my weary soul. Our hearts are bonded permanently simply because of their love and care.

Last Saturday I had the privilege again of walking to our local market to help Ann buy fresh produce. It wasn’t a big deal, but it was a privilege just to spend time with such a woman of God. I am smiling just typing this up. It sounds almost silly to say how much I admire and adore this dear friend.

A few months back, I think some people misunderstood a comment a reader left on this blog admitting she had a “crush” on me. I was not in the least confused by her remark. I know exactly what she meant. I was, however, honored, assuming she meant the same kind of affection I have for my friend Ann.

IRL* Hoping to pave the way for other weary women just like Ann has for me.


  1. This type of adoring... this deep silly joy in the being near each other... isn't this how we should feel about our brothers and sisters! It is so very sweet. As I read your post, tender feelings arise in me as I think of my "Anns", as well. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Absolutely! Good point. We should always feel privileged to be with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Sadly not all of them bring such joy to our hearts and lives. I'm glad you have Anns of your own.

  3. i think it was another jamie (jamie langston turner) who wrote in one of her books something along the lines of "you know someone is a true friend when you haven't even said goodbye yet and you are already looking forward to the time you will be with them again." i'm so thankful God has given us the beautiful gift of friendships and that He knits together hearts. i also want to say thanks as i recall the precious "Anns" whose love and friendship has forever changed me and my heart.

  4. How fitting that "Anns" is synonymous with dear, loving friends. I like that. And I'm thankful you have them, too.

  5. Yes, I understand completely. I have just such a missionary friend in a city about an hour away. A true Balm of Gilead to my soul. Good post!


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