Six years ago, I received an invitation from an acquaintance to join her and some other writers she knew at her home in northern Idaho. I came very close to declining. After all, I knew only a couple of people slightly and most not at all. Wouldn't I feel a bit awkward and out of place?
Oh, how awful it would have been if I'd not joined this group of women. Through the years, they have become the sweetest and dearest of friends. They are my sisters in Christ who I would trust with my very life. They have prayed me through the darkest days I've ever known and held me up when I was too weak to stand on my own power. They have loved me when I felt so unlovable. Being with them is a highlight of every year.
As I write this, our annual Plot, Play & Pray Retreat is at an end. When I awake in the morning, we will all be in a rush to pack our bags and head to the airport where we will fly off in different directions to our homes, to our families, to the work that awaits us. But we will each treasure our many wonderful memories of these five days and four nights together. And eventually (some soon, some later) we will all get to work on the stories we brainstormed over the past few days, and we will treasure the laughter that echoes in our memories.
Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of friendship. May the stories that come out of this weekend go forth and bless others beyond all of our hopes and dreams. Amen.