Well, I posted a version of this earlier, and then deleted it...but I've gotta re-post because of a conversation John and I just had on the way to pick up Minnie-the-van.
On Monday, John had lunch with a friend of ours. S and his wife, G, are actually new friends, but they're so warm and hospitable (they're southerners!), it feels like we've known them forever. John is S's editor on a book he's writing, and that's how the relationship got started, but they've spent quite a bit of time together lately because of the book project. I kinda think that God has more in mind for us than just a "work" relationship though. You see, our last ministry experience was extremely painful, and both of us left that church deeply wounded. S's last ministry experience bears an uncanny resemblance to ours. Almost every time that John and S get together, John comes home telling me stories from S. If you changed the names and places, those stories could be ours. It's THAT similar. And both of us have realized what a gift this couple is to our lives. They're a few steps ahead of us in their recovery process, yet they have tremendous wisdom to offer. And encouragement. And understanding. All of that means so much more coming from a person who really understands what you're going through. So, today I'm extremely thankful for their presence in our lives, and for the gift they are to both of us.
As we were driving to pick up Minnie, John was telling me about his meeting with S this morning. During their pre-meeting chit-chat John learned that S and G are taking a road trip later this summer with some of their best friends. As he was telling John about this couple, John starts realizing that he KNOWS their best friends...they're from Arkansas...from the small town we used to live in. John said he and S were both standing there with their mouths hanging open. And rightly so, because John and S have so much overlap and similarities in their stories that it's just plain weird. It's enough though to solidify for me that we're supposed to be friends with this sweet couple. I'm curious to see what God has in store for all of us.