Life tossed us a curve ball when more than an earthquake uprooted hundreds of us women from our carefree family lives in California. We were driven across the mighty Colorado, actually just a meandering river at the Interstate 10 state border, and transplanted into the blazing desert sun of Arizona. But have no fear, we were told, “It’s a dry heat.”
No kidding! We only saw water in washes swollen from the summer monsoon deluges. Those were few and far between that first summer.
We were wives without the nests we once feathered wandering in our husbands’ world which overflowed with work and happy carpools. Their work. The reason we were here. So many emotions to handle, so many friendships left behind, so many memories that seemed to be missing their happy endings.
We wandered freshly tarred streets drenched in the sun’s rays hoping to discover the refreshment of new friendship. Pastel painted two-story stuccos rose one after another along the streets boasting their blended grandeur of size and similarity. Block parties invited relationships and some did bloom from here.
But for me, there were a group of ladies who gathered in a nearby section of our development who met once a week for prayer. The woman who formed this group was a more than just a friendly acquaintance from California so she invited me to stop by one Monday morning.
Life began to flow again as we met for casual weekly times of prayer, encouragement, and sharing. Friendships grew. Bonds were formed, and a new set of memories began developing. This group of ladies became my friends, my support, my prayer warriors, my harbor in the storms, and the cup that held my overflowing joys.
We’ve spent nearly 17 years together–but our way of fellowshiping and prayer has changed. Ours lives have changed. Change is inevitable. Some of us returned to work. Some of us moved just a few miles away and one even back to California. But the once-young friendships are now solidly forged. Our lives are melded. Support is available at the ring of a phone. Sharing is unending. And prayers are eternally breathed up for each other.
We now gather for no particular reason other than to bask in our friendships, strengthening the Christ-centered bond that unites us. We meet at one another’s houses, enjoy a light meal, and share deeply the life lived in our hearts. The joy, the sorrow, the pain, the blessing.
It was at a recent gathering of these special friends that one of them made the “to-die-for-dessert.” A light, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth “Tres Leches” cake.
I would like to share this Friendship Cake with you. As I did not make the cake, I cannot offer you pictures of the process, just the end product. Heavenly. Perfect for Valentine’s Day!