Hi Friends, with this new issue of Heart Filled Moments, we welcome published writer and founder of a Christian non-profit, Bev Rihtarchik. On her website, “Walking Well With God,” her pen flows with words of God’s love for her readers. In this article, she ministers to all women walking through difficulties such as divorce, enlightening them on how to be strengthened in the Lord, to find His fingerprints in their lives, and to discover the blessings of fellowship with others walking in your shoes.
Let’s listen in now to some of Bev’s words of wisdom which make our Christian journey a smoother path.
One of my very favorite words in the English language is “abide.” Learning how to abide in Christ is perhaps the foremost action we can learn to live out. Andrew Murray, in his widely read book “Abide in Christ,” describes it this way:
“Abiding in Him is not a work that we have to do as the condition for enjoying salvation, but a consenting to let Him do all for us, and in us, and through us. It is a work He does for us — the fruit and the power of His redeeming love. Our part is simply to yield, to trust, and to wait for what He has engaged to perform.”
While we are yielding, trusting, and abiding, God doesn’t want us to be doing this alone — far from it, sweet friend. Every year I pull out a purply-pink glass Christmas ornament. Some of the silver glitter, on the bottom half, has worn off through the years. When I gently unwrap it, I take a moment to cradle it in my hands. Bittersweet feelings bubble to the surface to interrupt my festive mood. It’s a push-me-pull-you mix of emotions. The words, written in silver Sharpie say, “Perseverance Posse – 2009.” Simply holding this ornament takes me back to the fragile woman whose husband had taken off and left her struggling to believe that God really loved her.
But this is the same woman who heeded God’s urging to reach out instead of withdrawing inward. WARNING: The enemy of your soul wants nothing more than for you to withdraw and isolate yourself because then you are easy prey to devour. I thank God for giving me the guts to ask my nurse friend, Cathy (also in the midst of divorce), if she would meet me for lunch. She had already been traversing this rugged trail and was miles ahead of me. Our relationship imitated two trees falling toward each other, which when joined at their apex, mutually held each other up.
It was such a relief to see her willowy tall figure glide in the door of the restaurant. Her platinum locks were pretzel twisted into a perfunctory messy bun. I relaxed as I saw her figure, adorned in blue scrubs, move quickly toward me. I was raw, on the precipice, and so she calmly took my hand and we prayed together. The warmth of her hand cradled mine and I felt safe. That was the beginning of our bond as kindred spirits on a similar journey. She was my posse.
It wasn’t long before Lisa joined us. She was petite with cat rim glasses, and until recently, full of life and lively chatter. She was a couple miles behind me on the mountain trail, hewn with roots, that we were all traveling together. Fearful and uncertain, she needed sisters in Christ with whom she could share her heart, her anxiety, her tears, and in return receive love, prayers, support, and encouragement. We all needed this.
Before one weekly meeting of the posse, Linda, the final member of the gaggle, texted us all to say that she’d had a crummy day at work, and would we mind if our usually healthy dinner gathering could be trumped by a large greasy pizza and a cold beer? Linda burst in the door of the pizza joint like a thirsty gunslinger pushing wide open the swinging doors of the Olde Town Saloon. She could always make a grand entrance. She was the divorced, single parent of three. She loved the Lord, she made us laugh, and she definitely didn’t take any bull.
That was us – The Perseverance Posse, Established 2009. The four of us bookended the half century mark. We didn’t feel fifty and fabulous. Do I hear an “Amen?” We felt weary, worn out, and in need of some loving sisters who would come along, hold us up, pray us through, calm us down, wipe our tears, and hug us hard. If we ask and if we act, God will give us partners for such times as these. If we are going to persevere, then He knows we are going to need good kin with whom we can travel together.
Though we came together under such painful circumstances — which made the lump well up in my throat and tears puddle in the corners of my eyes (yes, I’m a crier) as I saw my reflection in the ornament — we were also there for each other through the years as the barren fields slowly disappeared and then sprouted forth spring meadows of new life. We went through the valley together and we emerged victoriously on the other side. Eleven years later (with three of us happily remarried), we know what a blessing it is that God gave us each other.
“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12 NLT)
In the text below, Beverly gives us guidance on selecting our “Posse,” our tribe of friends whom we can trust when sharing our difficulties, the deepest wounds of our hearts.
Pick Your Posse:
1. PRAY: Ask God for specific names of people sharing a similar season of suffering.
2. PICK: Be bold. Ask them if they’d like to get together for coffee or a walk. Be willing to be vulnerable.
3. PURSUE: Together, seek God’s direction for your life and commit to doing life jointly in the journey toward healing.
4. PREVAIL: Hold each other up, and accountable, and find the strength that will enable you to be more than conquerors. (Romans 8:37)
5. PRAISE: Give thanks to God along the way for His faithfulness, for small victories, and for each other.
Friends, Bev has given us some thoughts and experiences to ponder. I hope you have enjoyed her experience of how God brought guidance and peace, not only to her heart, but also to the hearts of other women. To read more of Bev’s words which guide the reader to God’s love, follow her at Walking Well With God. We’ve enjoyed hosting Bev today on Heart Filled Moments.
Words are Bev Rihtarchik’s “love language.” She’s humbled that God, who spoke the universe into being, created her solely and specifically, to be in relationship with Him. Bev is a published writer and meets her readers once a week on her blog Walking Well With God. This empath is in her element when she is pouring out God’s love on others. She is the founder of Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc. Christian non-profit: www.redeemerinc.org. She’s fueled by coffee and Jesus, and unwinds with watercolors and long walks with her beagle, Sadie.
GIVEAWAY: Time for the Giveaway. Bev’s artistic talents will highlight this issue’s giveaway. We have one box of her artistically watercolor painted notecards for two lucky subscribers. In addition, we have a Starbucks gift card for two other subscribers and an Amazon gift card for two more subscribers. Our subscribers will get these in time for the holidays.
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