** side note** This day just so happened to be one of my darkest days while I was visiting, but thank God, Chrissie was there to say "hey let's jump off the bridge" (isn't that every best friend's advice in time of need) and I was willing to do it, because THEN God was there to refresh me and give me life again.
I have to give a little history of how the friendship of Chrissie and Lori began to really be able to grasp what our time together has been like this summer. We met in our 20's and we have fun stories of being young and newly married and moving away from our childhood homes to begin our adult lives. We have memories of living near each other and living far from each other. We have lived through trials and triumphs together, but when I think of our relationship, I am remembering the connection we had from the very beginning. It was, yes, a connection of common interests and basically enjoying each other's personalities, but there was a connection of the Spirit, that we had never experienced before. Our friendship was based, from the very beginning, on God and the ways we were finding Him together. We were prayer partners, but we were true soul sisters in Christ. It is for this reason, that this post has to come through the lens of how we view the God we serve and how He impacts our daily life. There are some posts that can be talked about in general terms of our beliefs, but this one cannot be that general. If you follow In The Moment, then you know that I was able to visit Chrissie and her family, in Portland, for 12 days. Ahh, as we planned the events of this visit, we knew that 12 days was a long time to be present with each other, which made us less present with our families, but we needed that time even more than we knew we did. Blessings were in abundance as Chrissie and I were able to live life together. Going on adventures: we went paddle boarding; we went sky-diving (or as we like to say cloud jumping); and we went to the coast at Cannon Beach, where we soaked up God's beauty and found a place of rest and tranquility among the chaos of life. I will never forget that log we sat on. We also lived through some tough days of parenting. We both wrestled with the darkness that seemed to smack us upside the head, when we didn't expect it. Hard, scary things we were dealing with, but it was divinely planned that we would be together because it was in each other that we remembered our foundation and found the strength to rise up and push back the darkness. Chrissie and I talk all of the time and someone dear to us has told us that we have chosen to live big lives, so our chaos is going to be big as well, and thankfully 😜 we can beat a dead horse like nobody's business, so we knew that we were both struggling to be spiritual (whatever that means), but when you are Spiritual Sisters, it becomes apparent that something is off when we are actually in each other's presence. When I arrived, Chrissie and I talked about a barren land because it had felt like we have been camping there for way longer than anyone should. We already knew this about each other because we had discussed it, but as we began our week together, we knew we needed find that Spring of Life that we both had been yearning for, but couldn't seem to get out of our own way to find it. A barren land is just what it sounds like: dry, dull, thirsty, empty, and lonely. Life had beaten us up so badly, that we just laid there like dry bones. We decided that we would give it a shot, just like we used to. We would put on some praise music and just start praying, so that is what we did; kind of. We put on our praise music and then we just sat. We sat without words and without feeling the presence of God as we once did. We sat there waiting for God to show up. It was so uncomfortable and lonely. We had nothing to offer in the way of beautiful poetic themes, because all of our words had become shriveled and our mouths had dried up. We had never experience this before, especially when we were together. I mean, when we lived in Colorado together, I remember we could stir up the Holy Spirit among us while sitting in a parking lot, and we did whenever we needed to. Where was He? God we are here, where are you? Then we started to, not open our mouths, but open our hearts, to let God in. See, we had built such a strong wall of protection around ourselves, that nothing could penetrate it. Life has been hard on us, no doubt, and our protection of ourselves had taken us to barren land, where there was nothing growing and there was no life. We started to confess our hardened hearts and ask for the Holy Spirit to rain down like an oil to reach every dry crack. We knew it was time to jump in the river where the power of God flows. That day was the beginning and it didn't just come back the way we had hoped. We left that prayer room (Chrissie's room because we had to lock kids out) damp, but still not what we were looking for and knew we needed. Each day after that we found our sacred time to seek God and to jump into the river. Every time, we got a little deeper and we jumped from a little higher, but eventually we were soaked in the love and strength that comes from spending time with Jesus. Again, we were facing hard things that were happening in our homes at those very moments, but we were not standing alone in our own strength any longer. Our minds were green with new ideas and our hearts were full of hope and belief once again. Our circumstances did not change, but once we decided to jump in the river of life, everything else did. I want to encourage everyone who is feeling like life has left you alone and there is only dessert land before you, to JUMP! There is a living water that flows and it is so much better than the barren land.