“Lord, give me the courage of Joshua and Caleb to enter the gates of Ridgecrest and send me a Rahab, a welcoming friend inside the gate. Amen.”
It’s not every day I pray for a Rahab, but that was my prayer for the weeks prior to the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Rahab was a brave woman whose occupation has been translated as an innkeeper while other translations identify her as a prostitute. Regardless of her occupation, Rahab befriended, aided, and provided protection for Joshua and Caleb as they stormed the walls of Jericho.
I prayed for a Rahab, one friend at the conference.
“God is bigger and better!” —Keynote speaker and author Michelle Medlock Adams
Adrenaline fueled doubt pulsed through my veins at the registration desk. Everyone was warm and friendly, but nobody looked like me. I wondered if I made the right decision. Placing one brave step in front of the other, I rolled my red suitcase into Mountain Laurel, my home for the next week.
I exhaled a sigh of relief at the sight of a woman sitting at an outdoor table, soaking up the sun and writing in a journal. She was the picture of tranquility. I guessed her to be approximately my age. A quick glance of her T-shirt, flip-flops and pony tail reassured me, there were people at the conference like me. I exchanged pleasantries with Meredith and had to suppress the urge to explain this is my first time at Ridgecrest, I came alone, and please be my friend. What I didn’t know then was that she felt the same way too.
Within the first twenty-four hours, God provided six more new friends; Jennifer, Roxanne, Meg, Kellie, Sara, and Sandra. We instantly connected. Our love of the Lord and writing was the glue that bonded our hearts as one. We are a motley crew, diverse in our ages, styles, writing genres, and personalities.
With the exception of one, we sat together at the awards banquet. We laughed heartily and the speaker called out our table for having too much fun! We tried to calm down but we couldn’t help it, Kellie and Jennifer had won awards.
Later that night we circled our rocking chairs and shared life and took turns reading excerpts from our writing. Surrounded by people who understood the writer’s mind, the bonds of friendship tightened. One-by-one we circled each other in prayer, even praying for the one friend who couldn’t join us. I smiled as I looked down at our shoes, a perfect reflection of our diverse personalities.
I love when God shows off his mathematical genius. God took my humble prayer of one friend and multiplied it by seven. It never escaped my mind that seven is God’s number symbolizing perfection and completion.
What about you? Has there been a time when God abundantly answered your prayers for friendship? Leave a comment below and join the conversation.
~April Dawn White