Sunday night found me wide awake, lying in bed trying to wipe an inescapable smile off my face. I needed to get some rest but I knew that pausing to thank the Lord was more important, especially after a weekend like this.
Friday night, William and I hosted our 1st Friendsgiving. A Fine Friendsgiving, if you will. We had everything we needed: chili, beer, s’mores, a bonfire and 23 of our Midwestern friends. I was so proud of our little home for holding so many people, as we began to pray before breaking (corn)bread with those we’re most thankful for in our new city. The Lord’s goodness was so bright to me as each guest left that night. But what I didn’t realize was… He was just getting started.
Saturday morning, we woke up exhausted yet, on a high from a night before. It seemed as if we had put so much thought and energy into our Friendsgiving that we had almost forgotten about the rest of the weekend’s plans.
We had some college friends in town that we were lucky enough to grab lunch with before they slipped over to the Fabulous Fox. Our house was dirty and I needed to catch up on laundry, but I would never miss the chance to share a meal with some of Guntersville, Alabama’s finest. We hugged their necks as we hoped in the car to go run some errands before heading separate ways for the evening.
William had his old roommate’s birthday dinner and I had my new co-worker’s birthday get-together to go to. After meeting some new people, mingling with some work friends (for the first time outside of work), and eating some delicious gluten free brownies, I went home feeling emotional again about the day’s events. Having meals with old AND new friends in the same day was something my heart definitely wasn’t taking for granted. And something I never could have made happen on my own.
Sunday morning, we planned to grab brunch after church with a couple from our community group. We had been trying to make time for this for awhile and it felt good to know it was finally on the calendar. We shared what Jesus was doing in our lives over fresh fruit, sweet potato quiche, and homemade biscuits and I couldn’t help but notice it felt safe. Safe to be honest and vulnerable with friends I had relatively just met. Safe to trust the Lord with my life, because He was continuing to prove Himself trustworthy.
Finally, Sunday evening was upon us as we drove over the Mississippi River into Illinois. The sun was getting ready to set as we prepared to have our first marriage mentoring with a couple who has been married 30 more years than we have. We were nervous-excited to explore the unknown and begin to walk through life with a couple that loves us enough to give us this chance. We all shared our expectations and experiences with marriage, at 7 months vs. 31 years, as we ate Sunday dinner off pretty china in their formal dining room. The time felt special and needed and exactly like the Lord’s plan.
You see, growing up in the South, food was a big deal. And the people around your table were an even bigger deal. Breaking bread with those you love was easy and often and I remember doubting wondering if St. Louis would be able to keep up. And then in just 7 short months, the Lord opened my eyes to what He is capable of. Five shared meals with five different groups of people, in one weekend. What a gift. (Says the introvert). Never could I have expected to move to St. Louis and have been blessed by so many wonderful people in such a short amount of time. But our God’s in the business of far exceeding our expectations and letting His goodness shine in return.
It’s no wonder I couldn’t sleep on Sunday night. We serve a God that loves us enough to meet our needs by putting others around our table. Because with every relived college memory, new introduction, funny birthday story, or wise word from experienced couples, our hearts are filled with His goodness and His faithfulness. And we can’t help but be thankful.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Psalm 34:8