In adulthood, I have been blessed with new friendships that continue to sustain me. I can look back on each decade of my life and identify significant new friends who have continued to challenge me in my discipleship and to teach me. I see all of these people as God’s instruments. From Robert, whose comment, “I think you’ve already decided what you want, so you’re not listening for what God wants,” led me to change careers, to Joan and Velma whose rule, “You can’t take on any more commitments this year until you talk to us about them and we say it’s okay,” led me to focus my energy, God has used my close friends to guide me and lead me into fuller life and deeper discipleship. … The people we spend time with shape us; that’s why friends are so important.
—Mary Lou Redding, God Was with Me All Along: A Guide for Capturing Your Memories and Telling Your Story (Upper Room Books, 2020)
What friends have sustained you in the past decade? Join the conversation.
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
—Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NIV)
Prayer for the Week
Loving God, be near me as I recall events from my life. Guide me to look at my past with forgiveness and love. Help me to accept where I am in my life journey and to recognize ways you have been present with me all along. Thank you for your unconditional love and for the strength you give me each day. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
In Fully Human, Fully Divine, Whitney R. Simpson writes, “An embodied Advent invites us to live the experience of this season fully, with our whole selves, right here and right now as we await the Christ child.” Learn more about this year’s Advent resource by visiting UpperRoom.org/fullyhuman.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Reign of Christ
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.