The beauty that is my friend Holly

Holly is amazing. We met at seminary (when our hubbies were good friends) in 2000. We immediately clicked. Right now Holly and Tom are getting ready to embark on the mission field again. She’s an example to me in so many ways. And she’s one of those people who actually does pray for you. It is such a privilege to know her, and every time I think of her, I smile.

Here is my beautiful friend:

Read on for her well-written, challenging words.

My friendship with Mary began 10 years ago when our husbands where in seminary together. For the last six years, we have been email friends. Her life now flowering into a beautiful garden of writing books, speaking engagements and ministering to her family.Several pictures come to mind when I think of Mary.

At our first SWIM (seminary wives in ministry) Bible Study social, Mary hugged me deeply, expressing concern over the miscarriage I had the week before. No-one knew the pain. I hid it well but Mary – she connected with me on a deep sisterly level – of a mom who had experienced the loss of a baby that the world never gets to know and then having to keep emotions in check for the sake of others around us. Well, I kept my emotions in check for the world but for in a moment of sheer grief I screamed and screamed and screamed at my husband for not understanding or grieving the loss of our dead baby – a crisis point of stability for my then 12 year old son who stood to the side as his mother lost all control. Mary would call this a ‘thin place’ in my life. It lightened the darkness of the murky journey we had been on, and Jesus gathered me in His arms and held me close to His heart.

Our family of seven, at the time, had been invited to dinner to the DeMuth house. The  first of many visits; I commented on Gods’ goodness in providing such an awesome house. Truly, I was blessed by their home and provision. To this day I don’t understand why I don’t envy this except it is just the grace of God. I commented to Mary about the sweetness of the Lord to provide. Her reply changed my life in the way I respond when I see God’s blessing on others life. I tell them! Mary was blessed because I rejoiced with her and in turn I was blessed again. The DeMuths kept inviting us back when very few others would dare to have such a large family over.

Now, knowing Mary more intimately because of her writings, I see glimpses of God’s grace and sovereignty in her life to provide a home of such beauty and then to have that home stolen by a con artist when they moved to France. In the ups and downs of Mary’s home and house life, God keeps her close to His heart, completely dependent on Him for her security and safety. She, like all of us, can truly trust no- one to care for her except for Jesus. All others will fail us, even when they love us. If our relationships and homes were perfect there would be no need for Jesus and the Holy Spirit to comfort us.

Mary and I co-led ONE Bible Study together during our seminary days. I attend many Bible studies, lead countless others, yet this one sticks out. Mary brought a boom box. We played a worship tape, and Mary led worship before we had our study. Normally, we did not sing before our Bible studies. Yet, when Mary and I planned for this study, we wanted to sing our love to our Jesus.

I felt a heart connect with Mary that season in our lives. Our stories of our childhood are painfully similar. God wooing us out of darkness, of instability and insecurity and abandonment, into a relationship with Him.. Something deep inside me connected with Mary…. sisters on a sovereign with the God of the universe, whom somehow in His love for us, reached down from heaven and touched our little girl’s hearts. His finger on the gaping wounds of sexual abuse and abandonment.

I have journaled most of my life, page after page of prayers, of thoughts, to do lists and word studies. My joys, pains and fears sketched into ramblings on lined paper, stuffed into boxes as the years have gone by. I have thought often of writing but with nearly a dozen kids and ministry to others overflowing at the seams, I never have time. I think maybe I will save a season for writing for later in my life when my hair is a little more grey and most of the kids leave home.

I talk. I teach. I counsel. I mentor. Yet, I long to write.

I know the love of God deeply, intimately as much as I know I am breathing. Most of the times, I don’t notice that I am breathing but when I exercise I consciously pay attention to the air going in my nose and out of my mouth. When I have a cold, I  have to take medicine to clear out my nasal passage. When I smell the onions and the garlic cooking, I take big gulps of air relishing in the deliciousness of the smell. When I smell cat spray in my van after the window was left open, I plugged my nose and breathe through my mouth. I always breath! That is how I know the love of God. All the time, every day, He is with me. I am aware of Him when circumstances shift in my day or life. When I hear my kids call out for their daddy with their special term of endearment, ‘Poppy’. When I see the colors of sunset splayed out all over the horizon or I smell the Texas dirt blowing around in our driveway. I know intimately God loves me. he speaks to my heart in worship as the pastor tells a story about faith and I know that I know, that I have this incredible faith that God has given me. the creator whispers in my ear that he gave me that faith to lift tornadoes because he wants me to know he loves me.

 

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