My Life with God

Transforming Friendship

mp,550x550,matte,ffffff,t.3u2I closed my eyes during communion, which isn’t unusual, and I heard the guitar notes a bit differently. They resonated within and through me. Much of the time, I don’t notice the music quietly playing during communion meditation, but today was different, because I knew the hands who played would only be with me for a short time.

I thought about all I will miss when Shelby is gone but also all I have gained.

She came on staff when I was on staff, too, and despite our age difference (I could easily be her mom), we quickly developed a friendship. We found conversation to be comfortable and easy. We were both part-time, so we weren’t always at the church on the same days, but we were together on Tuesdays. We shared an office the design ministry team made to be cozy and comfortable, functional with a flair of trendiness. It became our “girls’ office.” We shared space, stories, challenges, Starbucks, and more.

I know we’ll keep in touch, but I will miss her being close.

I will also miss worshiping with her. Shelby led worship with intentionality and purity. Her goal was always to provide a worship experience of excellence, yet she didn’t get caught in perfectionism. She wanted to provide an environment for people to be transformed by God. In order to do that, she knew she had to allow herself to be transformed. The more she yielded, the more completely she led well.

Shelby and I shared a season of transformation. Both our lives went through shifts while we served together. I know her move to another ministry is part of her transformation,  and I am proud of her for trusting God into the uncertainty.  I have watched and encouraged her to grow, and she has done the same for me.

There are  people in our lives who are only physically alongside us for a brief season, but we can be thankful for the time together.

I will miss Shelby, yet I am glad for what we’ve had and excited about what is ahead of her. Sometimes we feel conflicted about transitions, but when we know God’s transformation is part of it, we have peace and anticipation of what is to come.

Spend some time this weekend with someone you are doing life with right now. Instead of setting your own agenda, invite God to be a part of the relationship and trust him to transform you. Sometimes you can’t see what’s happening in the midst of it all, but when you intentionally yield, you’ll grow. It’s worth the time and effort.

Thanks, Shelby.

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