I have a few short weeks before starting another hectic semester of classes. My eyes expand as I notice the width of the books arriving in the mail. The “Type A” personality in me says, “Get a head start. Go ahead and begin reading the books for next semester now.” However, I have learned to embrace the contemplative side of me which acknowledges my need for rest, to recharge my batteries, be in God’s presence and focus on his Word without distraction. I have learned to embrace and appreciate moments of silence and solitude. So my times with the Lord in the mornings are long and wonderful these days. He is my closest friend and my delight.
I recall Robert J. Wicks identifying the types of friends we all need. In his list of friends, he includes books. Books are spiritual guides which help us see God clearly. I am reading a few books right now, but there are two in particular that I am embracing as friends. These books are replenishing me, helping me to sort out things in my mind, encouraging me, making me thankful, and helping me embrace God’s peace. One book is this month’s Book of the Month, Deeply Loved by Keri Wyatt Kent. The other is Crafting a Rule of Life: An Invitation to the Well-Ordered Way by Stephen A. Macchia.
Wicks believes there are four types of friends or voices we need in our lives: prophet, cheerleader, harasser, and spiritual guides. As I think about the newness of the year and ordering my life, I am also thinking about the type of friends I need or the type of community I need to intentionally develop to best grow, challenge, and replenish myself on life’s journey.
One of the books I’m reading asks the question: If you could have a group of women leaders with whom you interact regularly, what would that group look like?
After some personal reflection and contemplation, this is what my group would look like:
- A cheerleader or encourager as recommended by Wicks. This is someone who helps me stay motivated when I grow weary. Most of the time my husband serves in this role.
- A prophet, also recommended by Wicks, is someone who will speak the truth of God into my life. I’m so blessed to have older, wiser women who I can call on in times of need.
- An intercessor is someone who knows how to wrestle in prayer. This would most likely be the person who studies the Word with me and ensures I’m properly caring for my soul. I cannot tell you how beneficial it is having a person like this in your life. If you don’t have open, I encourage you to pray and ask God to reveal a person like that to you.
- A socialite is someone I hang with for the purpose of having fun. This is the person that allows me to let my hair down, be silly, dance like crazy, and watches stupid movies. Maybe we would shop together on occasion, and we would definitely grab ice cream and enjoy guilty pleasure foods. We might even get a good work out together afterward. J
- A worshiper, particularly someone with whom I can enjoy the fellowship of singing, dancing, praising, and worshiping God by creating through various forms of art.
- A mentor: This is my Titus 2 woman.
- A mentee, a young woman whom I can pour into, challenge, and help grow.
Of course, my community also includes the nurturing of my marriage and building a loving and healthy relationship with my daughter.
I do not believe we all need the same things. But I encourage you to consider: What kind of community do you need? Do you need to invite new people into your life? Maybe you need to release some old relationships to the Lord.
© Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 2013