It was/is one of those friendships that are rare. You know where both husband and wife connect as couples. They fast became family.
A sense of family. That is what she (they) gave us. We would vacation together, spend holiday’s together and practically spend a part of every weekend together. Our kids grew up together.
While I could share about their impact on my life as a couple this series is about the women I come from so I will speak of Ann’s impact. In reality there is so much I could share. She has taught me so much, probably more than I even know! But there is a moment that really stands out in my mind that changed the course of my thinking.
I remember that she once described how she saw God. God was not just Father, but her Abba Father. A Father who loved her and welcomed her to come before Him. To sit with Him, talk with Him. A Father of love, grace and mercy. I told her that I just couldn’t see God that way. It was hard for me to see Him as “Abba”. Her reaction pierced my heart. With tears in her eyes she said, “Sharon I want you to see God that way. I don’t want you to miss that part of God. I am going to pray that God would reveal that part of His character to you.”
Ann walked along with me, and I her, through some tough times. We grew as women, mothers, wives and daughters of the King. We grew together. She spoke truth. She discipled me.
It was with Ann that I did my first Kay Arthur study, together we did quite a few of them. That is important because it was through those studies and Ann’s love of the word of God that I began to study God’s word instead of just reading it casually.
Today she lives twelve hours away. Neither of us do very well with long distance friendships, meaning there are not a lot of phone calls, emails or other contact. In fact I must admit that in the years since they moved we haven’t even been to visit them. Some might wonder if we are still friends.
But here is what I know, this is what I believe is true. When we are together we pick up where we left off. If I needed her, she would be here in an instant if at all possible. I know she loves me, we are sisters. Sisters of the heart. Distance has not weakened our love or friendship.
What an amazing gift God has given me in her friendship. There is such a part of her inside of me. God used her in so many ways to help grow me into the woman I am today. For this I thank God. I thank her.
Oh! I have learned to see God as my Abba Father. God used Ann to plant that hope within me that it might be possible, then God continued to water that seed of hope. Today I see clearly my Abba Father who loves, cherishes and adores me.
So my sweet sister I thank you for showing me Abba. I love you dear sister.