Sue was giving her testimony and I was nervous for her. I know her story, but I know it here and there and I knew it would be hard for her to share it all in front of everyone in one story.
But the day was rough on me. I may have at one point in the day been on the phone crying to my husband. It was just a bad day, a down day, a day I literally was crying as I was baking cookies.
Just one of those days.
I would have rather curled up in pj's and snuggled on the couch with a book or movie but I knew I had to be there. I dressed in my favorite clothes - my husband can say what he wants, clothes do make me feel better - and determined I was going to go and have fun and be happy.
And then God just gave me this awesome gift and had it so my husband and I were going to pass each other on the road so we met in the bar parking lot just so we could get a kiss in. I love that man, and I love how God just timed that perfectly.
Here I am kissing my husband in the parking lot with the Tavern sign glowing down on us. Oh, it was so romantic!
With my hands wrapped around a short triple breve with caramel, I listened to Sue pour out her heart with my friends A and Morg at the table with me.
Every time Sue took a deep breath, I wanted to go give her a hug.
When her amazing testimony had people with tears in their eyes and her analogy of having God saturate our lives, everyone began to break up in designated groups on specific topics. Morg, A and I...we didn't budge. It was like we knew, we were not in a "group" mood.
We were in a friend mood.
Sue came and sat with us and the four of us laughed to the funny stories Morg had for us. We connected with bits and news that we are always to busy to share when we are passing each other in church or just in sending a quick text.
I sat there soaking it in, looking at these friends I love so dearly and thinking how different we all are and how we are all brought together on this night. I thanked God for soaking me in His grace...in the gift of this moment.
We packed up all the pretty finery and left over cookies of a beautiful evening and headed for home.
Except I didn't get home for a good long time.
Standing out in the parking lot, I had a heart to heart with a friend. We hadn't planned on talking the night away, but in the moment of just us we laid out the things heavy on our hearts...sisters sharing a burden and knowing the trust we had in each other.
And isn't that what Praise and Coffee Nights are all about? Sharing with a friend and giving praise to God and growing in our relationships?
Not a day has not gone by since that Praise and Coffee night that I haven't prayed for the friend I chatted the night away with. I am still giggling over the funny stories we shared at the table. I am still so proud of Sue for sharing her testimony.
And I am blown away by this group of women God brought together. Our friendship makes no sense on paper, but in life it is the perfect blend.
Some women are afraid of starting up a Praise and Coffee Night...it's too big a task, they fear. But Praise and Coffee was held at a table with four women and in a parking lot on an "official" PC night. It's girlfriends and sisters sharing the moments of life they are in and being prayed for and looking to God for the answers. It's connecting. It's encouraging. It's inspiring. No matter how big or small the gathering.
And all that was flooded into my life on a rough day that ended with a great night.