Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
A ten-year prayer was answered for me in December! God has lavishly provided two ministry partners to take Ruby Buckle out into the world in 2020 in a bigger way than I could have ever done alone. Honestly, I never intended to go alone, and that is why I waited. To some looking on, it might seem like such a long time to wait to take a bigger step. But as I've navigated the Scriptures, I've seen countless stories of waiting laced throughout the pages.
In the waiting, we see God’s purposes being revealed. His ways are higher than ours, infinitely higher and greater than anything that we could imagine. They go beyond our wildest dreams and deepest hopes and are superior in every way! His purposes often come to us when we have ceased struggling and have learned to abide in resting faith – the kind that found Jesus asleep in the boat on the waves in a stormy night.
How wonderful it is to learn to trust God. How gracious he is to send aid through others who have navigated through the stormy seas of life and have learned how to remain victorious in the midst of the tempest. I believe Romans 8:28 is true: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
The year I penned the note in my planner to “write to Roy” about the idea of the ministry of Ruby Buckle, I met two beautiful women in an area-wide Bible Study. Both of them stood out to me. They shared such deep and meaningful thoughts about the things of God, showing a depth of wisdom and knowledge that drew my heart toward theirs. We wrapped up the dozen weeks of study with a potluck-style meal and headed out to the rest of our lives in different churches and communities – yet we always reconnected somehow in the great big family of God.
It was delightful when my path would cross with one of theirs through the years in a variety of places ... celebrating a bride or a baby, attending a ministry event or a concert. One of the sweetest greeting cards I've ever received was sent to me by one of these friends while I was recovering from brain surgery.
Two of us had the distinct privilege of being baptized in the Jordan River together with many friends during a trip to Israel in the summer of 2018. One of these friends invited me to join a weekly prayer meeting at her house. The other I invited to join my church life group the very first time I saw her and her husband at church. So my wish to know them better has been granted. The last few years have brought us into closer fellowship: now all three of us call the same church home. Oh love!
While I was busy launching Ruby Buckle, my two friends were both immersed in some big life changes themselves. One was negotiating the transitions of an empty nest and a dwelling downsize. The other kept up a demanding career in the midst of her beloved mother’s cancer journey and departure for heaven. It was a joy and privilege to walk out the days of 2018 and 2019 with these precious friends, spending time with them week by week.
I could have never dreamed that a little shuffling about in the fellowship hall of our church basement on Sunday, August 25th would lead to the formation of this longed-for team! His ways are higher.
A cord of three strands, the strongest kind made, have been braided together now to venture out onto the front lines of one of the sweetest gospel-sharing missions ever! I can’t wait to introduce them to you and for them to share their stories.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow us...