I love my girls. They are group of gals I have acquired throughout my life. Some I have known since I was a young teenager, a new immigrant to this country. Others I had the pleasure of meeting during my more recent motherhood years, when I was constantly pulling my hair out trying to raise three little ones. The joy of having these girls as friends in my life is not easily explained through words. They are, for me, the “I get you” and “I am there for you.” They represent the many wonderful memories we created together and still recall from time to time. With these girls, we can look at each other and just know how we would dance to a song. They have been my partners in crime to many off-key karaoke times we shared on Friday nights in San Francisco Japantown. It is the genuine love I have for them and the loyalty of our friendship through thick and thin; these are my girls. Their friendships are one of life’s treasures God has blessed me with.
Even though many of my friends and I were brought up in similar backgrounds and we shared many common values, a lot of these girls are not Christ followers (yet). As I mature in my faith, in front of them, I am still that 14 year old puking on the sidewalk from excessive alcohol consumption (we all have our past 🙂 ). Or even to this current date, as their “Christian” friend, I am still “Viv” to them. Viv who still struggles with her identity at work, who is irrational from time to time, and who even occasionally bursts out with a swear word or two.
But this is okay. It is not my past that dictates how they perceive me. It is not even my present and my “put together” self that will be a witness to them. It’s the intention of sharing my faith, my struggle, and my Jesus who saves me from the rubble- that God uses. Like the time I shared my coming to faith journey with them in the most magnificent pool during our trip to Santa Barbara. Or when I’ve dropped off books on healthy Christ-centered marriages or gifted books like The Case for Christ and The Purpose Driven Life. It’s when I have shared with them the struggle against evil in this world and when I’ve celebrated God’s faithfulness and answers to prayers with them. Or in the way I reacted in crisis when my son was born with a birth disorder. It is through texting with them to let them know I will be praying for them. And how I believe in the power of prayer and witness the miracles He blesses us with– God uses all these things, to show my girls His love.
EVERY single of these seeds count because my friends are watching what God is planting in my life. They are seeing a slow transformation from Viv who worried about everything to the Viv who surrenders to a higher being called Jesus. They are journeying with the Viv who dwelled on success and accomplishments turn into Viv who has joy and contentment despite difficult circumstances.
I would sometimes pray for the Holy Spirit to guide me and give me an opportunity to share with my friends. And the Holy Spirit gave me words and the wisdom which were not from me, to answer their tough questions. I know the Holy Spirit will continue to guide me in the next opportunity. Even writing about this, I think about my love for them. I think about a day, Lord-willing, when these girls of mine will rejoice in Heaven with me. We will go sing karaoke and bust a move on the gold paved road to the tune of “Forever Young.” Those will be the glorious days.