Yesterday, I had one of those lunches that make you want more.
It wasn’t the food. It was the company, and the conversation, and our common calling.
Most of the women seated around the table were strangers to me, at least in person. I knew them online to a small extent, because we all write in common, intersecting communities. After sitting with my new friends for a couple hours, I walked away inspired. It wasn’t just a networking opportunity at Gloria’s that day. It was an opportunity to share in God’s redemption story in each of our lives, over and over and over again.
Don’t get me wrong — to the casual observer, we looked like a bunch of women having a good time, nothing special. Laughing, talking, listening, eating. The usual. Nobody stood up and made a big holy proclamation or anything.
What inspired me was just that — sitting beside normal women who were living normal lives, called to write for Jesus, trying to figure out what it looks like, trying to work it into busy schedules, and sharing how Jesus had taken their broken lives and made them whole against all odds.
Lately I’ve been allowing discouragement to seep into my thoughts, my speech, and my actions. This writers lunch reminded me how important it is to be with people who tell about their Jesus stories. Fellowship is not just a good thing. It’s essential.
We can’t live without it.
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:23-25, NIV
God knows we’re not able to do life alone. Words of encouragement are not just sweet phrases scrawled in curlicue writing. God knew we would fight discouragement, temptation, sin, opposition, doubt and persecution. He told us to consider how we might spur each other on. In other words, think of all the different ways you might encourage those around you who are living for Jesus — and do it.
That’s why it’s important to meet with others who are living out God’s Truth. When words take us down, His Word fills us up. And yesterday, my heart was overflowing.