in the middle of becoming wise

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
Proverbs 13:20

 As I sat to write another blog altogether, the focus of heart shifted before my fingers even touched the keyboard.  I became so overwhelmed with gratitude for the friendships and relationships He has established in my life over the course of the last couple of years, especially within the last year.  In addition to these wonderful Middle Sisters, He has both established and re-established so many relationships in my life with people who genuinely love Him and seek His heart.   

A couple of days ago, Dana reposted a status that read: "Effective accountability requires community - organic, not organized."  She commented that in the context of those communities where she is the most accountable, they emerged organically - and divinely.

The same is oh-so true for me.  Can I just tell you that I have experienced the truth of both sides of this verse above?  

I spent years of my life as the traveling companion of fools.  I have experienced the harm devastation  that comes with it.  I knew the truth of 1 Corinthians 15:33 that says, "Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”  I had memorized the verse in high school, but our ability to deceive ourselves is limitless - and without accountability - we begin to compromise.  It is always a very slow fade from black and white, or rather darkness and light into those shadowy gray areas along this path through life.

Sisters, we need each other.  We need that circle of people in our life with which no walls exist.  The ones who can see into our own dark places - even the ones we can't see - so that they may pour the light of His truth into them.

Our pastor has a phrase that he used with parents all throughout his years as a youth pastor. He simply says, "Show me their friends and I'll show you their future".  We become what - and who - we surround ourselves with.  But I would submit to you that this isn't just applicable with youth, but even with us - as grown women.  I believe that this is one of the favorite schemes of the enemy of our souls who roams around like a lion, seeking whom He may devour.  I believe that he strategically places individuals in our path as a distraction and sometimes, a detour.  Like Eve, we are so prone to bite into that fruit of compromise and step into the shadows of deception.

And this is why we need each other.  Sisters, like the in the photo above, who are free to see - and to slap that proverbial bad fruit right out of my hand.

I had the blessing of spending a long weekend at the beach with these sweet friends in the photo recently.  Someone stopped to take a photo of us and asked, "Are ya'll sisters?".   Without hesitation, a side glance or even a giggle, we all nodded in unison, "Yes."

It took a long time to surrender the one area of my life that I longed to control the most: relationships.  But once I did, once I chose to stop calling the shots, He opened the floodgates of His blessing and surrounded me with so many, with so much wisdom for me to walk alongside.  I look at the photograph above and I don't just see myself surrounded by friends and sisters in Christ, I see myself surrounded by pillars of strength - and protection. 
He moved the pieces of my life, the pieces of my heart and the people in my life, according to His will.  He removed that which needed to be removed, restored that which needed to be restored, and established a hedge of protection around my life and my heart.  

Again, this is why we need each other.  This is why we need Him.  

“The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are."  C.S. Lewis

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