A couple of weeks ago, I had the most precious honor to spend uninterrupted time with women I not only love, but respect and adore. They are fellow crazies who chose to serve God in a fearless kind of way, throwing caution to the wind and stirring up concern in our families as we sold houses, left secure jobs with salaries and benefits…to serve “at risk” children. They are some of the smartest, bravest, boldest and beautiful women I’ve ever known.
This all started from a couple of photos posted on Facebook from different weddings over the last couple of years. First was the wedding of Kaytie Ausherman (that’s me in the back row, red shirt), the second wedding being Michelle Leslie’s (I was unable to attend, but they sent me a “selfie”).
We sent out a series of tags, post…hints dropped here and there of a reunion of sorts. All hoping, but nobody really picking up the task….that is until I started a Facebook group. So it was “official”….and on a hot weekend in July we met deep in the woods at a beautiful place called “Spring Valley Ranch”, near Jay, Oklahoma.
One by one these beautiful hearts began to show up….all laughing as they walked in and mentioned they nearly turned around after they got to the narrow concrete bridge covered in children jumping into the creek. We all agreed adding more laughter. Many of the women had not seen each other in 6 years or more and it had been even longer since we’d all been together in the same room. We’d hoped all of our sisters could join us, but instead we had seventeen.
We hugged, cried, laughed and leaned in close….some brought games, others brought guitars, thinking we’d need something to pass the time….but instead…we took long drinks of tea and listened and shared and told the stories of our lives seventeen times over. Lots of life had happened over these years. Graduations. Weddings. Births. Death….unspeakable pain of losing children. The visiting didn’t end until the early hours of the next morning….then we reluctantly headed to bed, hoping this wasn’t all just a wonderful dream. Heaven on earth.
How is it possible for one girl to have so many beautiful souls who are willing to love and shape the very fabric of who she is? This journey started for me many years ago when I was driven to the children’s home as a 12 year old girl. Here is that story. Do they have any idea how much I love them and how grateful I am?
One by one my sisters began to leave. The short weekend over. We gathered to pray, tears flowing, hand in hand…hearts connected in the deepest way. Grateful that God allowed us time together on this side of heaven.
I love these women, each one….unique and beautiful. My soul-sisters.