Crystal chose to become intentional after a chance meeting, and her new friendship made all the difference. A great challenge to us all: grab the person God puts in front of you because you never know what or who may come knocking. –Sue
When paths cross with the same person more than once, it’s a good idea to assume there is a very good reason.
We were on the same women’s ministry team, and although our jobs diversely different, Mother Nature called us to the same door at the same time throughout the weekend. It became obvious these repeated meetup’s in front of the door marked “WOMEN” were meant for something deeper.
So we chose to exchange coincidence and “we should get together sometime” for a date on a calendar and a place to meet for dinner.
Today I’m so grateful for these intersections. The gift waiting on the other side of dinner paved the way for a friendship that quickly became an avenue of strength and hope through some difficult, soul stretching, Goliath encounters in each of our lives.
Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly. ~ M F K Fisher
We discovered this sharing of food was more than a social event for the two of us. It opened the door for the deepest sharing of hearts: our joys, our pain and our innermost desires for this life now and beyond.
The forging of our friendship over a single meal was a sweet balm that spread through our hearts as smoothly as warm butter on bread.
And we soon learned that God’s timing in orchestrating our friendship was more than our passing “here we meet again” could imagine.
In the days and months that followed our meal, we discovered that neither of us were equipped to walk our path alone–nor were we meant to. It’s always God’s plan for each of us to share in one another’s burdens. In the sharing we’re strengthened and comforted for another day.
Through time with a friend at a table, He seasons our doubts with mercy and our why’s with grace so with every portion, perspective comes into focus and healing arrives fresh and new.
What soon followed for each of us included tragic death, marital strain, crumbling finances and a huge need to see our thundering Goliath brought down by a single stone. These meals became intimate acts of baring our souls, grieving our losses and exposing our fears; we laid them at the feet of the One who is bigger than any worldly Goliath.
They were meals which stretched until our words were emptied over the refilling of coffee mugs. Until our sorrows were broken and swept away with the breaking of crusty bread. Until our tears were sopped up and dried in the freshness of white linen napkins. And hope was served as a sweet dollop of promise atop dessert.
Where we once unknowingly opened our hearts to lies, eventually became a precious guarding of scriptural truth.
The kind that shields and wields a power beyond its own. The kind that grows a faith that eclipses the tallest Goliath.
And it all happened because of time at the table. That first meal together.
We began to praise, even when it seemed there was nothing good left to embrace. We recounted each and every God-wink that graced our days. When hope waned in one, the other swooped in with a confident reassurance that God was still present and working on our behalf.
And slowly, the sunlight broke through the darkest cracks. It didn’t happen overnight, and many times even the faintest ray was hardly visible. But it was okay because at least one of us could lift our heads and follow the beam to its source.
These days, although our circumstances have settled some, our friendship is planted firmly in hope and encouragement. Fear has been tempered, and the worry more quickly released. Why? Because we’ve learned that just as God had a plan through our unplanned weekend meetup’s, He also has a plan to carry us through every difficult and overwhelming circumstance. Embracing the peace of not needing to know how it will all play out is enough for now.
And when we do find time to schedule a meal together, we always make sure to leave Goliath at the door marked “MEN” because there simply isn’t room for him at the table anymore.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, each halved
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- ½ pound sliced fresh baby portabella mushrooms
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup marsala wine
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 8 oz. container mascarpone cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 box Orzo pasta
- Halve each chicken breast for a total of 8 chicken cutlets.
- Sprinkle both sides of chicken evenly with salt and pepper.
- Place flour in a shallow dish.
- Dredge chicken in flour, turning to coat; shake off excess flour.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned.
- Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.
- Add mushrooms, garlic, and onion to pan and cook until no liquid from mushrooms is left.
- Add wine, broth, and juice to pan; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until mixture is reduced to ⅔ cup.
- Return chicken to pan, turning to coat well.
- Cover and cook 5 minutes or until chicken is done.
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve over cooked Orzo pasta.
Crystal is an advocate of living outside of comfort zones as a means to unlocking hidden potential and experiencing God’s wild and uncontainable love. She writes on combining a little bit of intention with a lot of passion to create an overwhelming legacy of hope. She’s also a lover of fresh markets, lattes and all things French.