I have been asking these women’s husbands for their best picture and they never send one with them in it. Just a funny side note before I start doting over this lady right here.
A little back story about me and Emily. Our fathers are the same age and have lived in the same town their whole life. They were both farmers. Her dad still is and mine has gone into cattle now. We grew up in a town with a population 150. In the Bible, all of the families had “Ites” at the end of their tribe name. So, we are Branchvillites. There is strong stock birthed out of this small town.
You see, even though we lived in a small town, we didn’t grow up together. We knew of each other, but never became real friends until she walked into my church community six years ago. It was a gift that still makes me feel tender to receive. Emily and her family have been a blessing since day one. They felt like our family from day one. The strength they bring is something otherly, meaning they bring a supernatural element that can be felt naturally and spiritually.
“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.”
Proverbs 18:10 NKJV
“For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy.”
Psalms 61:3 NKJV
This family has been that for many in our community. They have been a shelter. A place to run to for safety. This righteous couple is a strong tower. I can bring to her whatever emotional state I’m in and Emily can handle it. Not many people have been able to hold their faith and their emotional state like she has. She has a mother-hen kind of presence. She protects her nest, and I’m thankful for be a part of her branch of which to rest on. (Branch. Branchville. I hope you get it!)
Anyway, her family has taken my family away for the weekend for the last 5 years as a time of rest before school starts. Even this past Valentine’s Day, they texted me and our friend Holly (who I mentioned in a blog last month) to be there Valentine’s dinner date. How special? They wanted us to celebrate this special day with them. They cooked steaks, potato soup, fruit, eclair cake, coffee, and had roses in a vase for each of us. You see, her husband has lost three best friends in the last 6 years. But, the friendship that has been bonded in this time was not a loss. It’s all been a gain. I am eternally grateful for their kindness and love. They are safety, and their peaceful place to rest our heads is just a blessed thing. This family has the gift of hospitality. Their presence has been a gift to me and so many others. If you know the Browns, please send them a note of appreciation, for these people go hard for Jesus. Their essence is an overflow of His loving kindness.
I love you soo, sooo, soo, soo, soo much. That is how my daughter likes to sign her loves notes. So, I’m signing off the same way here today. I love you. I never knew how much I needed your friendship until the hard times came, and your love for me has never waned.
So, Emily, I honor you today. For your faithfulness to your family, extended family, church family, and the lost you hope to invite into the family of Christ. Your discipline to your devotional life is a marvel to me. Thank you for showing me strength. Thank you for loving me with grace. Thank you for making me laugh every single time we are together. I’m better because of you. Jesus created someone amazing and I get to see His creation up close. I would like to concur when He said His creation was good.
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them…Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”
Genesis 1:27, 31 NKJV
Thanks for being His image bearer. Amen and amen
P.S. Thanks for being the most amazing CPA. Burgess & Company has taken care of me in a way that has also brought me great peace. So, she is a business woman too, y’all. There is nothing this lady can’t do.
Until next time,
Connect it the Mender.
Be a sender.