"In a world where it is so easy to hop online to email or to send a fast text, it is so personal and so precious to know someone chose to turn off the virtual world to spend some time with you."
I'd love to make a simple proposal. Let's be pen pals.
God has kept stirring this little simple idea in my heart for awhile now, so here it is. I know how often I stare at my texts thinking, "I wish we could be chatting in person! This isn't enough. I want to spend more time with you." But with friends scattered across the big, giant state of Texas, time in person isn't always attainable. Facetime and skype is fun, but it rarely "fits the busy schedule" and I always forget to ask the more important questions like, "How are you? How is work going? Are you doing ok?" I've found letter writing forces me to slow down, and it feels so much more natural to have a deep conversation.
Another thing I love about pen pals specifically is the good work done in our hearts when we don't know what the other person looks like. Fighting comparison, especially in how we look, is a battle we all share and that we all must encourage each other to keep fighting. A common place I go with meeting someone new is thinking, "they're too cool / too beautiful / too ____ to be my friend. I don't deserve this friendship." And then I never pursue them... and typically don't let them pursue me. How heart-breaking this is for all of us.
Lastly, I'd love to challenge all of us to become what some would call "prayer warriors." I've heard this term used from time to time, typically someone saying, "oh, I need to tell ___ about this because she is a prayer warrior. If she prays about it, things will happen." Friends, this is a name you can give yourself. Right now. The power of your prayers lies not in your own striving or any particular technique, but instead it lies in the simple access you have to the Father. Christ shed His blood for us on the cross to obtain that access, so it's safe to say He wants you to use it :) There's a parable Jesus tells in Luke 18 about a judge who "did not fear God and did not respect man." There was a widow who continually came to him, asking the same request. For awhile he didn't want to, but eventually he came to grant her request (simply because she bothered him). Jesus went on to say, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly." There is no such thing as bothering the Lord with our requests. He is good to refine our hearts as we pray, helping us to see things the way He does. He wants us to be persistent in coming to Him with our requests.
One of the best ways to fight comparison is to pray for one another. Praise God when good things happen for others. Confess your sins to one another and you'll find healing (James 5:16). Petition on behalf of your sister. There is much joy to be found in doing life together.
So, yes. Let's be pen pals. Just like the old-fashioned kind, we don't have to know each other. We'll be getting to grow each of our hearts and minds by seeing another person's perspective and encouraging one another towards truth. Plus, pretty letters in your mailbox is way better than bills ;) If you'd like to participate in this project, just shoot me an email with your address and I'll begin pairing us up. Simple and sweet... just like a handwritten letter. Love y'all.
Intro quote via this article on the allure of pen pals.