Saturday, April 26, 2008

Susan Lanford

I've been blessed by God this week to see His timing very clearly.

These past few weeks have me studying the Walking By Faith Bible study by Jennifer Rothschild, and a really special thing about this study is that the written exercises were written by a dear personal friend, Susan Lanford.
Susan was one of the BASK group that was instrumental in a tremendous spiritual growth spurt a couple of years ago.
BASK stands for Becky, Anne, Susan and Kay. (We considered SKAB, but it just didn't work for us.)
Anyway, us four girls spent hours gathered around lunch and supper tables with our heads leaned in listening to each other. Mostly just loving each other. We shared our personal selves with each other and offered viewpoints about what God was up to in our lives.
The one rule we had was that we would never try to "fix" each other.
Good thing, because there was no fixing me at all. Jae's death was still fresh and I was a emotional and spiritual mess. Anne also was engaged in a fierce battle, and I do mean battle, with Ovarian cancer.
For almost two years, we came together regularly to share, cry, rejoice, joke, prank (Kay!), pray and ponder.

BASK had our last supper way over a year ago. Our regular get-togethers would be ending as Susan accepted an exciting and much prayed-for job in Texas. I can not recall the name of fancy restaurant we were at, but I can remember the table, the window, the waiter and even the light fixture above our heads.
I wish, oh how I wish I could locate the close-up photograph that Anne took of our four hands joined together in the middle of that messy table. The entire evening was incredibly memorable as we all spoke blessings to Susan, each other and then exited the restaurant to part ways. Our embrace there on the sidewalk of the River Market was long and tearful.

Just a few months later, Susan, Kay and I gathered at Anne's funeral and memorial service.
I will always remember standing on the hill by her grave as Heaven itself opened up with a torrential rain. I know it sounds odd, but the rainfall was a beautiful moment.

This past Tuesday, unexpectedly, I had the thrill of sitting, once again, at a table with Susan and Kay.
Once again, we gathered around a lunch table and poured love into each other.
We missed Anne with every thought and word.

Susan's written exercises in the "Walking By Faith" study has impacted thousands of people by making Jennifer Rothschild's words become personal.
It was a blessing to look Susan in the eye and tell her how I am a recipient of her wisdom. I do these daily exercises at my kitchen table and am filled with amazement. My BASK friend wrote these words years ago, without knowing that they would impact me years later!
And then God, in His perfect timing, brings her to my lunch table so I can be blessed a hundredfold.

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