Tears pooled in my eyes as I listened to her story. What an amazing testimony of faith, love and devotion.
I leaned back against the booth, took another sip of iced tea and shook my head.
Whenever we get together, I leave feeling so inspired. She shared what's been going on in her life and what's coming up. She'll be leaving to work as a missionary for about three months. Even though it's here in the United States the people will be total strangers.
She feels the Lord has called her to this mission.
It's not the first time for her. She has done mission work before. She and her husband spent many hours, days, months, weeks and years serving the Lord, in many capacities.
She spoke to me with enthusiasm in her voice and a twinkle in her eye. She smiles easily.
God introduced me to this woman years ago. In a parking lot she wanted to pet my dog. There's a lot more to the story, but that's how it began.
In the time I've known her, many changes have occurred in her life. The biggest change was losing her husband of forty-nine years. Just a month and a half short of fifty years together.
In fact, most of the women I know, who are her age are slowing down. She says, "Why do that where there's still lots of the Lord's work to do." She reached across the table and patted my hand.
"I wasn't sure at first", she began, "you know, that it was the Lord calling me back to missions."
I waited for her to collect her thoughts.
"But then, everything just came together. I even have somewhere to live." She laughed, "in fact, it's with a lady who is ten years older than me."
My friend is in her eighties.
I'm praying for her.
She told me this morning her kids think she's never grown up.
I wrapped my arms around her and said, "Well, when I grow up, I want to be just like you."