Every now and then we find ourselves in the middle of a story that just seems to fit. This life often leaves me questioning whether I am in the right place, if I'm doing the right things, if I am listening closely enough to the leading of the Holy Spirit, if Jesus is truly in the midst of it all... and then pieces fall into place.
That's what happened this past year. In July we made a trip to Moses Lake to photograph the wedding of a dear friend. One of the young men in the wedding party sorta stole our hearts. He was goofy but you could feel the love of God in him. Come to find out he was from Montana too. An hour and a half away from our home. He was also homeschooled and loved his family beyond belief! My girls are so much better at making friends than I am. They had "friended" everyone on Facebook by the time we left Moses Lake so they could keep in touch.
By August Minda had friended the entire Berg family (8 kids + mom & dad) and they were making plans to get together again. 2 of them made the trip to be with us during a garden party, and we didn't want them to leave. Then 4 of the girls and their mimi came to be with us for a day of fun and photos. Mimi and I got to talk and become friends - because Jesus was so apparent in her it was easy to be open and transparent.
It was our turn to visit them. We made the trip to Helena (a huge feat for us at this stage in our lives) over New Year's eve/day to meet the entire family and their closest friends, the Turners. Our hearts and conversations were drawn to Jesus ~ His grace, His love, His power, His forgiveness ~ over and over. We spent New Year's eve around the fire, the dinner table, the kitchen counter, the "dance central" upper room, so aware of His presence.
The kids stayed at the Berg house ringing in the New Year with music and laughter and more conversations about Jesus. (How much do I love that my 21, 19, & 17 year olds have found others just their ages and younger that want to talk God?!!) James and I stayed with Nick and Sharon and rang in the New Year with snores and soft fluffy pillows. :)
The next morning was more of the same. Food, Jesus, communion, laughter - and relationship was firmly established. Even for the skeptics (Neither John or James~ the dads~ were sure this weekend was going to be anything other than uncomfortable. They ended up more connected than the rest of us, I think.)
There were tears when we left. On both sides.
We Love these people. How does that happen so quickly? How do you go from barely meeting someone at a wedding to spending the weekend with their entire family and walking away as an extended part of that family?
My only answer is
We are in His story. His narrative.
He makes all the pieces come together, and we stand in wonder at it all.
A new year rung in with new friends, some sick dance moves and a whole lot of laughter!
A new tradition has begun!