When God Gives Us New Friends

Before I got married—or even met my husband for that matter—I volunteered at our church with the Youth Ministry (Cornerstone) by helping lead a girls high school small group. Upon volunteering, I was paired to lead alongside Mckenzie, who I didn’t know from Adam. She is now one of my dearest friends. This lady has taught me so much and continues to do so to this day.

In May 2014, Mckenzie became Mrs. Mckenzie Cochran, or should I say Brenzie (Brent+Mckenzie).

Like any wedding celebration—Mckenzie’s wedding day was filled with family, close friends, and other special people throughout her lifetime. Each time I met someone new, I became more and more inspired hearing from them about their relationship with Mckenzie. I found that she had a profound impact on every life she had touched and here God had brought us all together to the very same place.

God is so strategic.

Mckenzie is beautiful, humble, and selfless. Her soft-spoken demeanor and genuine compassion for others is nothing compared to her deep love for the Lord. The Lord shows me glimpses of himself through McKenzie, and I see him the most through her when she prays, whether it’s just the two of us or in a larger group. And let me tell you, this little lady has strength unlike any other woman I’ve ever seen. In two words: She’s awesome.

As my husband pointed out at the weekend—the thing about awesome people is…well…they’re usually friends with other awesome people. Weddings are a great example of that thought. Case-in-point: Brenzie.

 

As I mentioned earlier, we had the honor of meeting so many lovely friends and family members of Brenzie. In fact, we found new best friends in a couple that we pretty much just met over the weekend. As a married couple, it’s a little hard to find other married couples where you both really like the other spouse. So, while it was sad that we don’t live in the same city as they do—our hearts rejoiced in getting to spend quality time with them and leave knowing we would reunite again! And alas we did. In fact, we met them in New York City for a Labor Day weekend getaway – it was seriously one of the top weekends of my life.

From this new found friendship, one thing I realized about myself is that some of us have a characteristic embedded in us called woo.

One of my high school girls gave me a book as a gift called Strength Finders that involves taking a test where you learn about your personality strengths. My top strength was the woo theme, which describes people who love to meet other people with the possibility that they will “win them over” and one day become good friends. Ultimately they want people to feel the same fondness for them as they feel about others.

This is how both my husband and I felt after doing dinner with the lovely couple on our first night in Hilton Head. We had the best time and felt like we had known this couple all our lives. It’s a surreal and great feeling when you can talk endlessly with someone who you’ve only just met. So naturally, I hoped they liked us back, which later led to insecurity and me asking my husband those tiny questions: “Did we talk too much?” “I wish I hadn’t said that!” etc., etc.

But, I think it’s when we feel insecure and vulnerable that we are really able to connect with others. That’s usually when I feel like I am truly being the best version of myself, and I’ve learned this is exactly how Jesus wants us to be with others. That’s how he was. He loved going out and just being real with people. Jesus tells us that it’s in our weaknesses that we are strong in the grace of our Lord. What an amazing thing!


(Walking with our new friends on Hilton Head Island)

I’m grateful that the Lord puts awesome people in our lives to walk alongside us, challenge us, love us, share experiences, and ultimately just to do life with.

I use to think the woo desire seemed bad and superficial, but now I know it’s good. I’m certain Jesus had a woo desire — because he wants us to love him just as much as he loves us.

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