For over 20 years our family was moved by the military about every two years and soon after setting up a new home, my husband would be deployed and my search for fellowship would begin. It can be hard to make friends in small towns and in big cities and I did feel lonesome quite often.
One day, while browsing in a Christian bookstore, I caught sight of a book simply titled, “Tea Leaves.” Since I loved tea, I bought it on the spot. Later I discovered it was a devotional written by several missionary wives stationed around the world. They’d “meet” each morning over a cup of tea and the radio waves for a few moments of conversation. Each page told the story of one woman, her unique situation and how God faithfully met all her needs.
As I read the stories laced with verses - beautiful verses of hope and promise like,
“God has said, I will never leave you, never will I forsake you.”Hebrews 13:5 and “You will call and the Lord will answer, you will cry for help and He will say, Here am I.” Isaiah 58:9 and “Find rest, o my soul, in God alone. My hope comes from Him.”Psalm 62:5. I realized many of these ladies were lonely, just like me and craved fellowship, just like me only instead of joining a health club or the neighborhood game night, they found Perfect Fellowship in their relationship with Jesus Christ. I stopped looking for like-minded women to socialize with and instead sought to walk humbly with my God each day.
Fast forward 20+ years. My husband is now retired from the military and we have lived in the same small southern town for 8 years now. Fellowship can still be hard to come by. About 4 years ago, my daughters and I opened a small tearoom on our property and began to host tea gatherings. I am in awe of how lonely people can really be! Only the Lord could bring one beautiful soul after another to our tea table. Time and again customers become friends and then beloved sisters. We may not see each other often but we are in fellowship because of our faith in Jesus. A small prayer journal was placed on the shelf in the rest room and it is an honor to pray for the ladies as they have requested.
Yes, fellowship can be elusive but remember the Lord is standing by your side strengthening you. (2 Timothy 4:17) Ponder that promise over your teacup and be blessed.
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The Tea Exchange
"Drink tea and make friends." Chinese Proverb
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