Tonight and tomorrow I will be attending a woman's retreat with our church. A dear friend of mine will also be attending. We first got to know each other when we were freshmen in college. I'm looking forward to connecting with her in a special way this weekend.
The other evening I heard a message/sermon on the Christian radio station I listen to. The speaker was talking about fellowship and when we go through difficult times in our lives. He said that often the people that we fellowship with in our church body, are the ones that are there for us when we face hard times - often there before family members. My family has particularly found that to be true this past year as we experienced a difficult road with my husband's ski accident and slow (continual) recovery.
In the past couple weeks or so, I have been experiencing quite a few struggles - both physical and emotional. Throughout that time my friend from college has been calling, emailing and praying for me. She has been a real blessing in my life. She has told me that she doesn't have the gift of encouragement, but she certainly has demonstrated it to me.
So as I look at what I am thankful for today, it would definitely be the gift of fellowship, which also includes friendship.