Recently I had the opportunity to visit a friend in Virginia. My only travels to the east coast before last week were when we were leaving for Germany. Our son was a year old and we had to drive to New Jersey to drop off our car to be shipped overseas. From there we took a taxi to JFK for our flight to Germany. We didn’t have much time for sight seeing but the scenery through the Smokey Mountains was so beautiful I remember commenting to my husband how nice it would be to live in that area.
My friend Julie lives in the Shenandoah Valley of the Commonwealth of Virginia. From her back porch you can see the Blue Ridge Mountains and from the front of her house you can see the Allegheny Mountains in the distance. The area is rich in history with more interesting things to see and do than we had time for.
One of the things we did was to drive along a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway. We took along pizza and sodas and set out around 5:30 in the evening. We stopped and looked out over the valley, taking pictures and enjoying the scenery. We found a picnic table at one of the trailheads and had our pizza and sodas. The breeze was strong and the sun was warm. The trees are thick, green and lush. I can only imagine how beautiful the fall colors will be in a few weeks, there were the occasional splashes of red or yellow as the colors of fall are just beginning to make an appearance. We were able to look out over the valley and watch the sun set. It was a beautiful ending to a wonderful day.
We went shopping, visited a small store that has nothing but cross stitching supplies called the Cross Stitch Station. We both were inspired to get busy with projects for Christmas. We visited Liberty University where Julie’s two sons are going to school. We walked all over the campus then went downtown and had a picnic near the James River in Lynchburg. The day I left we visited Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello. Jefferson must have been an interesting man; he loved books and was very creative. I wanted to spend time in his library just looking through his collection of books…not allowed of course but I was very curious about the books he read.
The best part of my visit was the time Julie and I were able to spend sharing and praying. We have been prayer partners for 2 years now. For the last 10 months since she left for Virginia we have had prayer time over the phone. It works but it sure isn’t like sitting across from each other and sharing face to face. We pray for each other and for each others families. Last week we talked about all the prayers God has answered and we are more convinced than ever that prayer is the most important thing in our relationship. How gracious God was to bring us together. What a privilege it is to share my heart with another in prayer.
Sitting on her back porch watching the sunrise over the Blue Ridge Mountains was so peaceful. God speaks to us through His creation if we take the time to listen. We shared tea, banana bread, and devotions in the early morning sunlight. I was making memories with my dear sister in Christ to carry with me back to Missouri.
Before I left we both decided we need to plan for my next visit. Lord willing and details fall into place I hope to visit in October of next year…maybe I’ll catch the leaves in all their fall glory. Until then we pray for and with each other long distance. We are separated by miles, mountains and rivers; but we are brought together in the Spirit when we pray. Together we meet before the throne of God submitting our requests at His feet. I know He hears us. He knows us well…Julie and Penny…two hearts He knit together in friendship and fellowship through prayer. What a blessing.