We met at the Write-to-Publish Conference at Wheaton College, just outside Chicago. I think it was my second time attending this writers’ conference so I had overcome some of my fear at going alone to such an event. After hastily dropping my luggage in my assigned dorm room, I hurried over to the auditorium for the initial session, arriving just as the program was beginning. I was just nicely settled into a plush chair, three seats from the aisle near the back of the auditorium, when I spotted the newcomer. Her brow furrowed in bewilderment made me suspect this was her first time at the conference. Remembering how intimidated I felt a year earlier, I beckoned to her to join me, pointing to the empty seat on my right. As she took her place, I leaned over and whispered, “Welcome.”
I had no idea this was the beginning of a mutual intercession destined to support each of us as we faced stormy waters in our personal lives over the next fifteen years. Her trials included a broken marriage and the challenges of raising her three children on her own. Among mine were the broken body and bruised spirit of my son, paralyzed by a freak car accident.
After that first session of the conference, we grabbed coffees and sat down on the steps of the auditorium, enjoying the warmth of the June evening as we shared a little about our backgrounds and writing experiences. As it turned out, we did not choose any of the same electives to attend during the conference. However, we kept running into each other in the general sessions, or at meals or walking across the campus. It seemed we just kept showing up in the same places.
Just after the Awards banquet, near the end of the conference, my new friend approached me and said, “I am an intercessor.”
“Great!” I replied. “I am an intercessor too.” She continued, “I feel God is calling me to intercede for you. “ How strange and yet how encouraging, I thought to myself. We discovered that we were both part of the same international intercessors group. We exchanged e-mail addresses, so that I could share my prayer concerns with her, and I decided to add her to my prayer list as well, and left promising to pray for her and her family.
Our correspondence back and forth over the years is scarce. About the only time, we contact each other, except at Christmas when we share with one another our prayer concerns. I feel like her children are precious to me, even thought I have not seen them since they came to pick her up with their father at the end of that first conference. Yet, I have prayed daily for them through the years. I feel I have had the opportunity to invest in their lives in this way. My friend and I both published articles in the magazine put out by our intercessors group. The bonds that unite us exert a strong vertical pull.
How grateful I am she took the risk to tell me about the nudge she felt, when the Spirit called her to support me in prayer. We are truly soul sisters.