a sign & symbol of a promise that i’ll never forget

talk about someone who radiates. talk about having joy down deep in your heart & that joy truly bubbles up and transforms your appearance.  every time i see my precious friend sibi (which isn’t nearly frequent enough), she glows. sister glows. it’s amazing!

i have so much to share with you about sibi’s visit here to atlanta ( which wasn’t nearly long enough for me) and The Pearl Event. i really do. it was one of those days where trying to put into words the spirit and essence of the day has truly left me a little speechless. well. dan would beg to differ being that i shared talked his ear off for two hours straight  with him all the goodness of that day as soon as i stumbled in the door.

sibi and i needed some face time. we needed time together in real life. in the same state.  not just through instagram and texts and emails. we needed some time together. time for her to ride shut gun while i did a 5 lane change. for her to eat shrimp quesadillas at the best mexican joint this side of the mason dixon line. for me squeeze her neck right off because i couldn’t stop hugging her. for me to drag her to the ball field because our highschool is indeed the home of the national baseball champions. for real. for me to introduce her to my local friends and gush all over her fragrance and her makeup tips and time for us just to pour into each other. even though she out poured me.

friendships can be sweet and precious and fragile. and they can be raw and hysterical and they can be effortless. there are some friends who can text you late at night with some hilarious thing that you just had to know. there are some friends who know the dark secrets of your heart and they still speak words of affirmation over you again & again. there are some friends who you can just talk about fried chicken and designer bags and hardship and failures and frustrations all in one sitting and it’s just right.

that’s who sibi is to me. sometimes when we talk i just get all teary.  she overwhelms me with her graciousness and the gift of her words. well last week she overwhelmed me with an outward expression of His love. to me.

let me see if i can do this little exchange justice~

 

the pearl event was over & we were just loading up sibi’s car. everyone had left except for she & i. we were giggly and just plain giddy about the 24 hours that had just flown by. she had just blown a couple hundred of us away with her grace and her southern charm and her fantastic sense of humor. she was about to hop in the car and she took off her shoes to get comfy.

“OH MY GOSH> i totally forgot!! i was going to take off my shoes at the end of the presentation as a sign and symbol of my word to these women that God is a promise keeper”

she went on to share with me that in earlier days of isreal for a transaction to be binding, to show loyalty or finality, one party would take off his sandal and give it to the other person. she was going to take off her shoes and lay them down on the stage to symbolize to the women  that they could trust her, that HE is the ultimate promise keeper. a sign of His love for them.

then she said, “NO>…these are for you. i’m to give these to you. a sign that you KNOW He loves you…..”

ok. let me tell that we went back & forth for quite a while. i told her ( through tears again) that just her desire alone to give me her shoes ( which just so happened to be my exact size. which just so happened to be my favorite style. which just so happened to be my favorite designer) moved me and left an impression that i would not soon forget.

she was radiant and glowy and all smiles. “no ma’am. they’re for you paige. He wanted me to actually give them to you.”

you can’t even imagine. you can’t even imagine what that gesture did to me. it was like she took the shirt right off her back and gave it to me. i know sibi’s story. i know some chapters from her past and i know some chapters from her present. knowing her story made this gift, this symbol, even more priceless to me than you can imagine. that’s that part of friendship that knits hearts together to weather the storms as much as the friendship can weather the breezy beautiful spring days like last saturday.

it wasn’t the worth of the “shirt” nor was it all about “who needed the shirt more”. it wasn’t that anyone would even know that she ” gave me her shirt” as no one was watching. it was just a transaction between two friends, it was just a pair of shoes loved by both of them as a symbol that He is a promise keeper.

did you know that He knows everything about you. He knows the hairs on your head. He knows the secrets in your heart, dark places in your past, your sins. all of it. no sin. no past. no yuck.  zilcho. nothing is going to separate you from His love. if you want an incredible story, read joshua and learn about rahab.  yep rahab. she was a prostitute. ended up being king david’s great great grandmother. hello. what sin? gone. wiped away. and not only was her former lifestyle forgiven, God chose to smack her right in the lineage of king david which also means she was in the lineage of Christ Jesus. can you believe that??  her life and the life of her family spared in the fall of Jericho as promised by God. ( there it is again, the promise)  or you can  read in genesis 38 and meet tamar. basically tamar dresses up like a prostitute and seduces her father in law in order to become pregnant. and then fastforward…she too ends up in the lineage of king david….and Jesus. unreal.

while the purpose for my blog is to journal my little world and these precious years with my girls, there is nothing more important i could ever , ever, tell you than you have a love like none other from your heavenly father. he knows you and loves you.

period.

sometimes He uses a friend who takes off her fancy shoes, her fancy shoes that you absolutely love,  and hand them to you as a sign of her promise and His. and then she drives away smiling and radiant because He’s already filled her with His joy. and you go home and sit on your backporch and feel Him say, “I love you. I know you love those fancy shoes and that friend of yours. I made you and I know everything about you and I know your struggles. I know how much gifts touch your heart and that’s why the gift from your friend is really a gift from Me”.

He loves you friends.

i promise.

March 22, 2013 - 12:51 pm

Amy Avery - Believe it or not (and I actually think you will) I have been praying for you that you would receive some form of encouragement and outward sign that you are deeply loved by God and that all of you just as you are is enough, because he made you that way, perfectly. I am so thrilled that you had your time with Sibi. She is a vessel from which his love pours through, and so are YOU! As you step into Sibi’s shoes that have walked a path of love and encouragement, know that you too have been called to shine his light to others. You already do that, but Paige, just as you wear those beautiful shoes, wear his love for you and know that he is doing marvelous wondrous things through you too!

March 22, 2013 - 1:34 pm

Shari - I can’t begin to tell you how timely your post is to me. Seriously, if I told you it would give you goosebumps. Just in time. Once again. Gods perfect timing.

March 22, 2013 - 1:36 pm

jennifer - I want both of you to be my neighbor!
the world needs more people like paige and sibi!
xoxoxo

March 22, 2013 - 1:59 pm

lissa - Man this made me cry! Blesses me down to my toes!

March 22, 2013 - 2:25 pm

Jenny Lynn - LOVE this. I just met Sibi last week at MTH in Chapel Hill. My mother-in-law (Nonny :)) sings her praises (and yours!) and she is EXACTLY what y’all say. Incredible. Just in the five minute conversation we had, I could feel Jesus. It was amazing, really.

March 22, 2013 - 2:40 pm

Mimi - Love the message and the story! She is a special friend indeed.

March 22, 2013 - 2:42 pm

Laura - God is so good! You and your words are such a blessing. Oh how I wish I could have been there on Saturday to meet you and Sibi – the sweet love of our Lord flows from you both!

March 22, 2013 - 3:11 pm

Alecia - What a precious, precious story. I’m so thankful for God’s faithfulness. I love the sweet time He blessed you with your dear friend and I love how He so graciously loved on you through her. He is faithful! I pray all of us who read this story take to heart God’s promise to us all and pour out as Sibi so sweetly poured out to you…and you to her and all of us here in the blogosphere!

March 22, 2013 - 3:12 pm

Kristin - Paige, this is beautiful. Teary, and joyful are your words as they hit my heart. I love it that you have Sibi as your precious friend. I love that for you both. Friendship is indeed all the things you mentioned and I know you care for one another as such. God is crazy about you and I love it that He showed you that in such a tangible way.

He is a promise keeper!

Hugs, smiles and love to you.

March 22, 2013 - 3:19 pm

Nancy - Oh Paige!!!
That Sibi is one amazing women. I did not think that God loved me until I found her blog a few years ago. Sibi is the reason that I know believe that God loves me. Sibi is the reason I joined a church. Sibi is the reason I became a deacon in that chruch. God brought me to Sibi’s blog a few years ago without me even knowing what I was looking for. I can’t wait to hug her, and you, at a future Pearl Event.
Love,
Nancy

March 22, 2013 - 4:09 pm

Jill - Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

March 22, 2013 - 4:49 pm

Tracey - Oh Paige! Thank you so much for sharing this. Wow….. absolutely beautiful.

March 22, 2013 - 4:55 pm

Diane Zundel - Love everything about this, EVERYTHING! Just wish I could have been there with both of you. Beautifully written about 2 very beautiful people inside and out! xoxo

March 22, 2013 - 5:23 pm

Sibi - Oh my heart.

You know that reading how special it made you feel just absolutely wrecked me today.

God is just so good. He knew exactly what He was doing…..

I am so overwhelmed by your incredibly kind words here….it is all Him.

He just loves you so much beautiful friend.

Me too.

You are a truth seeker. A word keeper. A marker of His love and goodness.

You are a heart protector. A vessel of honor….Poured out like an offering of His

immeasurable grace.

Love you so.

In awe and wonder,

Sibi

March 22, 2013 - 5:32 pm

Sally - So beautiful!

March 22, 2013 - 6:51 pm

Cathy G. - Love this…. So touching…..I have a couple friends that I adore so and are just what I need!!! He knows what we need doesnt He? You are very blessed!!!

March 22, 2013 - 7:17 pm

Sally - So sweet and so nice to read right NOW!!! Thanks girl!!!

March 22, 2013 - 8:10 pm

Janet Lawson - Beautiful post..

March 23, 2013 - 8:27 am

Melissa Caligiuri - Paige .. you and Sibi are truly blessed to have each other! Two, beautiful, gracious, faith filled women!

March 23, 2013 - 10:51 am

Susan R. - Oh that figures! Someone is giving out Tory Burch Revas and I’m nowhere to be found.
Just kiddin. What a sweet and special gesture. I’m tellin ya…I’m adding The Pearl Even to my bucket list.

March 23, 2013 - 12:46 pm

Lindsey - I’ve read this multiple times…and each time I just can’t get over it. Love love LOVE. Thanks so much for sharing. What a gesture!

March 23, 2013 - 4:03 pm

Destiny - Love spoken + love shown = a love we can truly feel and understand, one that reaches the very depths of our beings by touching our soul, as evidenced through this genuine act of the greatest of these … love!

March 24, 2013 - 10:30 pm

Debbie Sibley Mitchell - Wow, I needed to read that tonight. Thank you , Paige for sharing your heart, so we may be reminded of His love for us, even when we feel like we are not lovable, or we haven’t been the best we could be. We are loved…..no matter what, and when friends or family love us in spite of…….it reminds me of Christ love, a precious gift.

March 25, 2013 - 12:16 pm

tina - thank you paige for sharing this story!! this last week, God has poured His love on me and my life, and yet i struggle with ‘why’. the answer is always a simple ‘because he loves ME’. when will i ever feel worthy? thank you so much for this post! love your blog so much!

your sister in christ, tina

March 25, 2013 - 5:18 pm

Lemonade Makin' Mama - I loved and needed this post. And the reminder. I keep bumping into that reminder that He loves me… so apparently my bucket’s a bit empty and He’s trying to fill it for me.

March 28, 2013 - 11:32 am

Jenifer - We can believe God loves us for no other reason than this: His word says He does.

No signs, fancy gifts or fabulous friends necessary. At 39, twelve years of walking daily with Him, cancer, girlfriends who come and go, seeking and finding “signs” that turned out in the end not to be signs at all, and oh so many unfulfilled material desires I am learning that my security in His love cannot be found in these things.

I think your heart is gold, Paige. And the commenters above found encouragement in your post. But I just had to speak to those of us who may be reading this, sitting barefoot on our back porches wondering where our Sibi is and our signs of His love are!
Rahab was included in the faith hall of fame for believing not having yet seen. Her promise was not here and yet she believed.

~Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

March 28, 2013 - 3:05 pm

Nicole W. - WonderFULL story!

April 1, 2013 - 6:07 pm

tara - Well. I don’t always get around to reading blogs every day, not even my favorite one, 🙂 but I ALWAYS eventually go back and read the ones I’ve missed over here. I’m SO glad I read this today.

I adore your description of friends…God really does gift us with different ones for different purposes in our lives.

I love your friendship with Sibi…so grateful for her story and your story and how God has collided yours together for such a time as this.

I bet she feels just as blessed as you do with your friendship.

April 4, 2013 - 1:47 pm

jane @ See Jane Learn - What a great story! Great friend! Great shoes! GREAT GOD!!
Paige, I love this. What a blessing to have a friend like Sibi and now a forever reminder of her/HIS love. I’ve got some great friends back in the mid-west who are the kind where we just pick up as if we still live in the same town and that is so easy to do since we love the Lord.
I really love your blog, home style (if only I could get my husband to like white!), passion for God & Noonday and your sweet family. If we lived near each other I know we’d be friends!!
Thanks for sharing your faith and I must save up for those shoes…

May 2, 2013 - 7:25 am

the birthday girl, pearls and a giveaway!! » simple thoughts from Paige Knudsen Photography - […] outpouring of her heart…and that’s exactly what occurred.  i shared about that day here & encourage you to read how she blew me away and truly was the hands and feet of jesus in my life that day. she left a […]