Back in Houston, Jody and I were pastor’s wives together at Kaleo.
But before that, I met Jody in Seattle. She was attending a conference with a group of Kaleo people, and Joel and I were tagging along, since we were ministering at a different church at the time. Jody was a new face in the midst of a familiar crowd, and she made a big impression on me.
She offered me friendship.
On the plane ride from Seattle to Houston, she invited me to a party at her house… an epic tea party. And if you know me, I’m not a tea party type of girl – I didn’t register for any china for my wedding, I don’t have a waist suited for hourglass style dresses, and I love my coffee.
But that didn’t matter. Jody invited me to attend a party because she was open to having a new friend.
This was profound then, but I can only now pin down why.
You see, I was living in Houston, a city where I grew up, with so many subgroups of friends/acquaintances from youth, jobs, and various churches. I rarely had any friendship-making on my radar… I could barely see the people I knew already.
I’ve watched Jody for 5 years, trying to figure out why her invitation was unique and made an impression on me.
Then I moved to Maine this summer.
And I started texting Jody questions. Realizing how enormously alone a new place is. Realizing how unconscious I’ve been to the various Kaleo women that came from far away to live in Houston… and who were usually cared for my Jody.
Thankfully, she gave me honest replies, admitting how hard it was for her to move to Houston, to let go of a job she loved.
And then I realized Jody already taught me what I needed to know to thrive here.
By offering friendship. By not already being so consumed by life that she overlooked a potential friend.
I’m loving all the amazing people I’m getting to meet in Farmington/Strong, Maine! I’m so thankful for a fresh start to meet these people and develop friendships.
Thanks for your example, Jody. Thanks for inviting me to tea.