What do an ex-con, a former drug addict, a real estate broker, a college student, and a married mother of two have in common?
Nothing, or so I thought. Who would have imagined that God would make a group as mismatched as ours the closest of friends?
I almost didn't even go to the Chicago Women's Conference--after all, being thrown together with five hundred strangers wasn't exactly my "comfort zone." But I would be rooming with my boss, Avis, and I hoped that maybe I might make a friend or two.
When Avis and I were assigned to a prayer group of twelve women at the conference, I wasn't sure what to think. There was Flo, an outspoken ex-drug addict; Ruth, a Messianic Jew who could smother-mother you to death; and Yo-Yo, an ex-con who wasn't even a Christian! Not to mention women from Jamaica, Honduras, South Africa--proactically a mini-United Nations. We certainly didn't have much in common.
But something happened that weekend to make us realize we had to hang together. So "the Yada Yada Prayer Group" decided to keep praying for each other via e-mail. That worked for a while, but our personal struggles and requests soon got too intense for cyberspace, so we decided to meet together every other Sunday night.
Talk about a rock tumbler!--knocking off each other's rough edges, learning to laugh and cry along the way. But when I faced the biggest crisis of my life, God used my newfound girlfriends to help teach me--Jodi Baxter, longtime Christian "good girl"--what it means to be just a sinner saved by grace.