One of my favorite relationships from the third book in my Out from Egypt series, aside from the romance, was the friendship between Alanah, the main character, and a young girl named Moriyah, a friendship that starts from a place of wariness and yet blossoms under adversity. So when I decided to write Moriyah’s story in A Light on the Hill for my new Cities of Refuge series I was excited to build on the theme of female friendships from the last book.
A Light on the Hill opens about seven years after the fall of Jericho and Moriyah’s friend Alanah has moved south with her husband and her own mother has passed away. Since I felt that Moriyah needed a strong mentor in her life, one that could continually point her back to the Lord, I created a woman named Ora. Ora is physically blind, but with the wisdom born of fiery trial and keen insight that exceeds that of a sighted person in many ways, Ora speaks truth into Moriyah’s life before, during, and after the darkest of valleys.
I am blessed with a very wise mother who has spent my life on her knees interceding for me, and she is who I turn to when I am in need of godly council. But there are many women in the Church who are desperate for a mature woman to come alongside them and speak truth into their lives. Life is hard, we all are struggling through valleys, some deeper than others, and God makes it very clear that his followers are to be walking the road together. And especially in a world where we are pulled in so many directions by social media, where women are bombarded by the message that we are not ‘enough’, where authenticity is scarce, and where families are so fractured, it is more important than ever to build strong female relationships.
I feel that there are a number of characteristics in this fictional relationship in A Light on the Hill that can encourage us as we build our own real connections between women in the church; ones that I did not plan as I wrote, but that somehow wove themselves naturally into the story.
Ora is very open with Moriyah about her greatest sorrows, she does not hold back the ugly wounds of her past, and because of this Moriyah feels safe to share her own hurts and insecurities. Although she is maternal in many ways, Ora does not talk down to Moriyah, or condescend, but she treats her like an equal in spite of the differences in their ages. She also gives her the room to make her own mistakes, even when she might disagree with her choices, she simply gives her wise council and then steps back to let Moriyah wrestle through the decisions; which is an important step in working toward maturity, emotionally and spiritually. She is continually looking for the best in Moriyah, pointing her toward the Lord and his good will for her life, and speaking the truth even when it might be uncomfortable, or even painful.
Are you a Moriyah? Do you have someone in your life that has been a wise mentor to you? How have they spoken truth over you in your own valleys?
Or are you an Ora? Is there someone you mentor now in a formal or informal way? If not are you actively seeking someone to pass on wisdom from your own hard-learned life lessons?
I hope that readers will be inspired by the friendship between these two fictional woman in a A Light on the Hill and will be challenged and encouraged to work on building real, strong connections with other women within the Body of Christ.
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