Friendships are blessings from God. He made us for community. He made us for relationship with Him and with each other. I don’t know how I would get by in this crazy world without my close circle of friends who support me, encourage me, love me and hold me accountable when I need it.
It was Oct. 22, 2008, and I was running late to a writing appointment down on Music Row in Nashville, Tenn. I was a staff writer for a major publishing company at the time, so writing songs was my main “job” back then. My co-writers that day were two ladies who had become friends of mine as well, Lisa Hentrich and Patricia Conroy, both incredible singers and artists of their own.
I had gone to an early morning ladies Bible study that day, and you know how those things go…. When you get a bunch of girls talking and praying together, well, that isn’t always easy to walk away from promptly!
So, I ran into the little writing room we had reserved that day with my guitar on my back and apologies coming forth immediately. “Girls, I am so sorry I am late! But I came from a wonderful women’s Bible study and got detained a bit. But you know, it’s important to make time for God and your girlfriends!”
Patricia just stared at me and said, “Wow. I can’t believe you said that! Look at one of the titles I brought in for us to consider writing today.” And she handed me a paper with the words “God and My Girlfriends” on it. WHOA! I guess we knew what we were going to write that day!
The song flowed out almost effortlessly, and within a three-hour writing appointment we had a song, a good worktape and an artist we knew was the right voice for this lyric and melody – Reba McEntire! It turns out that Reba was about to go in and record a new CD, so we quickly made a demo of the song and pitched it to Reba.
Within a few days we had word that Reba LOVED the song and had put it “on hold.” When an artist is serious about a song, they will request a “hold,” and then as a professional courtesy, the writers won’t pitch the song to anyone else until the first artist finishes their recording and either cuts it or lets it go. We were sad to find out a few weeks later that Reba had indeed gone in the studio and recorded a new album, but our song didn’t make the cut.
Fast forward to April 2016. We found out that Reba herself had tracked down our little song and recorded it for her new CD. We knew at this point that God had entered the situation. We had forgotten about the song. It was tucked away in a publisher’s desk drawer somewhere, never to be heard from again.
But God hadn’t forgotten about the song. And, apparently, neither had Reba! In a clear reminder that God’s timing is so perfect, Reba recently said in an interview that “God put this song in my hands back then for THIS moment in my life.” I just LOVE how God works! He sees what we can’t see and knows what we can’t know and prepares our way so beautifully!
Reba’s new CD, Sing It Now – Songs of Faith and Hope was released on Feb. 3, 2017, and I have loved seeing God use our little song to empower women’s friendships. We live in a culture where women often get pitted into competition with each other, but I think when women bond together, they truly can be a force to be reckoned with! I’ll always be grateful for the lifelong friendships I made while I was a student at OBU. They were truly special years, full of God and girlfriends!
Marcia Ramirez attended Ouachita in the 1980s and is a former Miss OBU. The song was performed at the 2017 Miss OBU Pageant in honor of the 50th anniversary of the pageant. Ramirez and her husband, Mike Waldron, live in Nashville, Tenn. She currently is touring with Christopher Cross while writing and recording for a new project to be released this spring.
Watch the Miss OBU 50th Anniversary slideshow featuring “God and My Girlfriends” performed at this year’s pageant by the 2017 Miss OBU Court of Honor.
The Ouachita Voices blog is a place for the people of Ouachita to tell the stories of Ouachita. Lend your voice to the conversation. Submit your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.