Do you have a a girls gang? I mean the kind of gang that FIGHTS alongside of you through the highs and the lows. The kind of #CREW that you can laugh with, cry with, be frustrated with, speak truth in love with. The gals that know all of your good sides, but ALSO are just as aware of your not so perfect sides too.
I have realized in my life… now more than EVER that having a girls gang is vital for growing in wisdom, seeking change, and sharpening me to my core. This is kind of a nonnegotiable. Something I do not know how I would live without. You see, there are many times I mess up. Almost daily in fact. Some of the time it is smaller than others, but alas I still make mistakes.
Having a group of women who can BEAR life with you, through the good and the bad, has been an essential part of my growth. It has also helped me to face my sin and confess my sin to others in a comfortable place where I am fully allowed to be FULLY vulnerable and fully me.
These friends do not think less of me.
They love me despite my flaws.
They encourage me to be a better person.
They help me to confess and repent.
They provide wisdom and resources for growth and change.
They CRY with me.
They celebrate with me.
I cannot tell you just how truly pivotal these women have been in my life, it is almost difficult to describe in words over a medium such as this… but to present a kind of picture of what this looked like for me, I would like to share a deep, heartfelt story that was such a picture of God’s tangible love through sisterhood.
The POWER of Sisterhood
There was one particular situation that happened last year that left me in awe of how God wanted to use friendship as an instrument of true love and support. I have written quite openly, that earlier in 2017 I was in a serious relationship with a man. During that relationship I was floating on cloud 9, and from my sight, everything was AMAZING. I sincerely thought I was going to marry that man.
But later in the year it turns out much to my surprise this so called “perfect” relationship ended unexpectedly. “I was the perfect girlfriend“, “This was the healthiest relationship“, “This was the deepest love he’d ever felt“, “God was fully in this relationship.” all phrases I was told but yet even still the fate of the relationship was already decided. To say I found myself in a place I did not see coming… would be an understatement of a century.
The fact was: by the end of that Thursday afternoon in August I ended up in an intense, heart wrenching heartbreak from a seemingly perfect relationship that I was certain was going to end in marriage.
Now don’t get me wrong friends. I have experienced heartBREAK before. But I’ll be super real with you loves that I had never truly experienced true heartACHE. That day, in that moment I discovered… there is a difference. I am sure some of you reading this have been there. Either from an earth shattering breakup. Or a job you were certain you were going to get but it backfired. Or maybe even being so confident you were going to have children, but then haven’t been able to.
But here is how SWEET Jesus is when it comes to community and deep friendships….Are you ready?
Fast forward a week before this insurmountable day. This said boyfriend and I had decided to take a break to truly press into what Jesus wanted for us. Pause for just one moment..
*I know this sounds like the holy thing to do… but can we just talk about how HARD this is sometimes? To take a break and surrender something in the MIDST of chaos? When you want a specific outcome so badly, everything inside of you tends to want to be on the front lines fighting for it. Am I right? When I knew the HS was pushing me to take a break with this man, everything in my flesh pressed against it. I wanted to be in his face, showing him how amazing I was. Convincing him with my every word and action that I was the absolute BEST thing that could ever happen to him. But alas, I started realizing… “If I truly trust God. And know that He is good. And know that He loves me to no end. Then I have to know…. that NOTHING gets in the way of God’s will for my life. Absolutely nothing.” And so, smothering this man with “closeness” will not change the outcome, it will merely delay it.*
All that to say, this break was helpful because sometimes when you are SO close to a situation, your mind and heart can be far too clouded to make sound, rational decisions. You might want a specific outcome so badly you can barely contain it… but because you are so close you may not be creating enough space for God to come in and show you what HE truly wants for you.
SO back to how cool God is with our friendships.
After the week long break between me and this man, the day arrived. We were to talk that evening at 5pm. I barely slept the night before. Cycles of anxiousness, then excitement, then nervousness, and then surrender and eventually peace, all flooded over me. I had no idea what was to come at 5pm that day, but I knew that A) I would be heartbroken if it ended but more importantly B) that I could make it through because God’s plans for me MUST be greater!
Before this man came over to talk, I texted 6 of my best girlfriends to pray over our time together. These women were friends I had met in different seasons of my life over various years. They had seen me at MANY different parts of my life and my journey.
After about 25 minutes of conversation, it was his time to share… and I could see it in his eyes that the breakup was impending. He said a lot, but I won’t go into all the details here. But, what I remember so clearly was thinking “I am NOT going to let this ruin me. Jesus has me. He just does“
After he said most of what he had to say, he went to the car to get a blanket of mine. The only thing I could think to do with that small amount of time was text the group chain of my best girlfriends hoping one of them might be available and prepared to talk. I quickly typed out the words, “I need to talk to one of you” and hit send to my 6 besties. I put my phone down and took a deep breathe.
Soon, after praying together, and a final hug (I CRAZILY kept my tears in until he left), I felt the rush of emotions start to come over me like a wave. And let me just tell you this wasn’t just any wave. It was for sure a TIDAL wave. I actually remember falling to the ground.Niagara Falls ensued. The tears just started pouring.
In between sobs, I felt something prompt me to check my phone. AHH that’s right, I had forgot about the a text thread. I opened the text with the ladies. Behind my watery eyes everything looked blurry. I scanned through the messages quickly only to read a few key words. “I am available”, “I am available”, and yet another and another and another. And then I saw a phone number. It was a conference call phone line and a corresponding dial in #.
By the Lord’s divine favor, it seemed like a miracle. All 6 of my best girlfriends were available at that exact moment from across the country and WORLD for this call. Are you KIDDING ME?! How was this even possible? Truly the fact that our schedules aligned at that moment was nothing short of a miracle.
I jumped on the line and sure enough, all 6 of them were there. It is almost like I could feel them hugging and holding me through the phone. I could barely keep it together. Overwhelmed with heartbreak and grief I just full on SOBBED as they sat on the other end of the line praying for me, crying with me, and LOVING on me.
I can probably say that I have almost NEVER felt God’s love so intimately and tangibly as I did that night.
So here is what I want to say…
In the moments where life hits us HARD.. like giant cement wall “ I didn’t see you there!”, I can confidently say that if we invite JESUS into our hardship and choose to hold fast and strong to the TRUTH that God’s promise for our lives, and for ALL of our lives, it is so infinitely better than anything we could ever craft on our own accord. And that my dear friends allows me to power walk knowing how LOVED we are and being able to walk with a renewed hope that exists in Christ alone.
The moral of the story is, having people to do life with is not only incredible, but essential.
HE IS NEAR TO THE BROKEN HEARTED
HE WANTS YOU TO HAVE PEOPLE AROUND YOU TO DO LIFE WITH.