Friendships, Gifts of Grace

I've always been part of a group of girls. Every summer of my childhood was spent with a few weeks camping at the lake with a group of girls (and a couple guys) that I'm still close to.  And since high school, I truly feel like God has gifted me with girlfriends that would lead me closer to Him. In college, it was more subtle-- like an amazing roommate here, and the girlfriends/wives of Moondoggie's roommates/buddies there-- rather than a specific clique that I walked through the whole four years with. I've had a few good guy friends over the pre-Moondoggie years, but really discovered that for me, those relationships weren't the healthiest. (Because, honestly, it was rare that I had a guy friend that I didn't crush on, but that's a story for another post).

I know that girly friendships don't come easy to everyone. but I just wanted to share how much I've been blessed, with relationships that I strongly feel were directly given to me by the grace of God.  He has always seemed to provide for me as soon as I've moved to a new place. And these stories show just a glimpse of the amazing women I'm so thankful to call my friends.

When Moondoggie graduated college (a year after me), we moved to Orange County, where my old college roommate and dear friend lived (she had moved away during college so we hadn't lived near each other for a few years).  Through her, I met another girl and the three of us and our husbands hung out at least weekly for almost three years, reading books together and just hanging out (we had another amazing couple with us at the beginning who moved away). I just love these two girls and am so thankful for their friendship still.

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Then when we moved to Colorado, looking forward to living near some great friends who we already knew out there, little did I know that I would be accepted into a moms' Bible study through my friend's church and given the sisterhood I needed to be in a new state, away from my family and most of my friends. The group started up the week after I moved in, and until I moved back to California was a steady encouragement for me during what was hard year at times. I was even able to reconnect with an old college friend who just happened to live five minutes away and ended up also joining our moms' group.

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Moving back to California has been no different. We knew about and we're super stoked to finally be a part of a church body that we had visited over the years, but even as much as I loved my pastor's wife and the couple of friends I already had at the church, I wasn't prepared for the abundant blessing that God would give me in the form of girlfriends. These women, most of whom I haven't known for even a year, have walked with me through times of mourning and difficulty, praying for my family and exhorting me with Scripture. I've learned more from them in a short time about Godly parenting than from all the books I've read, and I've gained a fresh vision of raising Godly children.

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Community is one of our church's strongest values, and I've seen it lived it out in my life through the women in our fellowship in amazing ways. I am so thankful for the friends and sisters that God has given me to walk through life with, to raise my children with, to grow closer to Him with.

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Just as iron sharpens iron, friends sharpen the minds of each other. Prov. 27:17 (contemporary english version)

I encourage any of you who feel lacking in this area, to fervently pray that God would provide a sisterhood of Godly friends to encourage you along life's journey. Even if it's only a couple girls, I truly believe He wants to provide in amazing ways for you in this area.