Ann Voskamp
About the Author

Ann Voskamp is a farmer's wife, the home-educating mama to a half-dozen exuberant kids, and author of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, a New York Times 60 week bestseller. Named by Christianity Today as one of 50 women most shaping culture and the...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
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Reader Interactions


      • This is my first time on your website. I just read your devotional about A Song No Woman Should Miss. I am curious if there was an actual song you were actually talking about and if so the name of that song.

        • Theresa…it’s not an actual song. I am saying this lovingly, not judgmentally. Ann’s writing is sheer poetry…a gift she has straight from the heart of God.

          Again, there’s no actual song as you’re thinking would play on the radio or on a CD.

          Blessings to you, Theresa!

    • As I read this I thought of some important to me. Then I got to the end and there it was….my very favorite verse! It made me smile. Bless you….

    • Thank you Ann- our sister – our warrior friend !!! Your words so connect us to God’s heart. Blessings and favor to you and your family .

  1. just how it is suppose to be…thanks for pointing us there…blessings and grace.

    • It’s you, Ro, who sing it over women, wherever you go, the Father’s Song … you’ve taught me so much about friendship, Ro — *thank you*

    • Oh, I get so out of tune, Diane — I need sisters, the body, to remind me of the songs of His grace — I am still learning to trust. Keep singing?

  2. The women I have met through this crazy Interweb, have healed and held me, they have sung to me and rocked me with their words and their hearts bursting with Jesus and grace, with their questions and encouragement, with their willingness to remove the veil…. Of course you are among them, Ann. My life is richer for these women who sing their anthems, who invite me to sing with them…

    • Friendship does that — reminds you of your God-given song… Sings to you again of who you are in Him. Your always alleluia has done that for me, Kris. ((thank you))

    • could not be more honored to sing life with you, sweet Kris. and you, who sing over me songs my heart never knew were meant for my ears, you are the one who makes my life so rich.

  3. Help me sing for my sister who is losing a loved one who is so dear to her. Her heart is breaking and mine with it. Now she is what feels like a million miles away. Sweet blessings to her as she ministers to her lost loved one.

  4. I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes after reading your beautiful soul-touching words.
    I have recently lost a friendship and it hurts so deep in my heart. It hurts because as my life of ashes and abuse was turned into something more beautiful and loving than I would ever think possible, someone who had walked with me through those dark times, has chosen to now walk the other way.
    I suppose there are people God brings into our lives for a season or so and I’m learning how to embrace that and be thankful for the time her and I had. And as her and I turned different directions in our journeys, God has brought a couple women back into my life who can offer me the support and encouragement I now need at this place in my life.
    Thank you, Ann, for singing to my heart and soul today.

    • Amy? You and me both… It cuts deep and scars and I don’t know if that ever goes away? But yes, Amy, yes, God brings sisters to dress the wounds — if we will be brave and let them close? If we will keep reaching out even though we’re scared and hurt…
      He’s singing over us love and there are sisters who will sing it over us too.

      They won’t be perfect. They will get it wrong — as will we — but love is suffering and I’m slowly learning I’d rather suffer into love then suffer loneliness? Praying with you, Amy — Right. now. ((you))

      • “They won’t be perfect. They will get it wrong — as will we…” prompts me to send (sing?!) a general but genuine “Please,Sister, forgive me! Feel loved” to both friends and strangers who landed on receiving end of my hurtful words or action.

    • Wow, Amy, your very words could have been mine. I’ve been struggling over a year with my friends exit from my life and the hurtful way in which she did it. Recently I realized I will always love her and healing from this loss will come. I’m trying to thank the Lord for the dark times she walked through with me. I also have to realize as I sought a new healing in my life, for reasons known only to her, she could no longer journey with me. I just wish she hadn’t set me up for a fall so she could delete me from her life. I am finding new healing from the Word and Jason Gray’s song, “nothing is Wasted” has ministered great encouragement to me too. Be sure, Amy, The Lord will fill the holes left by our friends.

    • Hello Amy,

      I can understand that hurt when you lose a friendship. I to had a very good friend for a long time. She was my support, my shoulder to cry on, she was with me through my darkest days. She was the only one I ever put my trust in, Then the past couple months I saw a change in her, she stopped taking my calls, there was always an excuse why she couldn’t get to gether, and at church she would alwat save a seat for me incase I would go to church. now that empty chair is no longer empty, the talks we had have gone silent, and the walks through the darkness have become a scary walk by myself. Friend Never let friend cry alone.
      I would love to allow myself trust other people, but I’m scared and when I do begin to trust, I still keep a distance, because my heart has been hurt all my life, but little by little I began to trust this one person and once again my wall goes up and I’m afraid. I ask myself what did I do wrong, why did she start to reject me?
      As I read those word about a mothers song I was able to relate to the lost girl, who couldn’t hear the song, but desprately wanting to. I need to hear that song, I need to embrace it. I think when I get hurt by someone who was willing to walk through so many deepest darkest days of my life and leave me feeling so empty, makes me think twice about letting anyone eles in my life. Am I really loved? or do I matter? why would someone sing that song to me.
      I don’t know, I guess I’m just rambeling on. I will pray for you, I know what it feels like when your best friend walks away, I’m experencing it now, when I need a friend now shes gone, and the lonelyness sets in.

  5. Women friendships are tough. People think I have a million friends; but in truth, I don’t have any close, intimate friends. I have had some over the years, strong, Chrisitian women. They have held me in high regard–way too high standards. I allowed myself to be trampled and used by other woman, all under the guise of true friendship. Just to be back stabbed. Now, alone, hurt, tearful, I await and suffer in silence. My friend of 40+ years, misunderstood me and hasn’t spoken really to me in years. I’ve reached out. My gifting is hospitality and honesty. Kindness at all costs. But it hurts. Hurts bad. I feel alone. I know God hears me. That’s it. My children have suffered because of this. All older. I cry when I think about it. They don’t have true, true Christian friendships. Church relationships have caused them pain. Kindness hurts. Other deem it to be fake. But it is not. They consider our kindness to be superficial. Brown nosing, if you will. But it’s not. It’s true. Genuine. And now, faded. Jaded. Now, 51 years. Alone. Daughters are 22 and 21. Son is 17. No true intimacy in friendships. Single. sigh.

    • Oh, my sweet sister … close to my age and friend, let the hurt, healing and hunger … make us Kin.

      On the road to Jesus, Ruth clings to this Naomi and this clinging is the first step to a community of two …. then, we see Ruth in the fields with many …

      • Oof, Shari – your words strike a chord in my soul and I tear up with you. My words aren’t as lyrical as sweet Sonya’s. All I have is this:

        I’m sorry.

        I am truly sorry for your hurt, for that which led you to be jaded. From one whose journey with female friendships has calloused her very heart, I am sorry. Know that it is not wasted. That kindness offered, that loving call or letter, the sense of kindred spirit… it is not in vain.

        For Christ, too, desires our friendship. And it is in His holy friendship we feel the true stretch of what it means to call one friend.

        Keeping you in my prayers.

  6. Please sing with me over my beautiful 18 year old daughter, who has, for a time anyway, forgotten how precious she is & has fallen into that dark place of depression & self-loathing. This momma’s heart cries out to our Abba, “Daddy, remind her Whose she is …”

  7. I am thankful for different seasons of life. The LORD’s character is so revealed in one thousands ways as we despair and as we are full of joy. My season is about to change. The Lord is graciously answering my prayers community and fellowship with sisters. This post was so timely. My heart is rejoicing for the Lord’s continual song.

  8. Eyes overflowing just like my heart because you – you! – live this generously and faithfully.

    Joining hands with you and all those in this beautiful community here, singing fortissimo!

    I love you, always and forever.

  9. Beautiful and full of Kingdom hope….fellowship….a precious gift! I hope to (In)courage women this weekend to sing the song back to each other…over each other….together..experiencing real grace in a fallen and sometimes very scary world.

  10. Thank you Ann~ what a beautiful reading to start my day ~ so looking forward to our ladies meetup ~ praying that all will be encouraged by the love and grace and beauty of God’s girlfriends and girlfriends to be….my prayer is that the day will go smoothly and that I won’t be overcome with so much emotion standing in front of these women that I can’t say and do all that God has planned….sweet blessings to you…

  11. Singing alongside you, Ann, and my other beautiful sisters. In my darkness over the past year, I longed for friendships like this. But sometimes it’s hard for women to stay in each other’s darkness. The incourager groups have truly helped to fill in the gap. I’m praying that inRL will do this for many… Connecting hearts, helping us all to hear the song instead of the lies. Thank you, dear Ann. You are a true encourager, and I love how Jesus loves through you.

    • “But sometimes it’s hard for women to stay in each other’s darkness.” Such an important exhortation here, Amanda. Thank you for reminding us to stay with one another, to see one another through the shadowlands. Praying that you will be brave to keep yourself open to friendship and that God would send a sensitive soul your way to be good to you in the midst of your trial!

  12. Oh Ann, how thankful I am for your words..always..and to know so many beatiful friends in this place. Including you. I am looking forward to Saturday and I’m praying God uses each one of us to notice that fledgling heart in the room and sing over her with the love of Christ. That she may know the healing love of sisters in community. I’m joining in this song with all of you, and singing at the top of my lungs!! Thank you for leading with such grace. And please know how very much I love you Ann.

    • Jacque, I believe I am your neighbor, though I have not had the privelege to meet you. How I hope that day will come soon, as I hear of your heart for the women of God.

    • Jacque – Love this: “I’m praying God uses each one of us to notice that fledgling heart in the room and sing over her with the love of Christ.” Thank you for that!!!

  13. Ann, I have this!!! Sisters who sing my song. It’s a beautiful thing. One of the most tangible gifts from God. You sing to us too, Ann. God is using you in beautiful ways. Thanks be to God for the gift of sisterhood!

    • So true Jamie! We love the song God gave Ann and she sings it well – daily, in her lovely voice. We know it because she was faithful to repeat it!

      I am just one blessed!

  14. Women friendships? So very fearful at the moment due to some very serious rifts in our faith community. Moving forward for the sake of our kids, trusting my heart will come too somewhere along the way.

    • Oh, sweet Karen. Singing for you to the One who loves you and understands more than you know. Keep moving forward, with your head and your heart lifted up, trusting in His healing and that He hears your cries.

    • Love how you shared this piece of your heart Karen. It grieves me that there are serious rifts in your faith community. I’ve lived this too. What I know is that love is always the right answer. And in Christ I am cheering you on and praying you will dare to love again.

      This reminder from (in)RL video: “The thing that wounds us is often the thing that God will walk us through again to heal us. And I’ve learned the beautiful truth and the tragic truth that God uses community to heal us from bad community.”— Mary E. DeMuth

  15. “This is a fallen world. So everyone has broken edges. So everyone is going to hurt you. So commit who you will suffer for.”

    I love this! I hope that God continues to work this out in my heart because people need grace not expectations from me. <3 Thankful for the many women here that continue to share about the love of Christ.

  16. Love you Ann. Thank you my precious sister for these words of encouragement.
    A sister friend shared that same verse with me yesterday when I was lost and unsure and Abba came near again today to remind me of it through your words.
    Keep singing over us.


  17. I work with hundreds of young women and am looking forward to reading this to some of them on a retreat on Saturday….Thank you for pushing us forward, brave in this song…

  18. Your book inspired me to live with a grateful heart, even during time of suffering hurt from broken women relationships. Brene Brown talk about “foreboding joy,” that joy that leaves me with a feeling that, “the other shoe will drop.” This has kept me from living grateful for the little things. Thanks Ann, for your book help me to live each day with a heart of gratitude. Yes I am still hurting from these betrayals of trust but also experiencing a deeper Love of the Father.

    Living loved,

    • I resonated with Brene’s phrase “foreboding joy” as well. And I know the sadness of broken friendship as well. All that can cure us is continually tuning our ears in to the song of Zephaniah 3:17. 🙂

  19. I am the girl with the hardened heart and arms crossed as a shield. I’ve been hurt by those I’ve loved and trusted and now I am alone, adrift and sad. The walls I’ve built around my heart are high and seemingly impenetrable. I allow short glances to some but only when I can use my hurt to aid in their healing. Then I back out of their lives feeling unneeded. Your child dies, I will be by your side to hold you as you weep. I will comfort you with memorized scripture that I learned as I grieved for my lost children, I will be there waiting for your call long afterwards but I will not intrude nor push myself on you…..
    If you lose a husband. I will hold your face and truthfully tell you that I know how you feel. I will tell you funny stories of how I dealt with the suddeness of my beloveds death. I will stand in the back ground and hand you tissues or a cool drink during the service…….then, I will be there waiting for your call long afterwards but I will not intrude or push myself on you.
    Those I trusted to hold me through my grief betrayed me. They used all they knew about into stones which with the pelted me with. They failed to see me as the same person I was prior to my losses. So the walls went up and the shield kept everyone at a safe distance. Now, I want to trust, to have friendships, to have someone to share my silly moments with but the door has been closed and locked for so long…….

    • Susan, my heart aches for you. I have not suffered your losses, but I know the pain of always being the one that reaches out, and eventually becoming so tired… and waiting for the phone-calls and help for myself that never came.
      I am praying for you – and for me! – that you will feel the comfort of the Holy Spirit pouring Himself over and around you, and into those deep places of pain in your heart. I am also praying that you will be seen by those around you, that they will reach out to you, and that you will be brave enough to open the door when it is knocked on.
      All is not lost, this is not the end, this is just a part of your story. Take courage!

    • Susan, I feel your pain. Haven’t had the same losses as you but have felt the betrayal of a husband and of girlfriends. It does hurt so deep. I understand your withdrawal from others to protect yourself. God is a God of redemption though so don’t lose sight of who He says you are no matter what the world or others say. I will pray for you a friend to help you begin healing and trusting again. We are meant for relationship….

    • Susan,
      I can relate to the betrayal of those supposed walking me through the pain. It’s a hard path that I’ve walked multiple times. Praying for genuine sisters for us both.

  20. Cinderella sang

    Not some dust-girl’s dirge

    Her song was oh so eloquent

    Her cheerful ballad rang

    Beyond the confines of her room

    Bound by duty, not by gloom

    She sang

    Before her magic moment

    Before her fantastic gown

    While battling “the uglies”

    That tried to drag her down

    She sang

    A song of hope and freedom

    A song that rivaled birds

    Her spirit soared within her

    Her glory could be heard

    The prince knew when he found her

    In the tattered rags she wore

    That she was still the lady

    That he’d danced with once before

    He didn’t see her poverty

    Or think that he’d unveiled a fraud

    Her heart song he remembered

    Shining as a precious child of God

  21. Ah. So many times Ann my women friends have sung over me. To bring me back to a place where I could heal from brokenness. To rejoice with me in victories. I, too, have sung over and with them.

    Thank you, Ann for the revelation of how our encouragement, prayers and words are “sung” to each other. A hymn of sorts lifting us to Jesus.


  22. Oh how I love this! This very theme has been circling my heart for some time now! I painted a piece and titled it “Be the Song” and wrote a post about singing out and finding your rhythm… but this? Just wow… this takes what He has been speaking to me to a whole new level! A far more wide-open-spaces level… and isn’t that just how He is?

    Sharing this this weekend… at my (in)RL!
    Blessings, sweet Ann!
    (and yes… this post is going in my #1000Gifts journal!)

  23. So lovely.
    Thank you.
    And on girl friends? I’m ever so cautious. Not so much because I personally’ve been hurt, but more because I’ve seen the hurt they can do. As I get older, though, I’m getting really close to some girls who’ve seen it all and love me anyway. So those girls have changed my thinking. 🙂
    And Ann?
    I got 1,000 gifts and it has been the most amazing thing.

    • I’m cautious for the same reasons. Praying for us both today, for strength to step out in faith and trust we can be the song and others will sing it with us:)

  24. Singing to my broken sisters, my daughters, myself. Whispering it when there is not breath…

    Ann, you sing loud and long and lovely for us all to hear. I’m forever thankful for the ways you touch and hold and give light in our world.

    Amen and Amen

  25. So incredibly thankful for my girlfriends. They have sung me through thick and thin. Sometimes there is hurt, but there is always Jesus. And yes… the song… I believe that Jesus has His own special heart song for each one of us too.

  26. Oh, longing for a bit more of this! Major moves that transplant you to different parts of the country can make a woman feel stranded – aching for someone to sing her song! We are beginning to find community here – praise God. But still asking for deep, real, lasting relationships – friendships – mentorships. Yes, Lord. Its funny how even this introvert has recognized that she.needs.people!

    Sweet words. Thank you for posting.

    Warm Blessings,
    Kate 🙂

  27. Ann, I discovered your writing recently and it has been just piercing my heart. I feel a kinship with how you think and feel, and I am encouraged and broken and opened by your words. I just this morning read a chapter in a book that was talking about women needing friendships, and it just hurts my heart. I had 2 friends for 20+ years who are both gone now, one through my choice to end a hurtful situation, and the other just through time and distance and us each changing too much to relate. But now I feel like I just don’t have the energy to try again to develop friends. I know I have walls up, I know I am holding my heart to keep it from being hurt, I know that I have issues relating to women in general… but I am unwilling to make an effort now when I feel like I can barely keep my relationships with my children going. Thank you for your encouragement, for your words of truth that you can’t avoid pain, you can just choose what that pain will do in your life, that God loves me and cares about my hurts and my struggles.

  28. An oh how a pray for these sisters. I long for them so, but God does not bring them. And is He who sings me home. I know we are a difficult family. Me with migraines all the time and weak immune system, my daughter with Aspergers and backward sleep schedules. And the worst not being able to eat the food that everyone else eats. We can’t commit to the cookouts and events that scramble the little ones brain. We cancel often because of health. So I know we hard to be friends. But I try and I reach out, but it always falls flat. But I have Jesus and He sings me home. He always sings me home.

    • Shelly, I’m believing with you that the Lord will send gracious, giving, and understanding women to sing a song over you and raise you up when you feel weak.

    • Sweet Shelly, I hear the cries of your heart, I see the weariness and longing (I know it). A life of trials–a life marked by struggles that go beyond what’s “typical” and easily fixable with time–can feel very lonely. We are generally a people who avoid pain, who stay away when someone hurts in a way we cannot easily understand. This is not a reflection of you, this is a reflection of a broken world–one that desperately needs to grasp Love in its fullness.

      This song is for you today Shelly: You are not unloveable because of your circumstances. You are so dearly, unfailingly loved. The Lord God holds you in His hand. Because of your trials, you know Him better than most because often when we are tried He is the only one who remains.

      Lord Jesus, true Love, I lift up my sister Shelly to you today and I praise you for the way you sustain her day after day. Lord, forgive us for walking away from our sisters who hurt, who so desperately need us, who need You through us. I ask, Jesus, that you would send Shelly some beautiful sisters, full of your grace, to learn her song and fill her heart with hope and healing with its melody. I thank you that you will never leave us nor forsake us. Thank you for being with Shelly always. Amen.

  29. Yes this is so true…we all have girls and grandgirls, sisters, mothers, friends who we sing this song over…and God hears every song…
    Blessings to you my dear ‘sister’ Ann!

  30. this is a beautiful thought. i think of the ways my soul sisters have nurtured me in Christ. when my baby was born and they brought me blessings and meals. when they gave me grace and listening ears and shoulders to lean on when my heart was breaking. i want to be all that they are to me. i pray for God’s strength to make me a vessel of blessing to the women in my life.

  31. This post really touched me, especially when I saw the birds on the wire. Because when I was anguishing over leaving a full-time career to raise our baby daughter (whom I’d struggled emotionally to have), I was driving to a business meeting in the dead of winter. I saw blackbirds suspended across the highway, like little black notes. And I new if God could give them a song to sing in the dead of winter, that He would give me a new song to sing too. And He did! Part of what gave me courage to sing His song was my women friends who had experienced motherhood, and who then came along to sing with me in chorus. God never intended for us to sing solo in any season of life. This post also touched me deeply because a dear, dear friend of over thirty years, whom I met as a singer in a professional chorus when I was newly maried and with whom I sang the song of life for many years, has chosen to remove herself from my life and end our friendship. The sad thing is that I have no idea why and she remains silent when I approach her. Sometimes, sadly, songs are silenced. But it’s then that I realize that God truly does rejoice over us with HIS singing. And though a certain song may cease, HIS music never does. And He leads us to new singers who sing His new songs. I have found such singers in this virtual world here on the Internet. And I know it’s real. And I rejoice! And I sing! I so appreciate your sharing!

  32. Wish I had more women relationships, if I’m being honest. Had a rough time fitting in with girlfriends growing up– many were cruel, with words that have haunted. Holding back was a solution to prevent further hurt, but caused a deep ache on the other side. The ache to be fully known, transparent, and yet loved– I know that is what God wants for me. To let go and have something deeper. Fuller. But the thought of transparency keeps me frozen.

    • Praying for all of us who are afraid to be vulnerable, that God will teach us to love and receive love with abandon…..May we hear and believe that new song of joy

    • “Holding back was a solution to prevent further hurt, but caused a deep ache on the other side. The ache to be fully known, transparent, and yet loved– ” I think this is the cry of all our hearts…

      Lord, help us be close to you…secure in your love and emboldened to open our hearts to each other with a vulnerability and transparency that will help us not feel alone. Help us connect with one another deeply so that we are not alone. In Jesus’ name Amen!

  33. This is beautiful! I am going to keep singing the song of love over the beautiful women in my life who have changed my life! And I will sing it over other women too, ones who I’ve hurt and been hurt by. God wants us to continue loving, forgiving, blessing, and encouraging one another! Thanks for sharing this, Ann!

  34. I really needed this today. I have been dealing with so much during the last month with my mom. (she has cancer and we had to put her in a nursing home/hospice facility). My song has so many broken chords in it right now, I feel like I’m on an indefinite “rest”…

    • Theresa – pause and “be” in each count of that rest….I just went through a similar experience with my mom and spent her last 8 days with her. One moment at a time. One thing at a time. It seemed to last forever, but 3wks later it now seems like it was such a short time. I’m so glad I was able to truly BE with her in that final verse as she reached the end bar of her song with no dots by it for a repeat. Be blessed, Theresa. Be blessed as you sing together the last line of her song. Be blessed.

  35. please please will you pray and sing over my daughter Jessica Laine (25) with 2 little boys, Luke (4) Noah(1)
    She knows the Lord but is being deceived by the evil one. My heart has been broken so many many times for my daughter…it hurts now for her to return to Him for her eyes to be open! She has been hurt badly by abusing alcohol and now prescription medicine. She is addicted…I dont know my own daughter, her eyes look different, she gets angry quick, she has so many scars. I tell her that I LOVE her that I will always be there for her. I tell her Jesus came to set her free that she doesnt need to be a slave to anything. She is hurting, men use her, she has herpes, she has been raped, she has been beaten, this beautiful daughter that has the voice of an angel. She is looking for love in men, medicine, and anything else that numbs the pain. Her biological Dad spent years in prison for drugs and other things. She felt abandoned and not worthy of her Dads love. Her stepdad raised her and never left her but she wouldnt let him in. She keeps us all at a distance. I fast, I pray, I beg and plead that God will heal her and free her. Yesterday I made a choice to surrender her to a Father that will never leave her or forsake her. A Father that holds my prayers for her in bowls in heaven. I pray she will see the love that I see in her…she is my daughter!!! Please pray for Jessica, Luke and NOah

    • Father, God, I pray for my sister, Bev, that you would give her strength and wisdom and peace. I lift up Jessica to you, your lost daughter, I pray that You would break the chains, that Your love would reach her heart, that she would begin to understand her worth is found in You…that she is your treasure…. Pray that you would overwhelm her with Your love, gently nurse her wounds, protect Noah and Luke

  36. Oh, this made cry and smile. Zephaniah 3:17 is one of my favorite verses ever. Singing over 2 of my daughters who have forgotten who they are in Christ; praying they will remember. Will not stop singing…..or praying

    • Alicia, I’m believing with you that your daughters will remember their salvation and their song, and you will sing together.

  37. Your post reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: ” A true friend is one who knows the song in your heart and will sing it back to you when you forget the words.” Unfortunately, i do not know the author.

  38. I started reading 1000 gifts around Christmas. I am a Montessori teacher of 22 three to six year old children. At Christmas, our class made a 100 gifts list so that we could all be thankful for what we already have. Now, on normal class days, any time I have a student who whines because they weren’t picked to be first in line or get to do calendar or get to go outside because it’s raining…..I say, lets remember all the things we have already gotten to do today and be thankful for those instead of whining. It is really making a huge difference in my classroom. Thank you so much for your wonderful book and your blog!

  39. This made me weep because I have been both that one who lost her song and the one that continues singing for others. Your words are like echoes of my heart and breath life into me. Thank you for sharing this with us today.

    • Kerry you know how truly important it is to sing over others because you have been one who has lost her own.

      I am praying for you now, to find a moment of quiet and hear the song He sings for you.

      He just flat out loves you Kerry. He can’t help but sing over you.

  40. Just back from Rwanda and I know this story is true. They sing and sing and praise and trust the One who is the source of their song. I’ve seen it and sung along. And still when I’m back on this side of the ocean and get hurt I forget I have one too….
    Thanks for the reminder today!
    Many blessings!

  41. Ann,
    I love you, your writing has changed my life, and I feel as if we would be great friends.
    I am always so encouraged when I read your posts. My husband and I have been married forty years, and I don’t have a lot of women friends, as he is my best friend. We just moved to a new town and I so much want to meet some women. My husband is going through kidney failure, and one of our precious dogs has just had a stroke. I’m nursing him (the dog) back to health and it’s touch and go. I’m giving him water through a syringe, and he’s eating very little. My best female friends are my Mama, and my two daughters, as well as my two beautiful granddaughters. They bring me such joy!

    • Hi Lisa,
      Read your comment and ached for you as you sound like you are balancing a full life. I pray that you would find rest even in the hard places. I too have recently moved to a new town, but I’m in a different life stage with a toddler daughter. I pray that we would both find a community of women to “sing” along with. I know that your arms must be tired from carrying such a load. I am praying rest and peace over your heart today. Blessings.

  42. Sisters. Friends. This is one thing I’m praying for in this season of the journey. My family just returned from missionary life. Most of my sisters live across country. or old ones have driffed in spirit. A 28 year old mother of two. A three year old daughter. And a son in heaven. Now expecting another in a few months. A wife, I am. I love all this. But sometimes you need a friend over three feet tall! 😉 a sister. I’ll be singing, Ann! Thank you Ann for having a cup of tea with me today. Only wish I could pick at your brain. Blessings sister.

  43. It helps me to remember that the tender gaze of Christ rests on all his daughters, including mine. Xxx

  44. There is no love like sister love, be they sisters of blood or sisters of choice. Those sisters who love you when you are lovely and when you are not. Those sisters who aren’t afraid to speak truth when you cry out for plain pity…you know the ones who hear your story and don’t respond with “youpoorthing” but rather, love you enough to tell you what you need to hear even (especially) if it’s not what you want to hear. Sisters who know you long or know you deep…or maybe both. Sisters near enough to come running or sisters far away in time and place who may disappear for a season but always return and never stop loving. Sisters who stand by you even when that costs. Sisters you can laugh with and cry with and hug hard and long. I think it is such sisters who show you just who God is. Thank you Jesus for my sisters! AMEN!

  45. I am finding it hard to sing right now. My mother recently passed from this life into the arms of Jesus. I am grateful that she is with our precious Papa but my heart is broken, and the hole that is left in my heart is so big. I can barely breath sometimes. I miss her so incredibly much. I can hear her singing hymns of praise and thanksgiving and my tears begin to flow. I feel broken right now.

    • Hi Leslie!
      I am right there with you in this grief journey — my mom died 2/7. I miss her so much, and I’m a bit jealous she gets to be in God’s presence now and I have to wait. But I love the idea that she is part of the worshiping choir in heaven, singing TO God and OVER us. God is walking with us in this season — that’s what I cling to and I hope you can, too. May the peace of Christ reign in your heart to comfort you!

      • And I’ll add my voice? Right here too. I lost my aunt the Saturday after Easter.

        What keeps our songs there.

    • Motherless sisters, we ache don’t we? I lost my mama when I was just 12, but at nearly 30 it still aches- fresh sometimes. Let me just say that it is ok for it to hurt and that it won’t ever not hurt, but God wraps us up tight and reminds us that He is mother and father. I don’t have any words of great wisdom other than to say that God sees you and sees your grief. {Hugs} and prayers across the miles. If you need to talk more about the journey through mom grief I am glad to be a shoulder to lean on email me handmedowngrace(at)gmail(dot)com

    • Leslie & Karen, may our God of ALL comfort comfort your hearts this very day. May He send you comfort through His Word and through the love of those around you. I suspect there are many who care but don’t know what to say..may both you and they reach out and embrace so that you don’t feel so alone. I also read a book by Dee Brestin called The God of All Comfort…about her grief after her husband died…it was wonderful!! Sending BIG hugs to you both across the miles!

  46. I come from a long line of hurt women, women who shut off and closed down and built walls instead of opening up their hearts. I am thankful that my husband digs until I open up to him because it has helped me to learn to trust. I have a couple of precious friends from college whom I love and to whom I choose to keep reaching out and loving. At the same time, I have been hurt by family several times, but I am choosing to forgive and to work for them instead of against them. I’m also praying that my blood-sisters will be willing to forgive and to tear down the walls they have built up.

    Also? Zephaniah 3:17 is one of the verses that I love saying over my daughters, ages 2 and 8 months. <3

    • Praying for you, Jeniffer — for healing in your family, for forgiveness and for walls to come crashing down. Sometimes it just takes the smallest crack, the smallest invitation, to slowly break those walls. I love that you say Bible verses over your daughters — I want to start doing that for my sons! ((hugs))

  47. Motherhood can often be lonely when you have babes. Before children, before motherhood, I used to be very outgoing and active with my friends. Now… Well, it has been lonely. I’m at home full-time and my friends work full-time. They are only just beginning to start thier families, but I still can’t really relate with them during this season of my life. I have longed for friendships, for women to understand, to pray with. It has been a terrible struggle to feel alone with no one who really seems to understand the day in and day out of being home all day with children. It has been a struggle to hold on to the dreams and to persevere for the goals my husband and I have for our family.
    And not only is the loneliness hard, but that no one seems to be cheering us on in our efforts. Living on one income, planning to homeschool our children, and we would like to grow our family beyond the two precious gifts we already have. Most seem to kind of chuckle and wish us good luck or tell us why it isn’t a good idea.
    It would just be nice to have support in the form of prayer and encouraging words.
    I’m not angry, but I really do miss having close friendships with Godly women.

    • Amy,
      I understand what you’re feeling. We have 8 sweet blessings and there are few to share the journey. Prayers for you to keep your eyes on Jesus and the goal.

      • Tricia,
        Thank you so much for the encouragement. Many blessings to you and your precious family.

    • I know these same weary days when you wonder who will pursue your heart? I know the ache to be known.

      For so long I thought, I too was the only one who was weary in this way. I believed the lie that everyone else had it all together.

      But, lately I’ve seen Jesus get down in the mess with me. I’ve seen Him run to me when I whisper His name. I’ve seen Him praying over me when I have no words and I’ve heard the song He sings.

      And I’ve seen an army of mamas rise up and grab hands and Hope.

      You are loved.
      You are prayed for.
      You are welcome here.

  48. I’m her. The one who lost her song a few years ago when I was diagnosed with stage 3 aggressive breast cancer and had an infant and 2 year old to care for. I have forgotten who I am over the past four years while I have fought for my life and tried to continue being a godly wife and mom. I need a new song…some days I feel like I catch a whisper of it and other days its silent. Until I hear it again though, I will remain hopeful and steadfast. Thanks Ann!

    • Kelly,

      I will sing over you until you find your new song. You are loved and lifted up by sisters who walk the journey with you. Singing words of hope and strength for the journey.

      • The Lord is here for You. I know it. Just keep leaning on Him. He has brought you this far and will take you further. I pray for you sweet mother.

  49. Dearest Ann,
    Today is my birthday. Yesterday, mulling over the end of another year, I was puddled in tears of regret and lack over things still the same, a house still messy, a life still messy, and grief over the would have been birthday of a child that I never saw this side of earth.

    Yesterday night, as I lay in bed with tears still erupting, I finally asked God, “What would you like to say to me?” He quietly said, “I take great delight in you. I will quiet you with my love. I will rejoice over you with singing.” I went to sleep, with all the voices in me quieted by his love.

    And today as I read your post. Puddles again. God bless you, Ann, for singing words from His heart that heal and affirm. Keep on singing, dear sister. Grateful for you, my sisters and all the kindred spirits here.

    • I hope you had a joy-filled birthday, Grace. I’m singing “happy birthday” to you and your heaven-child who is celebrating this day with Jesus.

    • Sweet birthday friend (I turned 30 on the 21st), I know that pain too well, and my mama heart sends hugs but also hums a soft happy birthday to that sweet one. Ours will celebrate together until we can rejoice together for eternity. (hugs)

      • Thank-you Amy, Amanda, and Crystal. For your kindness to reply. For your insightful words that spoke deep into my heart. For your words in affirmation of my/our little ones in heaven. Yet more puddles! May God richly bless you!

  50. Betrayal. Thankful that Jesus has led me to His face through it. The body of Christ is a lonely place for me. He has used your book in this journey…what a gift!

    • Hi Tricia. I’ve also been lonely in the midst of Christians, and it is such a hard place to be. I encourage you to be bold, to lift up your face, and to shine with all of the beauty and gifts God has given you. You are meant to belong to His body, to give and love and receive in return. Maybe baby steps… small conversations, small invitations, could open up some new doors to friendships? Singing freedom and belonging over you, sister…

  51. Kelly-I am singing a song of great beauty over you-but God is singing an even more beautiful song! Always remember that Proverbs 31 was a song that men sing to their wives and I hear your love and care for your family in short comment.
    I am one of the fortunate ones who grew up with a mother who loved and valued her sisters, her female friends. She was blessed to be in a church where when she was one of the first working moms-not a nasty word or comment just total support at the amazing teacher she was. I have been blessed with so many women friends. I have women who sang over me as we struggled through infertility, who sang with me through tough seasons of marriage, who found that differences between us so small compared to the love in our hearts. Thank you Ann for this today.

  52. Hi Ann! I cherish you!

    I want to share something with you! Something very hard yet beautiful! I was reading Christine Caine’s Undaunted and read the part when she is underneath her daughter jumping on the trampoline and she says, “Don’t be afraid I am right here.”

    I noticed I have never had a mom or dad say that to me once. Never has one my of my parents told me, “Don’t be afraid, I won’t leve you, I am right her.” Never has any mother or sister sung to me like here. There is very little tender feminineness in our family. Very little nurture.

    BUT I REALIZED! There has been no vulnerability on my part either. I have always been relentlessly fearless. So, maybe they didn’t think I needed to hear those words or maybe need the songs sung over me.

    But last night, I told Jesus, “I know I am turning 28 next week and I just want you to know I can’t do this alone. I desire to hear you near. I need to hear You tell me it is going to be okay, you are right there.”

    AND HE HAS!! HE HAS BEEN TELLING ME!! I love Him sooo! And I love you, Ann. Thanks for your tender mama heart.

  53. sharing my favorite paraphrase: Zephaniah 3:17

    The Lord your God is with you all the time.
    He is a powerful and mighty warrior who saves you.
    When he thinks of you He exults in festive pleasure and with great delight.
    At other times He becomes quiet as He reflects on His deep affection for you.
    He celebrates who you are with joyful singing.
    Zephaniah 3:17
    Paraphrased by Sam Storms, The Singing God

    • Elizabeth, singing belonging and love over you right now. Be still, cease striving, and know how dearly God loves you. Open up, be free, be bold, sister. ((hugs))

  54. I am hosting (in)RL and at least one person is signed up to come, three more have been invited, 2 fledgling bloggers and a big leader lady!
    This was the question in my inbox:
    How do you feel about women friendships? How have you been hurt? How have you been healed?
    Oh, I need women friendships.
    Oh I hurt from overbearing women who snap at me when they misinterpret me.
    Oh I turn, turn, turn to God for grace upon us all. I see him pour it out!
    Thank and praise him, that’s my job. Fix them, isn’t. Fix my heart, even, isn’t! He is able, he is wonderful, and he even brings me the women friends. Bless His name!

  55. After years and years of isolating I finally stepped out of my comfort zone. I joined a small group and I love it. These women are genuine. I still have moments of not fully trusting but God is working.

  56. Ann, I have read your blog for years but this one…………..
    I have been blessed with the most amazing spiritual sisters……….. and an amazing spiritual mum and dad. We don’t share physical DNA but we sure do share spiritual DNA.
    They have taught me their family song, welcomed me with open arms, loved me through so much brokenness and pain and loss. When I can’t sing, they are there for me…… encouraging me to keep going, to keep praying, to keep my gaze fixed upon my Abba.
    My spiritual family have spoken into my life in so many ways. I really am so incredibly thankful for each of them. My spiritual mum (or SM as I affectionately call her) is the most amazing woman I have ever met. I looked around my church for a mentor, a role model, and Abba gave me so much more. Someone who loves me for me, despite my broken bits. Someone who includes me and calls me daughter; who builds me up with her words and encourages me in my faith like no other. She is beautiful both inside and out drawing me to the bright light that glows from her. She glows with the Holy Spirit and I can’t help but love her. She has taught daughters to love with Christs love also………..and it delights my heart when they call me their sister; when they ring me for sisterly advice; when they invite themselves to my house for dinner or just to hang out.
    And my spiritual dad ( Or AD as I call him – adopted dad) is the best. He gives the best hugs – the ones where his arms are right around you and for those few seconds nothing else in the world matters. He loves me like he loves his blood daughters and makes me feel like part of the family he is head of.
    So Ann, thanks for the reminder and chance to share how special my spiritual family is…… they have taught me their family song and welcomed me with open arms. They are amongst the most precious gifts my Abba has given me.

  57. Ann, Thank you for your love & beautiful words. Always directing me back to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It reminds me how much of a Blessing it is to have sisters in Christ Jesus. That will love you & encourage you, so inturn I can love & encourage others who have hurt me. God Bless you & your family.

  58. The singing of sisters has been so important in my life. My sisters in Christ are those I weep with and those I rejoice with. They also do the same for me.

    I had a moment in time where I turned away from my best friend because of a situation that happened, .. i was hurt and ready to give up…..but she sung the song of sisters and the song of Christ.. I didn’t want to receive it at all. However, she steadily sung this song towards me and melted my heart towards Christ. Forgiveness and the love of Christ healed our friendship and it’s stronger than ever.

    I am grateful for my sisters in Christ to love on me just where I am.. no matter where I am. They speak truth in my life and show Jesus to me.

    Thank you Ann for your faithfulness to write what God puts on your heart to encourage us who read your blog. It truly has been a blessing to me and God has transformed me through giving thanks.

  59. Ann, thanks so much for sharing your heart with a pen and keyboard. It has impacted my life for great good; God has used it to give His touch, voice, gaze, shoulder to weep into, and laughter to join in on. I am grateful!

    I’ve been on both ends of friendships with women- some devastating, some unhealthy, some torn away with the ache lingering, some shallow, some quite redemptive, and a bunch inbetween. In my story, I’ve gone from being a rambunctious child to a shy teen to an outgoing yet living in much self-protection adult to…well I think I’m still in that last phase with a bit more awareness and willingness to let God be my protector. There are no perfect people, we are all broken, yet like beautiful ruins of castles we still have much to offer. Friendship is messy, possibly risky, and has great potential to be another avenue of God entering our story and our eyes opening to being in His greater story. I’ve found that this journey is about being both alone (in relationship with God, finding life in Him alone) and together (being made in the Trinity’s image we too are made for community). We are invited into God’s perfect community of Himself and into the imperfect and still amazing community with each other.

    Years ago I had a picture of myself as a grey house, surrounded by a grey lawn walled in by tall concrete blocks. Safe, dead, not very inviting. Green footprints began to appear in the grey lawn. Cracks showed in the blocks. Jesus took a sledgehammer to those blocks. I recognize some of the footprints- God’s, dear friends and family, people I’ve journeyd with only by printed page or online, and sandal prints from those who have gone before/the great cloud of witnesses. I still retreat once in a while- hiding, forgetting, protecting. AND I am drawn out again. There are now verdant gardens. The fence is a short wooden one, wrapping around only partially, leaving the front porch with it’s welcoming rocking chairs as an invitation. I AM SO MUCH MORE ALIVE and enjoying the splashes of color, the robins nesting in the fruit trees friends have planted.

    For those of you peering out, wondering if it is worth it…it is. I get it, really I do- the fear and hardness. I don’t know your story, but I know mine and have received the beautiful ugly stories of other people as the gifts they are. Please keep your shades open, put your hand to the doorknob, step outside toward the gate to unlock it. If this seems too hard or scary, just listen. God’s song is all around you, calling, inviting you Home.

    For those on the outside…keep knocking, stopping by for tea, throwing flowers over barbed wire topped walls. As Ann wrote, “keep singing”, the person on the other side can hear you! It is an amazing gift to hear other’s stories, hear God in them, be in on His greater story.

    With you all in joining in on His song.

  60. Thank you for your heart! Your book inspired me to write a blog and share my own story about hurting and healing. Feel free to take a look:

  61. Love this. As I hum my baby boy his song (yes, he has his own tune I sing or hum to him), I was reminded how our Father joys over us with singing, His heart purely delights in us as His children. It is a gift we remind others who they are…it is reflecting back His true delight and grace for us. Thanks for the beautiful reminder.

  62. Ann, I have read and love your devo’s, for several years now. God uses other people to speak into our lives, He has used you greatly in mine.

    I am a plain and simple Diana. The least favorite thing for me is to be in the spotlight. I am a introvert for sure, at 66 don’t think that will change now. Just let me cook in the kitchen.

    Through my mothers suicide, a divorce 20 years ago, a past of shame and guilt and so many fears you couldn’t count em. I am greatful for a God who never gives up on me. <3 These past 5 years He has taken me back through my past, has healed me and and showed me His unrelenting love. <3 More than anytime in my life I desire to walk in obedience to Him, living my life for others. Through trials and that word "suffering" I am learning moment by moment to trust Him more. Women are a huge blessing in my life and singleness. We are a "gift" to one another. God knows who to place in our life and at just the right time, and it seems when we get to talking we share so many of the same experiences. God doesn't waste a thing, good or bad. xoxoxo to all of you beautiful ladies. Zephaniah 3:17 <3 <3 I hope I can make it to one of the events soon. Maybe I can talk my sister into going with me.

  63. I avoid most female relationships, having grown up in a family of women who made it a lifestyle to verbally hurt one another. Only last year, at age 59, did I tell the youngest aunt, the most unkind of them all, that I would not take it any longer. Men are much safer verbally, at least in my experience. However, I do have some very much loved, trusted girl-friends and I treasure them.

      • So glad you’ve leaped in faith and have a few trusted friends of your heart. It can be devastatingly difficult to do that, especially when the harm stemmed from your family. Well done, sister! Singing over you!

  64. My life verse -Psalm 42:8 –“The Lord will command His loving-kindness in the daytime, and in the night His Song shall be with me, a prayer to the God of my life.” His Song is there even when I can’t find my own…there has been a lot of dark night and His Faithful Song has never let me go! He even prays perfectly through me when I can’t. I have been hurt, watched others be hurt, hurt others and still can’t figure out how I did…but God keeps putting amazing sisters in my path and all around me. God give me courage to keep singing over them…and the even more courage it takes to allow them to sing over me! Thank you, Abba, that Your Song is Grace, Mercy, Love, JOY, and restoration in Jesus!

  65. For a couple of days in June…..Ann, Christa, Nicole and others sang me back from grief and filled my heart with joy. Now, I sing….

  66. Zephaniah 3:17 has been my “life verse” since my high school youth director “bestowed’ it upon me. I do love it though…and I have to believe that Jesus gave it to me, though I struggle daily with believing that God ever delights in me or sings over me with joy. Just 2 weeks ago, a sister in Christ, a friend of 2 decades, took her own life after struggling with depression for a couple of years. She had just had her 52nd birthday, and her oldest daughter’s wedding is just weeks away, her youngest just a freshman in college. My friend had a heart as big as the ocean, and served the body of Christ with joy and abandon for the majority of her life. My heart breaks for her and her family, that she wasn’t able to ‘hear her song” in the last few months of her life. Please remember to walk along side the hurting….and never disparage a sister when walking through the “dark night of the soul”. I just needed to share that thought after reading Ann’s post today.

    • Shari, I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. My prayers are with you and her family today. I needed this reminder to press in, stand firm, and continue singing over those who can’t see the light.

  67. You know so well how to touch my heart & soul! God is so good, isn’t he & we just have to keep reminding each other of how blessed we are?! Our struggles, our strengths, our passions, are all wrapped up in each other & who God made us to be! We are all the same, wild women of God! Much love & hugs to you!

  68. Ann,
    I read your book a year ago. I found out later that it was one of those instances where God gives you what you need before you need it… I, too, need joy. I thought the counting would be a run to joy; I realized as I went it was actually a desperate struggle for the survival of my soul. Thank you for your words, your honesty.

  69. God has blessed me with 5 extremely wonderful ‘sisters’. Trust is growing deep in the soil of these friendships. Where our hearts had been wounded, God is healing. It’s amazing to me how long it takes girl eyes to meet…and hold, when trust has been bruised in childhood. But now we call on each other, share deep and openly receive encouragement, loving correction, praying for each other, hugging long, laughing and just revelling in the fact that we have these friendships. Thank you God for awakening your daughters to what can be. And the wonderful thing is that it’s not just a little clique in the church, there’s a ripple effect happening and more women are joining, opening hearts, finding healing. God is so good!

  70. I needed this so much today. I didn’t realize how loudly I had been singing her song, or that others were singing it too. I thnk she is starting to hum it ever so softly too. Keep sing!

  71. First, I just want to address a quick note to Ann…as your heart and your giftings combine we receive spiritual nourishment in epic proportions! The goodness and beauty that you serve up (daily) is a feast (of food and drink) to my famished soul! Richest blessings to you friend!

    How do you feel about women friendships? I suppose my response is both blessing and a curse. I have experienced, wonderful, joy filled, life giving relationships (obvious gifts from God) while at the same time, I have had some horrendous experiences.

    How have you been hurt? Caddiness, Jealousy, Slander/Gossip, Betrayal, Self protection, etc…

    How have you been healed? Well, to be truthful I am still in process but I am being healed through good hearts who are obviously determined to see good overcome evil. It is happening…and I am so grateful!

  72. This has meant the world to me today. I don’t have the girlfriends and family to help get out the hurt. It helps me feel real to know I am not alone. Thank you.

    • Oh, Brenda… my heart aches that you feel alone in your hurt. Yes, your sisters are here with you, even if not in person. Don’t give up on finding those friends. I believe God has them waiting for you. Maybe a small invitation, a small “yes”, could open some doors? Singing love and belonging and boldness over you today…

  73. This has meant the world to me today. I font have the girlfriends and family to help me get out the pain. It helps to know I am not alone.

  74. My chest swelled and throat tightened even as I began reading the post. I knew it would be beautiful and it was so much more. My years were filled with convenient friends, parents on PTA or those with whom I shared the bleachers at never ending little league games. Then I was diagnosed with terminal cancer, the convenient friends fled. My life was getting too messy. That made room for the sister-friends. I have been blessed with ladies that stepped in and stepped up. They are closer to me than I could have ever imagined. They entered my life when they knew it would be hard. They invested time, love and loyalty that they know I cannot return. You rarely find someone that is willing to enter into a friendship when they can see that sorrow is just around the corner. I have learned a new song through these women and am eternally grateful.

    • Amy, your comment touches something deep in me. I hope I can be the kind of friend you describe, I want to learn a new song too. Thank you for sharing your struggle. I’m praying for you today.

      • Amy, thank you. Thank you for sharing your lovely story of redemption. Thank you for giving me the charge to seek sister-friends now. Thank you for naming the ‘conveinient friend’ syndrome we all fall prey to.

        Thanking God for you tonight, and praying peace over you.

  75. Ann and fellow sisters, I love this post and the African story. For each of my children, the Lord gave a scripture. Like a song, an identity. I do tuck those verses deep in my spirit and speak them over my children. Perhaps I’ll put them to music?? Beautiful.

  76. I love, love that Holy, big, beautiful love song! And I love the key you sing it in…all that love turning out beauty and soul-nourishment!!! Praise the King! God bless you sisters!!!

  77. Oh how I wish I had this, sweet close friendships.I find it hard going out of my comfort zone meeting people, even just talking to someone. I do pray for that kindred spirit to come my way!! Someone who will take me just as I am!! Thank you for your daily posts Ann they encourage me so much!!

    • If I’m honest, I’m very very much the same way. I went to a blogging conference last year and spent a good part of one evening sitting on the floor, by myself, pretending to be on my phone to avoid having to make more small talk because I’m no good at it. I’m incredibly awkward and nervous. But God is faithful. He provides. He desires community for us as much as we desire those friendships because He created it! He knows we’re not to be alone. You, Lori, are beautiful. You are wonderful exactly as you are. And I am very glad to have met you here 🙂

  78. 🙂
    We are a well organized church and everyone is catered for and we all slot into our places in small groups. Knit together through years of walking with the LORD as one. We are a Spirit-filled congregation. Ever seeking for the manifest Presence of a HOLY God. It is non-stop in our church. A very Asian thing. So many people are coming to visit us at our church from all over the world to share themselves with us. On any given Sunday service we could have five different things happening on stage. Live. To the nations. We are not afraid to share your downfalls. And victories. We are a transparent church. A transparent nation. A royal priesthood. A holy nation.
    You are most encouraging.

  79. This song!! This is the song I long for my daughters to hear. All three of them. But now, in this season, oldest, overseas, deployed o Kuwait. She is the one who needs it most now. She is the one I am asking Him to woo in this time of separation from her three year old son. Divorced. Daughter of divorce. Oh that she would hear and grab hold of Him. I have my own scars. We all do. But I’m letting Him heal and pray she does too and I pray her sisters hear their songs too. And just be free.

  80. Women friendships… The main problem I have with them is something I wish to scream, Will you please be real?!! There’s nothing worse than a group of women faking their way through life when that’s what we’re together for. And Im preaching to myself… I know what it is to be shelled up, I know how to play strong, I know how to act it all! But Im sick of that way…can we be real together, sisters? Thank you Ann, for calling us all back to realness in Christ.

    • Amen, Grace… I can’t stand the small talk and fake-ness, either. Sometimes it helps to just share one small struggle, to let down one wall, and others will know it’s okay to be real too. Singing genuine love and belonging over you, sister…

  81. I found this beautiful gem at the end of my day. It is really “tomorrow” but I’m still in “today.” I’ve just settled with my laptop after my daytime things and have read your beautiful offering. I have been ministering for at least five years now on the keyboard among intercessors who worship and pray day and night, all days, all nights. We pass the baton every two hours to the next person or group of people who then carry the flame onward, always before our God. As it is in Heaven in the throne room, continual worship. After all this time I have begun to sing. My voice that was weak at first has become strong and full and I listen to it in delight because I know I didn’t have anything to do with it’s beauty. I am reflecting His song over me that is within me, enveloping all that I am. A new song. A song that is ever new because it comes from Him and goes to Him then returns to me and goes again to Him. I hear it when the house is quiet and I am the only one awake. I hear it when I behold the day with its own sweet beauty that can’t be stored but can only be experienced one hour at a time. I hear it in my own heart beat and I heard it when my son’s heart was amplified before his birth. I heard it when I felt his heart beating beneath my hand upon his chest. Constant. God. A new song. My song in the night that pleases God because He knows I can’t see what is ahead of me and yet, like the night bird, I sing as if it were day. New song. New faith. For today.

  82. Wow, I really needed this tonight! Life has definitely been loud lately and I’ve forgotten what’s important. Thank you for this sweet reminder. I am HIS and HE is in control. Thank you.

  83. I have three sisters and they sing as well as my mother….on Monday nights we gather for family prayer and we ing hymns of years give by…. These moments are priceless ….to hear mom sing do beautifully and the legacy she is creating for me…. Love it!!! Great post. T

  84. I’ve just started re-reading an amazing-lovely book called Healing the Purpose of Your Life a few days ago–and it starts with the very same tribe’s strory! I highly recommend it to you all.

  85. I am an anomoly. I am a woman that does not know how to talk about or care about makeup, clothing, hairstyles. It makes it difficult to keep friendships for very long because then all I get seen for is my good cooking and babysitting. There are no questions asked about how I do things or what I like to do. I am a good friend when people need me. They just don’t see that I need a friend as well. I do have some good relationships but they are few and far between. The only steady is my wonderful husband who sees and dries every tear.
    How do I find womens friendships? Wanting. Waiting for it to happen. With out the sticky syrup sweet disposition.
    Have I been hurt? yes, most recently. No questions asked about my daughters impending wedding, by a so called friend these 12 years, but then tells me that Spanx come in large sizes, too. Feeling abandoned by those who have needed me at one time or another but not there for me.
    Healing? Slowly, but surely I will be fine. “because you have saved me from death. You have kept me from being defeated. So I will walk with God in Light among the living.” Psalms 56:13

    • Praying that you feel his LOVE, Wendy. The friendship of your Best Friend and Perfect Daddy. Praying that he fills you to overflow and anoints his hand-picked friends for you. Song-singers to walk along side of you. Until then, know that you have the perfect, all sufficient, omnipresent Friend. Jesus. He is ALL we need.

      • Oof. These are the real questions, the ones that well up inside and often come bursting out when we’re quiet, in the dark of night. Wendy, I wish I could meet you for a coffee and some true conversation and look you in the face and tell you that I will be your friend. For your sake, of course, and also for mine, because I too need a sister-friend.

        I’ve found that when hard things happen, or when fickleness intercedes, women either flee from or flock to one another. I am so sorry you’ve been fled from and hurt. Grateful for your husband, and that you know and claim the promises of the Lord – ‘You have kept me undefeated.’

        Shine on, sister.

    • Oh Wendy! I understand wanting relationship but feeling like you never fit in the way it seems other women do. Prayers your way. Prayers that God fills you up when others let you down, and He will reveal His ways to you every single day.

  86. Beautiful and Praiseworthy to our redeeming and rebuilding Father. What a great reminder. Sisters, called to love and lift each other. TRUTH. Makes me think of the book Women at War by Jan Greenwood.

  87. I definitely think woman friendships are necessary in life, it’s biblical.
    Hurt-Yes by gossip, went directly to the person, outcome, she continued to gossip, I made different choices in friends.
    Healed-ABSOLUTELY!! Abba is soooo amazing and awesome!!!
    Jonathan David Helser has 2 songs that I absolutely enjoy, “Abba” and “You’re Never Giving Up”
    I can now pray for those who have gossiped about me,pray for the ones who listen to the gossip, and pray for those who spread the idle talk.

  88. In your words I hear hope for my lost daughters. I long for them to return, singing the tune of who they are in Christ. Thank you.

  89. I sang over my daughter-God brought joy in the waiting! She suffered with Clinical depression for 8 years. My fears for her were replaced with songs of triumph as I sang with my sisters over her life. God actually sang using my voice! We were in the waiting room of the Psych. ER at 5:00 AM. She had cut while we slept in the next room. As we sat side by side, she looked at me and asked what I was singing. I didn’t know I was singing! I felt so strengthened by God’s demonstation of love. Zeph 3:17 was one of the word’s of life I often prayed over her. Today she serves the Lord as a worship leader in a small church. At her recent baby shower the lovely Titus 3 women said one after another, “I love the way Sonya sings.” There is power in God’s music of the heart!!

    • Praise God! Oh Barb, this gave me chills, thank you for sharing this testimony, what a beautiful work the Lord has done. He is faithful.

    • Thank you so much for sharing this testimony. It is an answer to prayer for me, for my only son. You have been a messenger from the Lord to me. Thank you. I will sing over him, over my prayers for him, over my little faith, over all my fear until it is gone! May God continue to richly bless you and your family!

  90. This is anointed. Such beauty. Thank you for sharing your gift. I’ll be sharing it with my sisters, if that’s ok. The song continues and must be heard.

  91. Tears… flowing down my cheeks. Oh, how I wish I had sisters like this. Our church, sisters and brothers, abandoned us. Told my unemployed husband, he has been unemployed for 3+ years, that after 3 months of aiding us (God had been paying our bills in other ways for the first 2 3/4 years) with our bills that they could no longer support us. But they can pay for the couple million dollar addition to the church just fine. They actually told my husband they have this policy for all families. They want to keep the people “hungry”. Where do you find that in the Bible. That was the day we left our church after being members for 16 years. Do they think they need to keep us motivated to finding work. My husband has looked and looked and looked. God says in Proverbs 22:2 that he is the maker of rich and poor. This is not our doing. Continued Unemployment is not our wish. My husband has been a faithful employee all his life. Thank God that when the church let us down HE was there for us. Supplying our every need without them. God is their judge. Not me. I will keep on serving. I just wish I had some friends that had stuck by me/us. I have only one friend from church that is still in contact with me and to be honest I do not consider her a very strong Christian. We really don’t talk about spiritual things much. Anyway. I pray I can have close sister relationships one day. I long for that day.

    • Jesus I ask right now that you come and embrace Debbie…that you’d soothe her deep wounds by the grace of Your love…that You’d continue to be her provider…that You’d strengthen her to forgive and give thanks even in this. Send her sisters who love unconditionally…connect her with women who love you, whether they are on line or in real life. Bless her and her family I pray…

      And Debbie…we just finished a study through Angie Smith’s book, Mended:Pieces of a Life Made Whole and I can’t recommend it highly enough. With much love to you!

      • Debbie, I’m believing with you that God will provide for your family financially, as well as bring other women into your life to walk alongside you. It sounds as if the friend who remained with you shows more of Christ’s heart through her character, than those who speak of Him, but who don’t follow through with their actions.

    • Debbie, oh girl…He is faithful! Praying for you today – not only for provision and wisdom, for open doors and opportunities, but community to surround your family. And if, in this season, you’d like to join some sisters through the screen, we would love to have you be with our (in)couragers – small groups of women who are the most encouraging prayer warriors I’ve ever met in my life.

  92. Thank you so much – it was indeed heaven sent! I needed to hear that song and God knows me better than I know myself. God bless you.

  93. I love love love women friendships! I find that we have a special bond unlike any other. The women in my ladies’ Bible study are wonder people with whom I can talk about anything and pray for them.

    I also have a good friend–my hubby’s ex-mother-in-law. She and I do things together and chit chat–almost like mother and daughter. She keeps me informed of happenings at church through the week.

    I will sing the song of friendship, love–a Christian Godly love unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. 🙂

  94. the song no woman can afford to miss is being sung for my daughter Katie, in hopes that her arms so crossed with be raised in Holy Surrender to HIM who loves her most !

  95. My heart Reaonates with this song. My life was surrounded with people declaring the gospel, and speaking Truth into my life, and claiming a gracious God while simultaneously shying away from the ugliness of humanity. Disregarding it. Ignoring it. Belittling it. Punishing it. The ugliness must be embraced, tended to, comforted. For ugliness is just beauty starved. But this kind of healing requires others. And the deep soul cries for intimacy muffle the inner whisperings of Truth. I have known this soul cry. I cling and grasp and plead. Forgive me Lord for not trusting in Your provision, for I have known starving. I fear it.
    And here I am currently, learning how to live in the starving while choosing grace. Learning how to give, when empty. Learning where to go to be filled. And learning to trust in the God who loves. This is my heart song.

  96. I give thanks to God for my sweet sisters who have loved me and forgiven me and helped me to see through the broken shards that I AM LOVED! It is such a gift that I am so grateful for. The body of Christ broken yet bound together singing HIS song! The only thing sweeter will be when we gather round His throne – all perfected and basking in His glory and love.

    • Anonymous, please know that the pain contained in your words is heard and deeply respected. Father, please be near our friend today…meet this friend with such tangible and obvious love and support that even now (in this moment) healing can begin. Holy Spirit be Comforter and Counselor…we trust You with this deep need…encircle our friend with warmth and support from unexpected places…

    • I’m so sorry for your hurt, for the betrayal, and the aloneness…I’m reaching out as a sister across the screen and over the miles with a big warm hug and a cup of tea extended in friendship. And I’m praying you may feel your Father right there with you even now, singing over you with love. Rushing His peace in to calm the storm, and gently wooing you with His never-ending love.

      Oh God, be near anonymous tonight. And bring her sisters to hold her up when it seems impossible to stand. You, Oh God You promise to be near to the broken-hearted…to save us in moments of despair. Come to her even now, that she may feel your never-ending love again…

    • Sweet one, oh I pray that in the still, small, quiet moments you would still hear His voice. He has not left you, and your sisters? Can I invite you to join us here? Or through (in)couragers? We’d love to get to know you and your song. Jesus be near this sister today.

      • I am so deeply sorry. You have been fled from. You have been hurt. And I have stood where you are, in a pit of wondering where everyone – including my God – went. I don’t have eloquent words, just a simple statement:

        Whether you know it, feel it, or believe it, you. are. loved. Deeply and without reservation, wholly and purely.

        Singing over you tonight, anonymous sister.

  97. So true…this has come at the right time for me. It’s not about being loved, but about loving…and this quote just gets me: “Will you love people by halves, breaking their heart?Or will you love people wholly, holding their only heart?” Let me seek not to be loved but to love.

  98. My mother tried to write my song…a pretty little ditty that has always sounded foreign to my ear. So, I was a little girl who was always singing the wrong song. My song might have gone unsung but for my grandmother, who loved me…and my song. But we moved away and I remained the little girl who was always singing the wrong song. I joined choirs and sang the songs of others…and most importantly I sang the songs of my Savior…but I remained the little girl who was always singing the wrong song, and the pervasive sorrow of aloneness wrote new verses of brokenness.

    One day, I heard a sister singing my song…and I was totally unprepared for the deafening sound of another voice joining with mine. Wisdom came alongside, gently whispering the words to the bridge, enabling me to dare the risk of joining in the music. But that sister judged my song to be in the wrong key and I found myself buried in broken bits, determined not to sing that song again.

    I sang the songs of others and ignored my own…and one day I heard the familiar haunting melody of my song…and with a ring, my troubador promised that my song would always be the most important one he heard. But my song faded from his ear, replaced by fantasies of other songs.

    Meanwhile, another sister began singing my song…perfectly on key…and she even sang it to me when I was ill…only to walk away because there were too many other important songs in her life…

    So, my song is again unsung…but I have found that I MUST sing…so, I sing the children’s songs…and once in a while, my childrens’ choir sings a bit of the chorus with their pure, sweet voices…and I ask my Savior to make it enough…for now.

    • Singing with you muchalone. Know you really are not alone. You are loved and sung over even when it doesn’t feel like it. May you hear the song calling you beloved.

    • What beauty your song must be as your words in this place sing harmonies through your gifted and touching writing! Friend I am so very sorry for the hurt and the pain and the loss. Know you are welcome here and loved deeply by the Giver of all songs. May He send you the choir you’ve longed for with sisters joining arm in arm to make jubilant music for all to hear. Keep singing friend…and may you know your song is safe here! With much love to you…

    • your song? i pray you find it here. in this community of women who welcome with cups of tea and soft chairs, with words sweetly whispered and the prayers of sisters-warriors over you today. don’t give up on community, friend. we need your voice & your song.

    • Ohhh, I feel this. I am so sorry you are there. Yes, let those little ones songs wash over you so you hear your Savior speak to you. Sometimes once hurt, we need to hear the songs from places we’d never expect and from people we might not otherwise spend time with in order to see and hear what’s next. In order to continue your song. It’s like the next verse that we can’t see written yet but that once we hear it begun we know it belongs. And it comes, hold on tight to Him and his Truth and He’ll show you what’s next.

    • Dear muchalone…

      And our Savior knows it IS enough…for now. He understands and His timing for you will be perfect!! You can believe this…He never leaves us alone.

      Blessings to you for your beautiful writing…I don’t know if you realize the talent you have…it is extraordinay!!

  99. What a beautiful picture of community this thread is. As one who has built walls around her calloused heart,since the day, in my 7th year of life, I asked her to be my friend and she said ‘no.’ That girl has stuck with me because I don’t want to be her. I want to accept friendship and seek sisters of my heart and never turn down one single invitation. And though each of those moves pierces my carefully constructed walls, they are worth it.

    Grateful for each story shared, each heart bared, each women loving on another here, in this holy space. Thank you!

    • You, sweet Anna? You are so far from being “that” girl. When I met you at Allume you were so kind & welcoming, you made this introvert feel right at home. God has created something special in you, my friend. You draw women to you. You create community. Love you, friend.

  100. I am confused by my friendships with women. I feel much safer with men as they’re honest, genuine, and don’t usually put on airs. They also aren’t intimidated by me but rather have encouraged me more than women. I long for honesty, but I haven’t found it with my women friends, if only for my mother. Perhaps it is because women are less direct. They are apt to gossip, be verbally suave, and passively sarcastic. I admit that I do not yet trust women, but the men and fathers and brothers and male friends, they have been honest with who they are instead of holding on to a fiction version of themselves. I am an introvert, and I need only a couple close friends and I’m fine, my cup overflows with their friendship. But the competition between women friends, between mothers-in-law and their sons’ wives, the competition between women in different stages and the same–it’s intense and mysterious. Please, Ann, keep writing honestly, because you’re one of those genuine people, one that also happens to be a woman. 🙂 Thanks.

  101. This could not have come at a better time for me…I am going through much confusion at present, this is truly a God send for me.
    Thank you Ann, very much. I pray God continue to guide you through your life and may you carry on in this way,.
    You are obviously used by God, I thank Him for this day and for you.
    God bless you and your family,. and God bless all you sister out there..
    Love in Jesus Name,

  102. This was probably the most confusing thing I have EVER read. I read it twice to see if I was missing something – but nothing it made sense to me. I am equally as amazed at how many people raved over it…..hoping all your work is not so confusing.

  103. My daughter no longer considers herself “she” but “he”. She has changed her name to a neutral gender name which has hurt me to the core. She used to sing songs, compose songs to God, and went to school to do so, but her heart has turned into herself – himself…please…just pray for her. God knows my daughter. Thank you.

    • I have known much pain last year when my husband of 28 years left me for a woman 17 years my junior; also to bear all the responsibilities of the children but I have also known Jesus since I was twelve. Let me sing over you what I sing to myself…alone..
      When peace like a river attendeth my soul
      When sorrow like sea-billows roll
      Whatever my lot, THOU HAST TAUGHT ME TO SAY
      It is well, it is well with my soul.
      When \i read the history of this song, it blesses me. Bless you my sister, in your confusing and painful times. He is there. I will pray for you often.

  104. My sister sent this to me this morning. The timing could not have been more perfect. My stepdaughter walked out a few days ago. We had taken her in during her time of need even when our needs were greater. We fed her, gave her shelter, and loved her only to have her get angry and walk out. My wonderful husband reminded me, last night, that our daughter was in need and I took her in and cared for her and if I did it for the least of them, I did it for the Lord. The song rang in my heart like bell towers gently announcing excitement in the air. I feel renewed this morning and I am so grateful that His mercies are new every morning and for my sisters who are there to remind me Who the lifter of my head truly is!!!

  105. What a beautiful and inspiring story. I am going through a very challenging time in my life and I have “Sisters” who have been singing to me. My name has been on their lips literally, figuratively and spiritually and my spirit can attest to that fact. True sisters in the Spirit who love and support you no matter what. I truly thank God for those who love as He has commanded and that includes me. It serves as confirmation and assurance that if I did show the Love of Christ outwardly, then I would not recognize it in return. I am going to share this with them and others who need encouragment.
    Again, Thank you and God Bless.

  106. As I read this, my heart is so sad…Thank you so much. I have family members in addiction and the cycle seems to continue. One of them (my daughter) is struggling finding her way out with the help of our Lord. Can I print this off to share with her and a friend?
    I thank you for the reminders as I work to remember the words I sang to her from before she was born. I will sing her song over her again.

  107. Ann, oh, how I needed this today!! God’s blessings upon you and the amazing gift of poetry and prose He gave to you!!

  108. Teri, Sheila, Matteann, Natalie,
    I know this song, my sisters sang it to me all week. Take heart, God has not forgotten your hurt or your pain. Reach out, even weak and sad…He sends us to one another. Listen for your song…
    Peace and good to you all, in Jesus’ name

  109. What to do when you can’t sing their song? Sing for one that bears your name? Please?

  110. Another great post, Ann:) I thank God for you. Praise the LORD above all, our Strength and our Song in Christ Jesus!

  111. What is life all about. Life is empty, even if you are blessed and have a good family and friends.

    • Jean, I felt just that way about a year ago. Then one of my kids sustained a very traumatic injury which brought home to me the reality that the only One we can rely on for life and meaning is God Himself. This sudden turning upside down of my world took me to my knees, but I’ve never felt Gods presence more strongly. I just kept on recording every little thing in my gratitude journal – what a saving grace/discipline that has been! I recommend that above anything else to help you find deeper meaning in life. God bless you – I think what you are feeling is an indication that God is drawing closer to Himself, calling you to the next level in your relationship with Him.

  112. amazingly written! it touches my heart deep under! I miss my grandmothers lullaby — she passed away 3 years ago but the hurt still remains…i terribly miss her!

  113. I love your writing so much! I can’t read any of it without being moved to tears though, so I only read about once per week and am so glad this post was one I didn’t miss! God bless.

  114. I’ve read a few of your blogs from time to time, as they came up in my timeline. The encouragement and love that comes through your (His) Words is healing to me. My trouble is that I don’t really have friends. I have always struggled with maintaining friendships, I’m not sure exactly why. And it wounds me because I know I’m different. And still, God’s been helping me to realize that HE made me and loves me just as I am. I guess I need to drown myself in Him more, be filled with His unconditional, accepting love. Please pray for me? Thanks <

  115. Thanks for posting! Six years ago I was pregnant with my #1. At his shower friends and family gathered around me to pray for me and for my in utero son. Then we sang in the Spirit, during which time a song came to me. I sang it out and kept singing it until everyone joined in singing my son’s song. Afterward a friend of mine – a voice teacher – told us of this tribe that sang the child’s song at all the important points in his life or when he needed to be reeled in. Amazing! She said, “I think we just did just that!” I’ve been singing his song ever since! And now his brother and sister have their own songs as well. I long for the day years from now when I can look back and see how their little hearts have been formed by these songs!
    Music is a gift. God loves music and gave us musical spirits. Music impacts in a way that nothing else can. God-given music is dynamic and can shift, shape, and form hearts!

  116. Wow! I just clicked the link to the article “They’re Singing Your Song”, and it’s written by a man named Alan Cohen. Our #1’s name is Cohen! Amazing! Thanks so much for sharing. This is an added piece to his story.

  117. Ann, you have been the most important writer to me over the last five years of my life. Your writing style is poetry and your word choices sing with such power. How well you capture the soul, beauty, and potential hidden within so many women…

  118. I experience and observe competition among women, even the indifference we sometimes have for each other. We’ve wounded one another, as though it is our “right” because, “that’s just how women are.” My heart cannot receive this. Since growing in Christ, I find that my soul longs to 1) never wound another woman (and if accidentally so, make immense quickly). And further, to be among the Sisterhood–in which we are compelled by compassion for one another…..SO, I felt so much here in your post. Such a sense of belonging, that there are other women who share this burden, in which we rejoice. For every woman, on some level, is another “me.” Someone with similar issues, a similar state in life, etc. Let us embrace one another in all strength, and in all weakness. May God bless you for your willingness to share here, and also on your website. It is a daily blessing for me, another life who is a bit of a mess…and finding peace and joy in the midst of that mess 🙂