About the Author

Kristen Strong, author of Back Roads to Belonging and Girl Meets Change, writes as a friend offering meaningful encouragement for each season of life so you can see it with hope instead of worry. She and her US Air Force veteran husband, David, have three children and live in Colorado...

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  1. Kristen,
    Isn’t ironic that it takes extreme bravery to be vulnerable. It takes strength to be weak in front of others. So many times my own pride has kept me from sharing what’s eating at me or causing my soul to be downcast. I am thankful for a core group (a small group) who know the good, the bad, and the ugly cry ugly side of me. A few I can reach out and hug in person and a few cyber friends I’ve cultivated right here through (in)courage. It’s amazing, how when we take off the mask, when we dare to be vulnerable we find that others need to hear our story so THEY don’t feel so alone. My close (in person) friends – we call ourselves the “Perseverance Posse”. We’ve been there for each other through so many trials and joys in life. Nothing like having someone who has walked through the valley with you get to hug your neck in joy when you pass through. Thank you for this call, Kristen, to be open. When we dare to be brave and share our weakness, then it’s God that gets the glory and isn’t that what it’s all about anyway? Lovely post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Bev, the “Perseverance Posse” is just about the best thing I’ve ever heard. I LOVE it. Also, I thank you for your faithful presence to the (in)courage family here, Bev. Through your kind, thoughtful words, you encourage me and countless others to persevere through our own valleys. Much love to you!

  2. Thank you for this devotional! God is so gracious to bless us with friends. I just prayed for those who need a friend that carries them to Jesus. Asking God to surprise and bless you with those friends.

  3. Overwhelmed by fresh thanksgiving for the friends who are part of God’s glorious provision for my life.
    Thank you, Kristen, and every blessing to you!

  4. Kristen, I have also beaten myself up after “oversharing” with a friend. Yet I am blessed to have not just one, but several friends with whom I can share All The Things. Your post has reminded me to thank God for them today, and to be kinder to myself as well. Blessings to you!

    • Thank you, Sarah, for so graciously letting me know it’s not just me. May you and I both be generous in gratitude for our friends as we treat ourselves with kindness as well. LOVE your words here!

  5. Thank you for sharing this devotional for those of us who think they don’t have any friends. I always think that I have a lot of friends that will be there for me in my time of need. But in reality those friends don’t exsist. I may have one I can count on here at work, but outside of work I am totally alone. I understand that she has a busy life outside of here, but when I need someone to talk to I have no one outside the work place. I talk to my husband, but it is not the same as a close friend. I have been praying for God to bring someone into my life that I can count on no matter what. I know I need to be patient and wait on the Lord to bring this person into my life. I think sometimes he may have, but I’m not real sure just yet.

    • Gina, I’ve been where you are, and it’s so hard. And you’re right–spouses just aren’t the same! As you do the hard, necessary work of keeping your heart open and eyes alert to new friendship possibilities, know I’m praying for you as well. God wants you to have near and dear friends, He truly does. Keep on keepin’ on and don’t give up! Sending love, dear one. xo

    • Gina,God

      Praying for God to hear you & bring a good close friend. God sent me good friends through church. Keep on praying & believing. I have faith that He will send someone to help you do life!

      (((((Hugs)))))

  6. Thank you, Kristin. The most awesome words on a page…from Papa through you…that I need. I want and need and have been praying for a friend like that. Thank You, Lord for bringing us together.

  7. Kristin, that is one of the most beautifully written posts I have read in a long time. It is so relavent to most women I know-including me! Thank you for being vulnerable!

  8. Thanks for sharing your perspective on why we do not need to have so many friends.
    I share the same sentiment when you mentioned how beaten up you feel when sharing things that show your insecurity. Personally, I do not have many close friends nor friends from young till adulthood. I feel that I have a difficulty of relating to others quickly and feel uncomfortable communicating with people including family members. My family don’t communicate often. We express feelings towards each other through giving things (food, small gifts), actions and nagging to express our concerns for one another. Hence I suspect that’s why it is hard for me to relate to others quickly and comfortably. During tough times and lonely time, I slowly find myself able to communicate with others better because I draw myself to God first before expressing my problems/thoughts/feelings to other people.

    However, I still hope that God will provide the kind of friend you mentioned in your writing in various aspects of my life. Ultimately, I pray that my relationship with God will be even closer, much like the best friend relationship.

  9. So much of the battle is in our own minds, isn’t it? I used to feel this sentiment often. Partly because trust didn’t come easily–so I didn’t risk. Funny how authenticity can feel risky, sometimes, huh? sigh. But, oh the freedom of community without walls. Being seen for the women He knit by Hand. Unique. Enough. ♥

  10. We all need someone to talk to, the best person is Jesus. Sometimes, tough we need a person, women need other women who can relate. That’s why I blog and take prayer requests. If we weren’t vulnerable we wouldn’t know love.

  11. I’m part of a group studying Romans right now, and what I’m learning is how unshakeable my identity is in Christ. Since nothing and no one can threaten it, I can therefore be vulnerable. So I did something I’ve never done before – went out to lunch with a gal I didn’t know super well…WITHOUT makeup. I’d lost track of time and had to choose right then between makeup and being late or running out the door in all my real-deal glory. Do you know we had an amazing conversation about faith? I’m praying God uses it to draw her to Him. Anyway, Kristin, thank you! Your post is another confirmation that it’s ok to be who we are as we grow into who we’re becoming.

  12. You are so right, Kristen: “We need a smallish number who help get us to Jesus, the only One who always, always meets us in the depth of our need.” I praise God for the small circle of women he has brought into my life over the years who do just that. Two have been friends since college (decades ago!!), one from thirty-five years ago, another from about ten years ago. I also count some dear family members within that circle. I am a better person because of their influence. Thank you, Kristen, for drawing my attention to this long-reaching blessing.

  13. Kristen,
    omg I had no idea how much I needed to read something like this until I read it. Thank you so much for this encouragement!

  14. Kristen,

    You are spot on with this post. We need just a small number of super great friends to do life with. I have a couple of groups that meet once a month to do life with. One group is mostly from church, but we are working on getting this friend to believe in Christ & do church. We love on her & pray for her. I pray that all the work we do will help her to see His love shining through us. God has also blessed me with super close friends. One in particular does life with me well. We went through aging parents together. We can talk about anything. Joy to know her.

    Praying for others to have such close friendships!

    Blessings 🙂