About the Author

Jennifer Dukes Lee is the author of several books, including Growing Slow. She and her husband live on the family farm, raising crops, pigs, and two humans. She’s a fan of dark chocolate, emojis, eighties music, bright lipstick, and Netflix binges. She wants to live life in such a way...

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  1. Ours is to do the possible and God does the impossible – like to fill the jars with water and He turns it to wine… Amen!

  2. Jennifer,

    Thank God we are wired differently. Being the same would be boring. God wired me to be a little “nutty” at times. Friends who think like that are just fine for me. I love a little crazy now & then. Proverbs 13:20 says: “He who walks with wise men shall be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.” We should surround ourselves with those who build us up spiritually, mentally & emotionally. For me I want to be all four of those people to my friends & colleagues. Try to encourage & help them be a better version of who God made them to be. This journey of life is hard enough without criticizing people for their flaws or perceived imperfections. This world is divisive enough already. We need more of God’s love & less hatred. Praying we can all find & be the kinds of friends we need to get through this life!!

    Blessings 🙂

  3. Jennifer,
    Even though I know that I am “pre-approved,” I still need friends who will affirm me. Somehow I seem wired to need a lot of affirmation to offset years of insecurity and abuse. I also need friends who will love me, as you say, with my own brand of weirdness lol. I also need the accountability – those who are willing to speak the truth in love. I love the thought from Holley that it’s not how far you go, but Who is going with you. I need friends who are like Jesus. Oh what a friend I have in Him!!
    Blessings,
    Bev xo

    • Bev, you couldn’t have said it better!! That’s exactly how I feel & what I need. I love those that make me laugh & enjoy life. Even in some of my worst days, if my friends have been there & helped me laugh – especially at myself- I can handle life!!

    • Hi Bev … I completely agree that we need people who will affirm and celebrate us. Because I am also a person who needs that, I do my very best to be generous with affirmation to those around me. And I always see that same trait in you. I’m so glad God made you, Bev. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I’m so grateful for friends who have stuck with me over the long haul of parenting, ministry, and all the changes that life brings. We walk through hard things that fall like dominos, encouraging one another with handed-down comfort.

  5. I truly thank you for sharing this message about loving ourselves,and having a quality friend to help me do that. Reading your message, I saw myself more clearly and will see others that way too. I used to have a bowling coach who saw the pluses and minuses in my learning, instead of negativity, I could guage what needed for improving, but could feel good about what I was already accomplishing. I am blessed to have a really close sister in the lord who tells me the truth in love, and who encourages me . We are borh learning to love better, God, ourself, and others. For such a long part of our journey’s we felt the isolation from rejection, your story defines from childhood already, if the family unit isn’t loving, then where shall we acquire it? In mentiring others I might ask, “where do you get your loving from” it’s an enlightening assessment.
    I heard a statement once I never forgot which said:” God is most happy when His child is at play.” I like to believe that and I remembered when I was picking up shells from a Florida beach, I felt like a child at play. Too much trying, too much thinking, too much being weighed down isn’t happy, but making time to play is. I’m 75 and I miss play, but I can find pleasure in each day, with laughter, good thoughts, social phone chats wirh a friend, and above all,”just being me.” There’s a brass ring on the merry go round for a reason, need to grab it. That’s life! Live it, enjoy it, as God wants us to do, and stay close to Him, under His mighty wing, and love yourself, truly love yourself by making Jesus your very best friend, because He is
    Thankful for all the sharing from the in- courage site, we can all see how truly we are connected, and help each other to not feel so alone, not rejected, but accepted. That’s Living.

    • Oh Lynn … This is absolutely beautiful. I love thinking of that image of you, picking up shells on the beach, and imagining God delighting in you as He watches His daughter at play. I also appreciate you sharing the question, “Where do you get your loving from?” May we all be people who would make the list in the lives of others — not only our children, but also parents, siblings, friends, and so on. I want to leave a legacy of love.

  6. I, at 73 years of age, can look back at my life and see those moments along the way when I went through similar feelings and experiences. But I can also see the moments and the people that our Father in Heaven placed in my life at the precise time of need. He is always intentional. We need to be the same. When we look back let us “do” forward. We can become the cheerleaders for others instead of the downers that others were to us. Let us never tire of doing good in the name of Christ. Keep on keeping on!!!!

    • I love your attitude, Loretta, and think we would all do well to take your advice to heart: “become the cheerleaders for others instead of the downers that others were to us.”

  7. Reading the message was like being back in school. I grew up very insecure I was number 7 in a family of 11 too young to hang out with the oldest sisters and too old to play with the youngest sisters. But only God knows the right moments we need powerful, loving, wisdom-filled, hugging women! I praise God for designing women with such abilities.

    • Hi Flora — Yeah. We can be 47 years old on the outside, but still feel like we’re 13 on the inside. Rejection settles down deep in our souls and bodies, and can leave us feeling wounded and worn. But God …

    • Janetta, may you be given a friendship that develops into all four of the categories mentioned. May you know how precious and delightful you are not only to God but to those near you. May Jesus reveal His nearness to you today in a comforting way. Hugs!

  8. Thank you for sharing your experience with rejection, Jennifer, helping us realize that most of us have shed tears at one time or another over such hurt. Praise God, at this stage of my life, I can count on at least three women who embody all four qualities we need in our friends. Such support and encouragement are precious gifts. Now, God, guide me to be that kind of friend to them and others you bring into my life!

  9. I need a Friend who accepts me for who I am and does not Judge me for my past Sins .

  10. I think a friendship is one that when you need a friend they are there for you and if they need help you are there for them a friendship should be a two way street not a one way street.

    • Hi Theresa Holly — You are absolutely right. I have a dear friend, and we often remind each other how our relationship is a two-way street, and we don’t take it for granted.

  11. So beautifully written Jennifer. I am a weird and introverted person and I am so thankful for all the friends who loves me even when I am unlovable to them and myself. I don’t have a whole lot of friends and many times I see photos of women who have so many friends gathering around them and so forth. Yes that makes me sad and at times wonder why am I not like that. Do I stink? (yes I do smell like old cheese these days), Am I not pretty enough?, Am I not smart enough? Not cool enough and so forth but I understand as I age that it is not the amount of friends you have, it is the amount of friends who shows up at your worst moments and take your hands, those are the friends that truly matters. Friendship makes this life so much better. A huge shout out to PJ, Amy and Livia. You all make me a better friend and I cannot imagine doing life without you girls.. Thank you for sharing.

  12. LOVED THE FOUR KINDS OF FRIENDS WE ALL NEED❣️ GOING TO SHARE THIS WITH OUR 2 YOUNGEST DAUGHTERS WHO WILL BE GOING TO COLLEGE THIS FALL. THANKS ‼️

  13. I need all the above..from your posting. I have had so few friends who really had my back, my heart, my hand and my full trust. At 64…that is a sad statement. It is now that I have learned. I have to be that for myself because obviously God requires my full attention and ‘girlfriends’ take that from Him. Don’t get me wrong, I have Friends and some are near and dear but, none that if they walked away tomorrow I would be totally grief strickened over the loss. Still sad!