“Lord, may the words in this book change the next generation.”
I choked back the sob threatening to push its way out of my throat. Around the room, women murmured, “Yes, Lord,” and everything in me wanted to fall on my knees.
These women, gathered in the prayer room at our church— the same room where we have prayed for marriages to be saved, for bodies to be healed, for souls to be saved—now stood circled around the Praying for Girls final edits, praying for God to use the words to change hearts and lives, homes and families.
They prayed for me and my ministry, for the moms who would read, the daughters who would be prayed for. They prayed for grandmothers and aunts and teachers and mentors who would pick up this book and use it.
And then someone, I honestly can’t tell you who it was, uttered that sentence, “Lord, may the words in this book change the next generation.”
What If We Became Women Who Never Unfriended?
In that moment, the weight of what was happening, the magnitude of that moment, fell on me. These women, my friends, my sisters in Christ, were praying the biggest prayers they knew, not for their children or for their own successes. But for the book I’d written, the words I’d scratched out, words gained through tears and hard days, through fears and questions.
Earlier that morning I’d been reading Lisa-Jo Baker’s new book, Never Unfriended: The Secret to Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships. And on page 81, I’d underlined this sentence:
Okay, here it is—the secret to finding and keeping lasting friendships: become women who want to see the women around them flourish.
In the margin, I scribbled, “Believe in abundance not scarcity.”
And just a few hours later, I stood in a circle of women who wanted me to flourish! They prayed that the words I’d written would change a generation. And they prayed for me to keep writing. They thanked God for me and the ministry He’s given me.
Y’all, I want to be that friend—the one who holds hands with the women in the room and prays the biggest prayers I can think of for her and her family. I want to be the friend who asks God to do immeasurably more for her than she can even imagine. I want to be the friend who is THRILLED when my friends succeed.
Maybe, though, you just aren’t sure how to get there.
Or maybe you’ve been deeply hurt by women. Maybe you’ve been betrayed or mocked or left out. Maybe you’ve given up on ever having that kind of friend.
Girl, I know! I’ve been there. When we moved back to Alabama I left behind the best friends I’d ever had in my life. Women who had walked with me through seven years of Scott’s life-threatening illness, women who knew my child’s schedule better than I did, women who walked in my house and folded the clothes piled on the couch, women who prayed with me about God’s plans for my life, women who prayed over me when I couldn’t find the words on my own.
Leaving those friends was terrible. And while I’m thankful for the ways distance isn’t the barrier to friendship it once was, I still miss having those women who didn’t have to ask where the glasses were and knew when it was important to bring me rice crispy treats.
But Sunday night, God reminded me of something so important—I have really good friends here too!
It doesn’t look the same as it did when we were in Georgia. And that’s okay!
Because the women in that room sat in the hospital with me after my heart attack and brought meals and made me go to the gym. The women in that room prayed as I wrote the proposal (and then rewrote the proposal) that became Praying for Girls: Asking God for the Things They Need Most (the book we prayed over!). The women in that room have listened and laughed and loved me as I (not always graciously) navigated parenting a teenager. Those women are also the best friends a girl could want.
And Sunday night, I was struck by the beauty of friendship all over again, the wonder of women who aren’t competing or comparing but just want to see each other thrive in the Lord. Women who don’t just hope the best for each other—but actively look for ways to equip and encourage each other.
So, today, can I just whisper this prayer over you, a prayer for you and me to be open to the wildly beautiful and surprising ways God brings people into our lives and for us to be willing to let them in?
Father, you give the best gifts! And so often those good and perfect gifts are the people in our lives. Will you give us wisdom to embrace the relationships you provide? Will you give us courage to open our hearts to others, even when we’ve been hurt? Will you give us insight to see those around us who need a friend? Will you give us grace to see our friends through your eyes? Will you help us believe the best about each other? Lord, will you make us into women who want to see other women flourish? In Jesus’ name, Amen.
I don’t know about you but as much as I want to see the next generation changed by the powerful prayers of their moms, I also would LOVE to see this generation changed by the power of real, messy, God-honoring friendships.
P.S. I really could have written a whole lot more about Lisa-Jo’s book because it’s the book every women needs to read. All of us. It’s not a formula for friendship, it’s more—it’s an invitation to be vulnerable and messy and willing. Most of all, willing. So, if you’ve been wondering how to find those friendships where you can be yourself and people love you anyway, get this book! (But—spoiler alert—be prepared to find out the best way to find those friends is to be that friend!) So let’s get messy and real, let’s be the generation of women who promise our friends they will be NEVER UNFRIENDED!
Order your copy right now (affilate links) from Amazon or Dayspring or anywhere else books are sold … or, if you can’t wait on shipping, get yourself to a bookstore! But get this book! You can thank me later!