a post so real and raw, I'm not even including pictures

this may get long. you've been warned.

If you follow me on instagram, than you may remember a certain gram I posted about something new coming to the blog. Something real. Something raw.

You see, for the past several months I've greatly struggled with getting out this one post. You bloggers out there can probably relate. There's something you want to blog about, something you feel COMPELLED to blog about but there's a small problem. The flooding of words in your brain can't for the life of them work down to your fingers and that clicking of the keyboard. Somewhere between your heart & fingers the words get lost and simply don't want to form into the sentences your mind is telling you to write. See Websters dictionary for writers block.

So, it went unwritten. It stayed swirling around in my thoughts like a robber waiting for it's chance to pounce. Earlier this week, it went for the gold. F i n a l l y. FINALLY something just clicked. The Lord 100% gave me this idea.

Enter my best friends.

They often go unmentioned on this blog, unless I'm telling you about my weekend activities and they just happened to be a part of them. These 7 women have astronomically influenced my life, my walk with the Lord, how I parent, how I serve my husband, really how I do life.

They have been vessels the Lord has used to shape me into a better image of him. Sometimes I feel somewhat guilty (in a I don't deserve this at all way) that I get to know them and that most likely, you never will. I feel like the whole world should know these women. I feel it pure luck and divine grace that I get to call them best friends. Really, sisters.

And now a quick detour that must be taken...

A long time ago, I wrote this post (you know the drill, read once this post is over). I was so innocent to what the Lord had in store for me. I went back and reread it earlier and tears swelled in my eyes. I was beyond desperate for friendship. To be so honest, josh at the time was my only true friends. Sure there were women present in my life but not to the depth that I so desperately needed. Husband and I were going through a rocky part of our marriage. We had only been married a year and a half and I was struggling with the whole marriage thing. Some days, I simply thought it to be easier if I wasn't married..... Yep. I later learned that my thyroid was the main issue & I was quickly put on medication (and it's now regulated. PTL) but I know deep down that another huge part of it was that I was just simply in sin. I came to the biggest crossroad I had ever come to in my life. Was I going to follow Christ? Was I going to to really die to my selfishness and my sin DAILY and follow him? I can't tell you how badly I wanted to just quit and turn my back on the Lord forever. Following Christ was a B A T T L E. It seemed like the days that I gave into my selfishness wants were easier. Because truth be told, they were. Satan doesn't fight you when you turn from the Lord.

Oh, but the Lord fought.

He fought for me long ago when He sent his son to die for me. Jesus became my sin and defeated it on the cross. Thankfully a sweet friend who I wasn't that close to during the time came along side me a reminded me of a simple truth...

He wins the war.

He has the victory.

And redemption, it is the sweetest thing we will know.

You see, satan so often may win a small battle in our lives. He may defeat us in a certain situation or during a certain season but oh my friends, he does not get to win the war. He does not get to have the final victory.

God does.

So there I was. In desperate need of the Lord to work in my life. I'll forever remember a car ride converstaion with Josh. I simply told him "hun, I don't have any friends. I know that the Lord is enough and I know that you are the greatest best friend I could have, but I need women in my life. Women I can go to and get perspective. Women I can go to and help carry me. Women who will push me, challenge me, love me, and never ever judge me." He said I know babe. Pray and the Lord will give you that.

I needed community in my life like I need oxygen. And the Lord let it come rushing in like a strong wind.

Through our church these 7 women have entered into my life. Some I knew before but because of my church our relationship grew stronger. These seven women have persevered through some of life's greatest battles. Some conquered them like warriors and some by the skin of their teeth but all of them, all of them did it because the Lord continued to give them grace and strength to do so.

I can't even begin to describe what I've learned from these ladies, how the Lord has used them fiercely in my life. They are some of the sweetest, most genuine, loving, non judgmental ladies you will ever meet. There are actually more than 7 women the Lord has sent me since my time of desperation, and to that I am so grateful, but I've chosen these seven to share and I'm sticking with it.

Enter real life friends. With real life issues. Writing for a real life series for my blog. 

I've asked these seven women to each write a blog post. The words that have been swimming around in my brain trying to break free are going to be expressed through these seven ladies. They will each write on a topic that I've assigned to them based on what I've been wanting to say & what they have gone through in their own lives. These women can say what I've been trying to say far better... why, because most of them have gone through things that I haven't so far and therefore have the experience to write on them far better than I could.

So a 9 part series will be taking place on this blog soon. I'm begging the Lord to use it TREMENDOUSLY. Simply so that he can receive all the glory. I don't want this to be about me. I don't want to take a single ounce of credit. I just want the Lord to move. My prayer is that through this series the lost come to know Jesus. That women (or men) who have struggled with one of the topics can find encouragement, and that someone out there will quit fighting the battle and surrender to Jesus. It's my greatest wish. no prayer.

9 blog posts. 7 from my seven greatest friends. 2 from some lovely ladies who I call friends but we aren't as close, who I just had to include because I felt the Lord leading. I can't wait for y'all to meet Audrey, Lindsay, Anna, Kelsey, Brittany, Christen, Allyse, Lyss, and Nicole.

I hope you read each and every post that comes from this series in the coming weeks. You may be a regular reader, you may never have read but found yourself here somehow, for whatever the reason... it wasn't a coincidence. The Lord has something to teach you, please sweet friend. Listen.

Stick around for the #letsgetrealhereyall series to start. It's going to be so so good.


Courtney Ramsey said...

I am very much looking forward to this!! Thank you for sharing your heart!

xo, Courtney

Courtney Kassner said...

I can't wait to start reading this series! I've had the exact same convo with my husband since we've been married about needing close women friends. And I'm so thankful God answers prayers! Thank you for sharing your heart!

BethanyGrig said...

Raise the church roof! Such a great reminder, Gods love is enough. And this is DEFINATELY a series I will be reading!

rachel said...

So excited for this!

It's amazing how the Lord provides for our every need - even sweet friendship and community.

Jess said...

I too have been where you were, longing for not only friends, but woman who would challenge me, speak truth and love me with no judgement and the Lord also answered my prayers through 4 woman who have changed how I live completely. Thank you for being so honest about your selfishness sinfulness early on in marriage.. I could have written those words myself, having been there. I am SO SO excited for your new series and cannot wait to hear their stories!

Sarah44 said...

I too have struggled a lot recently about not feeling like I have many friends. I know I have the Lord and my Husband, but something about a good girlfriend, can really make you feel so happy and yourself. I look forward to reading this series. I love hearing about peoples lives, struggles, and accomplishments! Amazing.

Angelyn Vaughan said...

Let's be mom friends! Haha.
Seriously, when I quit work after the babe comes the only girls I'll see regularly are at Emmanuel, and they're probably already sick of me. : )

bandofbrothers said...

i read this post in the parking lot of the post office with tears in my eyes. i think i could have wrote this myself. you see, i've been married 17 years, and it can still be a battle. sure some years have been a cake walk...but this year does NOT happen to be one of them. thanks so much for your perspective and honesty.

Jessica said...

I cannot wait to read this series!!! So excited.

Jordan Boesch said...

I am in that place you were, of desperately needing some girls in my life! In a family of all boys and a super-small church, there haven't been those opportunities yet, but I'm praying. :) and I have discovered that sometimes the internet and Facebook are great things at connecting me again with people I was once super close with. Maybe that's how God is choosing to answer my prayer. :)

Can't wait to read this series!