Let's keep walking well.

I am surrounded by a collection of treasures - my friends, my cabinet, my tribe. I hold each one a bit differently, but my care and near obsession for each of them sinks deep into my bones.

My people are all in such different walks of life right now. Steadfast women weathering a variety of paths, some familiar and well-beaten like motherhood, and some a bit of a muddied trail not many wander through. I'm witnessing friends handle their newborns with love and care and concern and guilt, all the feelings my other new-mom friends experience and they feel so isolated in their emotion. Women who are newly pregnant and experiencing the joys and woes of the newness. Others who are battling health scares and illnesses and unimaginable pain with grace and frustration. Strong women who speak life into their people's souls and brave women who step out of the muck to love recklessly. The ones who I can reach out to in the middle of the night with a word God has laid on my heart for them, and they to me. Each and every one teaches me a new "thing" - patience, loyalty, joy, permission to be, hope, expectancy, Jesus.

These women have reasons to be paralyzed. Their journey's are full of heartache and heartbreak, much like my own. We allow our hopes to elevate, only to be crashed down, crushed in our hands, confused. We anticipate our lives taking these beautiful twists and turns, but don't see the canyons we have to cross. We hike the trails of bitterness and regret, attempting to drop a little weight from our pack, but feel entitled to the baggage - later to realize baggage at the top isn't important to our view. Each of us forgiven in special and sacred ways, yet still untidy corners of our heart remain paralyzed from grief and shock and pain.

These women walk well, so well, even though I know every single one will disagree. They've taken their light, and whether by choice or by force, take one step at a time, messy and unbridled and narrow. The path with Jesus isn't a crazy bright one - we don't get to see the beginning, middle, and the end. That's not how faith operates. Yet each of these women, without even realizing it, show me who Jesus is every single day, because of their love and consistency and vulnerability and ability to just be. To just be who they are, where they are, and not apologize for any of it. They allow me to be who I am in my own mess and happiness, nudging me along the way to stay centered with Jesus. The warriors who fight for me, pray for me, and allow me the same space to fight and pray for them as well.

I feel like I'm finally understanding what community truly looks like. Living rooms with your people laughing and crying, sorting out the hard stuff and wading through the murky waters together. It's encouragement and love and light and accountability. It's grace and sacredness and poking fun at all the squishy, safe places. I used to hear about these things and think they were unattainable - the village overrun by keeping someone's nose pushed into their mistakes - that's what made more sense to me, that is what I saw. As I mature in life and in my own walk with Jesus, I see what it looks like to not only have a friend, but to be a friend. To walk alongside another person, nodding, "me-too"ing, praying, supporting, showing them Jesus any way I can, too. It sounds so trite and cliche sometimes, and I don't even care anymore - things are cliche for a reason. It may be over done and over said but I can't help but just love my people fiercely.

Friend, can I encourage you to continue in your walk, walking well? That includes all your stumbles, your falls, and your get-back-up-agains. Your mistakes and messes and your get-it-rights. I am so proud of each and every one of you, so proud it hurts. I love you all to bits and pieces and I know you're struggling. I know sometimes this part is hard, or it's not hard and you're waiting for the other shoe to drop. Walk barefoot if you have to, but just keep walking well. It's worth it. You're worth it. Jesus is worth it. Worth every single bit of it. He's sustaining you, me, our screw ups and our obedience. You're doing so much better than you think you are. If you don't believe me, believe Jesus. John 15:13 - There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. Jesus lead by example, He walked so ridiculously well, He loved us so generously - we are worthy of His love. We are friends with Jesus.





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