“For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” Mathew 18:20 nlt

We all have friends. Good friends. Close friends. Best friends. Friends, who are merely acquaintances. Share a cup of coffee and light conversation friends.

All types, with varying degrees of closeness.

And then there are those friends you have forged a bond with through the common thread of God. Jesus lovers. Prayer warriors. Hearts abandoned to Him. The ones who are not ashamed to admit their need for a loving Heavenly Father.

Friends who have been graced by God and not afraid to share it.

Friends who lavish grace on you.

Friends who allow you to see their vulnerabilities and don’t run from yours. They openly share their pain and angst with you. The kind of people who always have an extra tissue, encouraging words, and a hug when your heart is breaking and hurt is spilling out all over the place.

These are my people. Community. Sisterhood.

The place where I can feel safe. The place where the layers and the stink of life are peeled off and authenticity and transparency shine through. A place of freedom. Freedom to love and be loved simply for you.

Not your perfect Pinterest page, Facebook feed, or through the lenses of enhanced photos, where hurts are covered up and our cracks are sealed. You. The real you.

Those were the friends who showed up for a visit yesterday.

They came bearing smiles, and lunch, fresh cut flowers, and home baked goodies. Bringing sunshine and light and warmth into my otherwise ordinary day.

Ann Voskamp said “We need key women in our lives who emancipate us from crushing expectations.”

Amen and Amen!!

These are the kind of women we all need in our lives. Women who pray for you. Women who pray with you. Women you pray for.

Women who love you even when you are at your worst. Women who see past the ugly orange bathrobe and fuzzy socks.

Women who are there with you when circumstances force you to navigate a new way of life. No condemnation. No lamenting your new set of challenges. Women who encourage. Who build you up and edify. Not shred you to pieces or compare you to others.

I’m blessed to have “key women” in my life. A community of Believers. A community of prayer warriors. A place to simply be me and allow others the same.

If you don’t have that kind of community, then I encourage you to find it. Participate in a small group. Join a ladies Bible study. Pray for God to place these kind of women in your life.

You need them. I need them. We all need them.

Being a woman in today’s society is tough. Expectations are high. Judgement and condemnation run rampant through our ranks. Comparison is exercised much to freely. The pressure to be all, do it all, have it all, without a wrinkle in our clothing, or a hair out of place, armed with a fresh manicure and the right shade of lip color perfectly applied, all while striving to maintain the perfect body. And can I just say, there is no such a thing! We are all perfect in His sight. Bumps, bulges, rolls and all.

I’m exhausted just thinking about it!

Find a place. Connect. Intentionally seek out godly women. Build community.

“I believe we can be women who choose to share authentic lives that are filtered by the grace of God.”

Crystal Stine

Yes! Yes we can!

Graced by God

Tammy Mashburn