We’re Better Together

November 3rd 2014

I was sitting in the Fellowship Hall drinking some juice—I hadn’t yet discovered the rich depth of flavor in a cup of coffee—and the adult Sunday School was about to start. It was in the mid-1980s, and my husband Dan was serving at a church in Des Moines, IA.

geese, v formation, text

 

The Senior Pastor was teaching that day, and I can’t remember the theme of the lesson, but one comment he
made hit me between the eyes. It was so impacting that I can picture exactly where I was sitting at that wooden, rectangular table. He said, “You need to be in a group of three or four to encourage and pray for each other, to help each other through the tough times that may come, and to speak truth into each other’s lives if you go off course.”

 

Dan and I have an open, intimate, and honest relationship, and he’s my first go-to person for anything and everything. But, it’s important to receive counsel and support from others as well.

 

I’m a pretty friendly person and was connected to quite a few people, but I knew this was different than going shopping with a friend. Soon after, I pulled together two of my friends and we started to meet weekly. We already knew each other, but we started to REALLY know each other as we shared what was happening in our lives and how we needed prayer.

 

I moved away from Des Moines within the year, but those two friends have been meeting every week for over 25 ye
ars since that time, and I remain very close to them today.

 

There’s an African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

 

Two different leaders of international ministries have described me pretty well. One said, “You’re like a race car driver,” and the other said, “You’re like a race horse.” It’s true; I like to move fast. One morning I threw open the door at our office and announced, “We’re going to have a women’s conference in the Spring.” And we did. And then we had another…but that’s another story.

 

Although I like to move fast, I’ve learned that I need others around me in order to move safely and to to go farther and deeper.

 

HAVING A GROUP OF COMMITTED FRIENDS HELPS YOU TO:
Hang on When the Going Gets Tough

A few years ago, I was going through a very difficult and painful time, and I called a friend of mine and exclaimed, “If you don’t tell me not to do it, I’m going to do such and such!” I was about to do something that would have been rash and foolish, to say the least. She
calmly talked me down, and as I took my claws out of the ceiling of my emotions, I was grateful that I had a friend who understood me and loved me enough to hang onto that ceiling with me for a while.

 

Have Courage

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to quit your job and take another? That can be very intimidating. You may know that you need to make a move, but it’s hard to leave when everything’s comfortable and predictable. To go to another place of employment where you have to learn the culture and find out who’s who in the office takes a lot of courage.

 

Our friends give us courage to step over that line of indecision. They tell us, “You can do it! This is a good move for you and you have what it takes. Come on…Jump!”

 

Stay Healthy

Truth sets us free and opens our eyes to see who God really is. But truth can also hurt when it touches a place in our life that isn’t yet whole. Friends who love you so much that they are willing to trudge through the muck in your life are more valuable than anything money can buy.

 

On numerous occasions my close friends have said things to me that were hard to take, and I didn’t always take those things happily or willingly. But I knew that their love for me compelled them to help me to get out of that muck, whether it was unforgiveness, anger, wrong thinking, etc.

 

All you need is two or three close friends to help you go far in this life, and along the way you’ll wonder how you ever would have done it without them.

 

(Denise Siemens is the Founder and President of Arise! Women)

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