Life-Changing Friendships & a Book Give-Away!

Has a friend ever spoken words that reshaped your perspective of yourself, for good? Have you ever been blessed to meet someone who saw something in you that you couldn’t see in yourself?

When another woman speaks encouragement into our hearts, the course of our lives can be changed forever. And when we believe in someone else, God uses us to build confidence and security in a heart that may have otherwise been paralyzed by doubt and insecurity forever.

I’ll never forget my friend Janet thanking me for words I’d penned from my heart to hers in a note. To me it was only a thank you note, but it was more than that to her. God used her to encourage me to write more than notes. Her prayers and confidence in me inspired this insecure young mom to write a Bible study.

God used that tiny Bible study, written over 10 years ago to birth my writing ministry. Then I taught the Bible study at church. Months later, my WM director, Mary Ann Ruff, sent me to a writer’s training class and secretly signed me up for a speaking/writing development group because she believed in me. She encouraged and helped equip me to walk towards what I’d been running from for 10 years.

Then my friend Lysa asked me to speak in her place at a MOPs group. I’d never spoken outside the small Bible study at my church, and had no plans to do so. But God did, and He used a woman who believed in me more than I believed in myself to help me take the first step.

Each of these women did more than influence my ministry; they shared their lives and mentored me in every area of mine – as a woman, wife and mom.

The same thing happened between Jill and Leann. I learned about their story when I spoke at their Rise & Shine women’s conference in Iowa a year ago this weekend. Saturday they’re holding their 2nd annual conference. Today I’m praying for them and giving away a copy of a book they wrote together.

Jill Beren met Leanne Anderson when she was coaching Jr. High basketball team. Leanne’s 13-year-old daughter, Shelby, was on her team. When Shelby was in high school she got injured, and Jill reached out to her with encouragement, prayers and notes just when Shelby needed them.

One day Leanne sent a letter thanking Jill for the difference she was making in her daughter’s life. She described the qualities of a great coach she saw in Jill and called her “bright light” that shined in many lives, including theirs.

Leanne didn’t know that months later Jill would go home one night to an empty apartment plagued with doubt about her purpose in life. Battling clinical depression and living under the weight of feeling worthless, she contemplated suicide. As Jill pondered her fate, she opened her journal and a note fell to the floor. When Jill opened it, she read Leanne’s words again.

God used Leann’s words to show Jill she did have a purpose and that life was worth living. Now, that’s just the beginning of their story. You can read the rest in their book Letters from Leanne: The Beauty of a Spiritual Mother-Daughter Relationship. Today, I want to give them a chance to share more with us about the book.

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Tell us a little about the book: Letters from Leanne helps women see what a Titus 2 relationship looks like today. The book is the story of our friendship over the last ten years and how God has worked through it in wonderful ways. We share the joys and trials we have encountered on our walk of faith, but ultimately how we saw God’s hand in every situation.

Jill, why did you write this book? My initial intent was to thank Leanne. I’d been blessed by her perspective as a mom, her acceptance as a friend, her guidance as an older woman and especially the love she poured out as a Christian. But it isn’t just a thank you to Leanne; it’s a thank you to God. Spiritual mentoring has been and still is a gift in my life. I pray by reading the story of our friendship, readers will be encouraged to build similar relationships in their lives.

What do you hope readers will gain? We pray women will be encouraged in their faith and inspired to find or be a mentor. We share how mentoring is not about having all the answers, but simply sharing your life with someone following in your steps. It’s about spiritual mentoring, but ultimately about our relationship with Christ. We want readers to see the power God offers when we surrender to His plans and follow His ways.

What unique elements are part of your book? Our book is unique in that we give you a look at a specific spiritual mother-daughter relationship and take you on the journey of how our friendship grew. The other unique factor is that for the most part, the story is told from the younger women’s viewpoint, which is beneficial for all women to understand.

We have also included questions at the end of each chapter to help women apply what we share to their personal lives. Rather than simply reading a story of two friends, you will be encouraged to slow down and take a look at your own life and find lessons in the letters.

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Thank you Jill and Leann for sharing with us! If you’d like to know more about Letters from Leanne, it can be purchased on Amazon. And if you’d like to connect with Jill you can visit her blog.

But before you go, I’m giving a copy away, To enter to win, tell me about the role spiritual friendships and mentoring have or haven’t played in shaping your life. If you’ve never had one, I’d love to pray for you. Just leave a comment (by clicking the word “comments” below), and be entered to win your own copy of Letters from Leanne. Please include an email address so I can reach you if you win. Winner will be announced next Friday! ~ Happy weekend friends!

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. about 3yrs ago I took this Proverbs 31 class taught by Janine Mangum, words can't describe how amazing annointed she is. She has touched so many lives. Anyway, during the class and outside of class she mentored me. She spoke truth and encouragement to me. She helped me get pass looking at my husband for not being the husband he should be and helped me see that my role was to be the wife that God called me to be, no matter if my husband did anything at all to deserve that kind of Love. It changed me and my marriage blossomed. That along with reading your Blog Renee and seeking out other encouraging women, I was able to let go of the wife that longed to be right, that didnt respect my husband and a wife that didn't look at my husband the way a wife should look at the husband that God put into her life. My husband was saved last yr…..My world will forever be changed!! I will continue to absorb ever little bit of wisdom and encouragement that I can get from Godly Spiritual Moms!!

  2. I am so blessed to have ANY friends at this point in my life but the only friends I have now are girlfriends that I have met through my church. I have been a Christian for a year and the journey has been more than exciting.

    God, and my parents, began this amazing relationship by giving me the gift of Grace. I had NO idea that I could be worthy of such a gift but then the gifts just kept coming with each woman that Got put in my path; bible studies, church volunteer opportunities, small groups, or events.

    We now call ourselves "Lylas" (love ya like a sister…in Jesus) and support each other and lift each other up through whatever comes our way. We are currently training for the 3Day 60Mile breast cancer walk next summer, we are planning a road trip to North Carolina for the She Speaks conference, we will cheer one on as she runs her first marathon on, we cheered for another as she was baptized by immersion, and prayed for another while her 5year old went through open heart surgery.

    Life changing friendships would be an understatement.

    I never had friends before. I merely had acquaintances from this location or that, work, or my kids friends' parents…nothing more.

    Then when given all of these opportunities at friendships I was worried I wouldn't know how to be one. But I should never have given it a second thought since God has made it effortless every step of the way.

    I love reading my bible, finding books that speak to me, and getting more and more from each blog I stumble across.

    Thank you for this awesome blog and opportunity to share my fabulous friendships.

  3. Oh wow! Little did I know some 31 years ago in 5th grade that when I got a classmate sent to the principals office for acting up in the lunchroom when it was completely my fault that God…Yes Only God had his hand in that! My best friend and I have been through so much together! We are complete opposites and the only thing we have in common is God and well our taste in fashion and four kids! Her mom died when we were 15 and God did an amazing work in her! At the time I was angry and didn't understand all of it! But now looking back I see how God wrapped his arms around my BFF and has lead her to be teh amazing Christian influence she is in my life today! There have been times when we have been seperated by miles but that has never mattered! I most recently got a card from her and it was the most precious thing I have ever ever read! She told me how lucky she was to have a friend like me and that she was always thinking about me….Now there are a few mils between us again…when just 5 years ago we lived only 3 blocks from each other. Anyway in the card she spoke the most precious words. She stated how lucky we were to have each other and that to think of other women not getting to experience the power of an amazing bond of friendship is sad. Yes the fact that some people never go through life getting blessed by God with such an amazing friendship saddens me so! She is by far one of the most influencial people in my life. To begin to tell you our many trials together would take a book but I do know one thing is for sure that God has had it all mapped out from the get go! I am so thankful to have been blessed with Daphne in my life! I love her so….there aren't enough words to describe it!

  4. Friends have been vital to my spiritual growth. Even before I became a Christian, I found myself seeking to draw nearer to God through relationships, questioning and discussing to find out more about living a life pleasing to Him. Since then, even though I have a relationship with Jesus, people have played a huge part in shaping my life – ‘God with skin on’.
    My mentors have been girls younger than I, girls my age and ‘girls’ 30 or more years older. They have been friends I meet up with occasionally for a coffee; friends who live many miles away, so we rarely meet except over the phone or through emails; friends in my small group who I meet with weekly; my prayer partner. Some are still key in my life at present; others have been key in the past, yet I know that I can still call on them for help when I need it. All have been spiritual mentors. Just yesterday I needed wisdom over an issue I was struggling with. It wasn’t to a pastor or other spiritual ‘leader’ I went, but to a dear friend who has more wisdom in her than I can ever hope to gain. She encourages me in the very best sense: affirms me, names good gifts in me, builds up my confidence while asking probing questions. Where others would ‘tell’ me what to do, she asks gently “Have you thought of…? What about…?” I leave refreshed, invigorated, equipped to walk the Way – and never without us praying for each other. This friend’s encouragement is absolutely key and I bless God for her every day.

  5. Anonymous says:

    There have been many instances when God encouraged and loved me through a female he put in my life – younger and older. I have been in the position to encourage women, too. I do not have a best friend right now, but I continue to reach out where God provides opportunity. mheard11@frontier.com

  6. What a beautiful post, Renee! Too often, I think we don't find the time to connect with anyone on a personal level in this digital age. Too often, I think we are struggling with our own drama to reach out and help someone else reach their potential. Sad, isn't it?

    I've had one spiritual mentor in my life and she has proved invaluable in reaching out and lifting me up to new heights. She's always believed in me and pushed me to achieve my goals.

    My other spiritual mentor/faithful partner is my husband. I think he has more faith in me than anyone–and he's always encouraging me to reach for the stars. In addition, when I'm faltering a little, he's always right there behind me steadying me until I gain momentum again. God has truly blessed me! 🙂

    Prayers and blessings,
    Rebecca

  7. I can honestly say that I've never been blessed with a mentoring relationship. I'd love to have one though. I'm just not the type of person to open up to others. I know this is something that I need to work on and pray about.

  8. although you are not a friend i see you have touched my life when i found your blog at 2:00 oclock in the morning on a very low point in my life through you i found lysa terkurst! i have had the privledge of meeting you in Robinson, IL a few years ago. i have an awesome person at work who is my saving grace and mentor she means the world to me she helps me find and hold on to god.thanks,
    hooks2@wbnorriselectric.com

  9. I have read in the Bible and heard in Church the benefits of having a mentor. I have never been blessed with one. Please pray that God will put one in my life. I would love to learn how to be a mentor. Thank you for your encouraging words.

  10. When reading the comments from the others it saddens me that I don't have that kind if relationship. I tend to keep things in and not open up to people. I've experienced pain an loss in relationships and now find it hard to open up to others. So thankful that I have a friend who sticks closer than a brother in Jesus though

  11. 2 years ago, I was brought into a young teen's life whose birth mother had severely abused her and her sisters. This young girl had prayed for someone to replace the mother figure in her life and shortly after I was brought into her life. Although she was abused by her mom, her mom did instill in her a love for the Lord. I've been able to encourage her in her walk with the Lord and she has been a blessing in my life at a time my own children were going through a time of anger with me. God is so good. He knows what and who we need in our lives. Thank you for the opportunity to win this book. God bless.

    koinonia572001@yahoo.com

  12. Renee, Thank you so much for posting our interview! I have been touched as I read the comments and praying others will be blessed by a spiritual mother like I have been and also encouraged to share the gift they've been given. It is amazing how God can work through our relationships! And for those who fear opening up, I know how you feel…that was me for many years, but I pray He will provide a safe person for you to share with and give you the courage to do just that! You will be blessed! Thanks again Renee!
    God bless,
    Jill

  13. I love this post. The Women's Ministry group at my church is considering beginning a mentoring program. This would be a great book to read in preparation for that ministry.

    God has placed mentor's in my life just when I need them. My spiritual mentor has encouraged me to follow God's plan for life.

    Thank you for introducing us to this book.

    Mary – mboswell98@bellsouth.net

  14. I was fortunate enough in my early 20s to have two older women who took me on and began to mentor me and encourage me, modeling a life of following Jesus 100%. They loved me and encouraged me through the happy and difficult times in my life. They were a true blessing to me.

  15. I have a couple of "go to friends". The friend that you call with anything. I love the give and take with these friendships. The Lord uses us to encourage each other through good and bad times.
    Have a blessed day!!! Debbie
    briandebbie88@bendbroadband.com

  16. I'm praying for each of you today. That God would begin the first steps of bringing a spiritual mom or mentor into your life.

    I also pray that each of us would look for ways to become the friend we long to have. Maybe there is someone like Jill in our lives who needs a thank you note to remind her that God has a purpose for her life and that we treasure who SHE is!!

    Love you all!
    Renee

  17. Friends… always interesting topic. I didn't have many (girl friends) that is growing up, attempted to steer clear of all things caddy. I longed for them, oh did I ever. It wasn't until after I became a Mommy that the Lord brought me to my knees in utter desperation. At this time, He lifted my face and blessed me in abundance. I have a group of girls who have walked life with me, created a place of safety, and accepted my growing pains in more ways than one. I am forever grateful. I truly believe that God calls us to 3 roles simultaneiously, to have a teachable heart by a mentor, to walk alongside another, and to be able to strengths those newly beginning the journey. The greatest lesson I've learned is that at some point, we all disappointment each other, and then grace… Who is our All Sufficent? Who is Truth? Who is Love? It's constantly changing, the joy of the ride. Thanks Renee!

  18. My husband & I started attending our current church about 18 months ago. At this point, I had changed jobs twice in 4 years and had lost that close contact with most of my best friends. We gradually went from talking every day to every couple days then sometimes just once a week. By finding my sisters in Christ at church I have made many new friendships. I have learned that it doesn't have to be a daily struggle all on my shoulders that other women around me are going through the same things or have at some point. They offer insight as to things I can do to help. If we miss a service I immediately get a text, phone call, or facebook message about how much I was missed and how much I'm loved. Having this in my life means the world to me. I can't express in words how great it feels to have these new friends in my life. Nothing has ever come close to this in my past & I can't wait to see how God uses me to befriend someone else who might need me at just that moment.

  19. rejoice in the Lord says:

    I had a wonderful Sunday School teacher who taught me alot about the Bible I did not know. I loved her class so much I got up one Saturday morning thinking it was Sunday_I was getting ready to go to church and then realized it was the wrong day.
    Several things I learned was that God's Word was really interesting and there are things we can relate to today. Second, when I teach now, I want my class to be so interesting to others that they cannot wait to come back and learn.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I have an amazing accountability partner, Ronel Sidney. We met at a women's retreat and we now understand why God brought us together. We are from diffent walks of life, but our values and belief for God and what he has plan for us is all that matter. We have a give and take relationship and so much trust that we are able to share our intimate thoughts with each other.

    I have to thank God everyday for being us together and how he use us to grow and become better servants. I have some much I come say about our friendship and to be honest words can not express how much we both have grown from our friendship and keeping each other accountable. Thank you for your time.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I have had the priviledge of having many wonderful women in my life. Some never knew their influence but whenever possible I try to let them know. From speakers to authors to every day women to the most special woman in my life…my mom. You see, she's not perfect but a wonderful mentor and friend. God has placed others in my life…some for a season and others for the journey but all have left their footprints on my heart that I will cherish forever.
    I must say that I have come to a place in my life that I have an almost desparate need for a mentor and friend that can relate to my life. I am a mother of 3 girls and the wife to a wonderful man who is disabled with MS for the past 24 years. I need for God to send someone to my life that can relate and share some wisdom with me. God knows my needs and I trust that He will supply my need in His time and when I least expect it.
    Silvia Arvelo at arvelos@aol.com

  22. Anonymous says:

    I would love to receive your book. thank you.
    Monica Gwin
    mgwin2008@yahoo.com

  23. Anonymous says:

    I can honestly say that up until the last 6 or 7 months I didn't really have any strong Christian girlfriends that I could come to for advice and just get to know. About six months ago my life was turned upside down and I reached out to my pastor's wife and over the last few months we have become really close. I prayed for this friendship to develop and for God to bring other Godly women into my life. I can totally see this happening now. My friend has great Godly advice and phrases things in such a way that I totally understand even when I am totally wrong. She is so special to me I thank God for her often.

    jaclynmarieroberts@gmail.com

  24. I defintely had a spiritual mother! Her name was "Miss Nancy" to me and I wrote about her here:

    http://theinterruptedlifeblog.blogspot.com/2009/03/i-remember-her-name.html

    I still love her dearly and anything that is good and decent about me I learned from her!

    Blessings,
    Dori

  25. My friend Cara is that life-changing friend. We have known eachother for about 4 1/2 years, and in the past 2 years have become close: in Christ!
    We have been doing Bible studies together for the past 6-8 months alternating whose house it is held at each week-it's just the two of us, so we open up more and I believe we have both grown tremendously because of it.
    She started attending the church that I go to around 6 months ago and her family joined about 5 months ago. Since then, our daughters attend a Christian preschool together and we are working on a Fruit of the Spirit scrapbook/Bible study.
    She is my best friend aside from the Lord and my husband. I love to just be in the Word with her. And to hear her different perspective…we learn and grow from one another.
    That is my life-changing friendship!

  26. Anonymous says:

    i do have a great friend who is a great encouragement to me and i love to encourage her. it's wonderful to have someone you can pray with, laugh with and cry with.

    aplcolectr@msn.com

  27. My mother has been the biggest mentor in my life. She has shown me the love of Christ and always built into me that I am made special because I am a child of God. I have had many friends over the years who have not had a mentor in their lives to teach them as my mother did me. I have seen many women try to fill their voids with all kinds of other things and I have always wanted to be used as a mentor, but not had the confidence in myself to do so. I have been afraid of saying the wrong thing or appearing like I know it all because that is very far from the truth. I have recently had a revival in my life in my relationship with God and I want to help others do the same. I desire greatly to be a biblical mentor to others.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Renee,
    I am now praying for a Spiritual Mother/Mentor in my life. Please pray that God will place someone in my life. Thanks Darlene

  29. Sounds like a wonderful book! Even though I have not had this type of relationship with anyone as of yet, I pray that maybe the Lord may one day use me in someone else's life!

    ~ Kim

    lakefamily(at)eastlink(dot)ca

  30. God dropped a friend right into my lap, and I didn't even know it for several months into our relationship. I even thought to myself, I don't see the connection between us that my friend, Sara, does. I just don't "get it." I thought God was just bringing us together because of our common interest in helping kids with special needs and their families find relationship with Jesus. Little by little I "got it." She is such a sweet sister – looking back, I don't know how I was so blind, but I'm SO GLAD that my Heavenly Father knew enough to drop her into my life. Since then, she has been an encourager, prayer warrior, friend, confidant, and sister. I know when it comes to struggles in my life, be they spiritual, or otherwise, she's got my back. I love her to pieces!

  31. God has blessed me with a group of ladies who keep me accountable, lift me up when I need them, can call on them at any moment for prayer!! We meet every Tuesday evening at our local Starbucks for 2-3 hours if not more sometimes. I thank God for them daily!
    Thanks, Charlotte

    charlottecornett@att.net

  32. I've never really had that kind of friendship in my 32 years but recently I joined a life group in our church (only been attending this church for a year) and the pst 6 weeks have been the best in a very long time. I have begun to develop frienships that are fostered in a mutual longing to be closer to God and I am truly grateful to have found them. I am really not one to open up about things but I have done some sharing and my life is finding peace. Friends can make all the difference!

  33. God has always blessed me with friends as I go through life, I used to wonder why this person, or why did our friendship end…the worst is the death of my besrt friend of 44 years, we have not been close in miles for many years, but we actually wrote letters, a lost art these days… as her health worsened this iwas out only way to communicate…as she did not have a phone any longer… But those last few months of letters we talked about GOD and how HE was in our lives and about our children and loosing those we love… I miss her in a way like no one else… but she is in a Beautiful Place and not struggling to breathe any more… I thank God for giving her to me at age 14, when I was in a difficult time if life…and together we helped each other grow, learn, grieve and come to know GOD…

    Sonja Bailey
    lilsis1952@hotmail.com

  34. Hi Renee, I have recently accepted a role of being a mentor to 7 young moms. I spent many-many years floundering and just 2 years ago became a true follower of our Savior! I cant get enough of Him and pray that I can be an encourager and mentor in this role, although admittedly, I believe we will all learn from each other 🙂 God is Great!!!

  35. Anonymous says:

    This was a beautiful post and so timely as I was just on my knees last night asking God for a spiritual friend. As a pastor's kid growing up we moved alot so I never had time to grow close relationships with the girls around me. There are a few women in my church who seem friendly on Sunday, and I'm hoping God leads us to closer friendships…I could really use one right now. Please pray. Thanks.
    Jennifer
    jen6122@hotmail.com

  36. i indeed have a friend who played a vital role in leading me towards Jesus. It's clear that God used her to bring me home. However there're some problems in our current friendship which are hurting me badly, partly because of my own flaws which I'm still struggling to overcome.

    I'm very thankful to her for being such an amazing friend so far, I cherish our friendship a lot, and I really hope that our friendship will survive whatever hardship we might be facing right now and in the future.

    Thank you Lord for this amazing blessing!

  37. The Lord has blessed me with a friend who I can be totally myself with and she loves me anyway. And she can speak correction to me, and I to her. I never expected a "best" friend at this point in my life. I have been so hurt in the past that I built a good wall around my heart, but the Lord broke through that wall through this woman. And what is the coolest thing about this miracle is that this woman is my daughter. It's so crazy. We both are so surprised that God put this kind of friendship in our hearts. When we buy cards for each other it is rare that we get "mother" or "daughter" cards because our relationship is soo much more than that. I mentor her – she mentors me.

  38. Dena Stokes says:

    I still haven't found a spiritual friend / mentor…..would really appreciate your prayers
    stoken4u@sbcglobal.net

  39. Stephanie says:

    I have actually been searching for a mentor. I realize the influence that women have on each other with eoncouragement, prayer, etc. I find that I fall in an odd "class". I am only 33 years old but have three children that range from 4 to 14. I have had a difficult time finding another spiritual woman that is in the same category as myself. The women at my church are all older ladies whose children are already grown. I also struggle with a husband who would rather me stay home with him on Sunday morning.

    With that said, my mom has been this best friend, supporter I could ask for. My mom understands were I am in my life. She understands the struggles with a husband who is not the spiritual leader. My mother is very strong in her faith, she is a prayer warrior, and very wise.

    Stephanie
    teddyfever@hotmail.com

  40. I have had a wonderful friend named Jill since 2nd grade and we are more like sisters than friends. Even when we sometimes go months without seeing each other because of the busyness of life, we can always pick right back up like we just spoke yesterday. 16 months ago my daddy passed away with cancer. I remember the night I was at the hospital,heartbroken because I knew what was coming in the next few hours. I called my friend, Jill to tell her to pray for us and I cried for several minutes while she just listened.She offered to come and stay with me, even though she would have had to drive for an hour to get there. I told her not to come because there was really nothing she could do. She said something I will never forget."Well, The one thing I can do is let you lie your head on my lap and cry all you want to and I will be there to comfort you."
    Wow, those words changed my life because now I know you don't have to have the perfect words to say to a friend in pain, you only have to offer your presence and your ears to listen. Since then, I have helped many other friends through hard times just by being there for them. Before I thought I had to have some great insight to help, but I now know that I don't. Thank you Jill for teaching me how to be the best friend ever.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Renee, unfortunately I'm recently divorced and find myself feeling very alone. I know I have friends but I don't feel like I have any whom I would consider very close friends. Please pray that God would send someone my way that would be that for me. Thank you.

  42. Anonymous says:

    I had an amazing mentoring relationship with my mom, who died 5 yrs ago. She always had a verse and a good word for me. I feel like since she died, I feel like I just don't have a tight knit group of friends that I can always go to. Of course, I have the women at church and they are amazing, but sometimes it is nice to have that close friend that you can always depend on and go to about everything. I go to GOD and I know that is what I am to do, but it really is nice to have a close girlfriend also. I try to be an encourager to other people that come into my life. I really enjoy giving that to others. I have just leaned on GOD all the more, which is what I know HE wants me to do. Praying for some more amazing friendships to come my way! Thank you, Renee and all of Proverbs31 for all your encouragement and helping us to laugh at ourselves when we need to. Would LOVE this book! Thank you and GOD Bless!!
    Julie
    j-bug@att.net

  43. Anonymous says:

    I am so thankful for women like you that take the time to share your heart and help others on their walks with each other and with God! I would love to read your book on friendships! I know it was God's timing that I received a text alert about this book. I have always had many friends, and each one has shaped me and played important roles in my life. I do a weekly Bible Study with 8 of my dearest friends. However, the last 18 months have been the most challenging time in my life with regards to friendships. I am struggling with 3 in particular, and they are friends I've known since I was little, and I never would have thought there would be a problem with any of them. It's been extremely painful and I have shed many tears. Now I'm at the point where I feel like this all happened for a reason, and I know God will use this to teach me something valuable, but I'm struggling to understand what that is right now. I pray that I am listening and will have discernment sp I learn what God wants me to. Do you think your book will help me with that? If you have any other recommendations, I would be vert grateful. May God bless you in all you do! My email address is kcstevenson@comcast.net. Thank you!

  44. Anonymous says:

    My son was using meth. I thought he was going to die. i prayed to God to put him in jail so i would know he was ok. well, in 2 days he was put in jail. today he is clean for 5 years. my son said he was going to hang himslelf while in jail and one night before he had planned on doing it, he saw Jesus all around him. Everywhere he looked and he said to him do not be afraid i died for you. So you just don't know where and when god will enter your life. i reade Proverbs 31 every day and it lifts me up. The power of God. wow all things are possible with God. Terri Johnson

  45. Anonymous says:

    I would love to win your book.
    terri J
    terbearjohnson52@msn.com

  46. Spiritual Mentorship has played huge, key roles in my life at very pivotal times!! I am so thankful God brought them when He did!

    Lately, as I'm entering a whole new section of the journey of life and ministry, a mentor is one thing I see is missing. I have actually been praying for God to send one if/as He so desires for this next leg of the journey! 🙂

    Blessings on you all and your ministry!!

  47. Anonymous says:

    Hello, I am a 45yo rapid cycling manic depressive (bipolar), therefore have had very few friends in my lifetime. I have been going to a church for 3 or 4 months now & the ladies seem friendly. But I have gave my phone numbers out & had a b-day party for my grand-daughter which 3 ladies brought kids but no one talks to me after we leave church services. I was pregnant at 15 & have 2 grown children with a child each of their own. I would love to learn things both spiritually and physically from some Christian ladies, that I did not learn from my parents (long story but I am as much to blame as they are) sewing, growing & preserving food, organization & more lol. So please pray that God will bless me with Christian friends. Also pray that I in some way can learn things that might help others. In return I will pray the book will go to someone that needs it worse than me. I will also pray that you are blessed beyond measure for your willingness to be a blessing! I am glad I found this site. My email address is misundastoodbp2gal@hotmail.com (misundastood – bp2 (biploar type 2 & I am a gal(girl))if someone would like to email me sometime. Thanks…mis

  48. I am a new believer!the friends I thought was friends are not, they don't do the God life. I have very who who do, so I think this would help me find the true friends God would want in my life. I never win anything but i wanted to give my say. Thank you

  49. I loved reading this today! Earlier today I blogged about one of the life changing phrases that my spiritual big sis who just happens to be named LeAnn, HA, spoke into my life! http://www.myloveletter2god.blogspot.com
    I am going to definately have to get this book from amazon if I don't win 🙂

  50. Jamie Greer says:

    I have these 3 amazing women in my life that make a difference by seeing the good even when I cant…We are all married to non believers and support and pray for each other and meet weekly to study and worship together. We give each other the encouragement to keep on our Christ path when our partners don't. I thank God for those women in my life everyday!
    greerchihuahua@yahoo.com

  51. www.fingerprintsfromhishand.webs.com says:

    You know, Renee, I have yet to find the same kind of friendships/relationships/mentoring that we had in the GCM days. There was just something very unique & rare then. I really miss it. Was it the depth to which we all shared? the commitment? I really can't find the right word to describe it.

    Julie
    sweettea.n.ice@gmail.com

  52. Anonymous says:

    I love the comments posted by the other women about their friendships! I have been praying for many years to find spiritual friend(s) – the kind of women I can share prayer with when I need it and be there to pray with her when she needs it. I have a hard time opening up to others, but I trust God and continue to pray! I was truly blessed the day I stumbled upon Proverbs 31 ministries, it warms my soul that so many women are unified in worship of our Lord!

  53. Anonymous says:

    I think you said it best…sometimes friends help us to see things in ourselves or about ourselves or our lives that we are too close and involved to see; sometimes we need that loving but more removed perspective in order to see things as they really are. I've been blessed with a best friend who is just this person in my life – she is loving and kind and sweet but can knock my socks off with hard questions and truths that I might not always want to see or hear but always bless me in the long run.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win this book…it sounds fabulous! 🙂

    Blessings,
    Kris
    Lvnglyf73@aol.com

  54. Hi Renee
    I have a very special friend to tell you about she is my spiritual sister in every sense of the word. Our friendship started about 6 years ago but I feel like I have known her all my life. It started out as we worked together and then I guess as I went thru my divorce she was right there to lend an ear and an helping hand …she became my prayer partner warrior if you will. Then as she went thru things I was able to be there for her too. we love to shop together go to movies and eat out but what is so cool about our friendship no matter what we are doing our times together always end up talking about what the Lord has done or is doing in our lives…its amazing how talking about a cool set of earrings and then we are talking about God…that is how it is with this secial sister of mine…with me an only child she is like the sister I have never had. I love that she tells me the truth about things even when I sometimes don't want to hear them. She sets me straight but with love. She supports me and is my biggest cheering section in anything i try in life. She encourages me just by listening to me when i have something i have to share on my heart that I can trust her not to judge me or repeat to anyone else except God as she prays for me daily. That is the key to our connection as friends …God. We pray daily for each other and when we pray together wow its like the power gets stronger you know two or more joined togetherI get it and now God has blessed me and my son with the opportunity to attend the same church as this sweet friend of mine..so now I get to sing with her and its awesome to get to worship our Lord and Savior together there is nothing like it… I am so blessed to have her as my special friend…thanks for letting me share…Lisa

  55. oh and here is my email address
    canne@windstream.net thanks Lisa

  56. Andrea Stanley says:

    I used to think just being a friend was enough, but as time went on God starting to tell me I need to do more for them. Talk more about HIM! Tell them how he has helped you (in so many ways). And when I did,things started to only get better. Now we talk about all kinds of things but GOD is always involved in the conversation. I love it!
    patricka9@hotmail.com

  57. I was not raised in a Christian home and you can gather all that is implied 🙂 Something I have struggled with my walk is wanting to minister to my parents and for them to know and accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. Just TONIGHT they were asking me questions and discussing my faith. AND, I believe that is in part because of a few friends (life changing) that have been praying with me for their salvation. I shared with my parents tonight how God has moved in my life in countless ways, one being the beautiful friendships He has blessed me with. I'd love to read the book. And, I hope to win. If not, I'll go out and buy it 🙂

    mgl410@ gmail.com

  58. Renee,

    At She Speaks last summer (2009), God orchestrated the seating of me and a sweet woman from Florida beside each other in Luann Prater's workshop on prayer.

    We ended up becoming prayer partners by the end of the class and have been close ever since.

    I have several dear, dear friends who I consider mentors in my life, but my new prayer partner is someone I know is always lifting me to the throne………….even when we are miles apart. That means so much to me.

    I have her picture on my frig, and I lift her up often too!

    God is so good.

    Love you!

    Hope this finds you doing well and I am excited to enter this drawing!! 🙂 Hugs from Kentucky!

  59. Thank you of the reminder of the eternal value of friendships. I strongly believe that God used my closest friends over the last couple of years to literally save my life.

    I had times when my only reason for holding on to life was my beautiful daughter. I knew she needed her mother, no matter how depressed or inadequate her mother felt. Her hugs, along with the support and unconditional encouragement of my friends, gave me a hope that life would not always be about merely surviving.

    I learned that, no matter how many times I fall down, God has a purpose and a plan for me. He also has a purpose and plan for every one of my friends and family members.

    "Every good gift, and every perfect gift comes from above," …including the gift of beautiful Christian Sisters!

    🙂 Rhea
    gallerhea@yahoo.com

  60. Anonymous says:

    13 years ago I started a new career and ended up becoming a supervisor of a lady 10 years older than myself. Over the past 13 years we have went from a challenging and insecure relationship to becoming great friends. She is a strong christian woman and has taught me many things, once I let my guard down. She is a very special part of my life and together we now supervise 4 other women in our office. We lean on each other for spiritual support. I thank God for bringing her into my life.

    Gina
    ginaball3@yahoo.com

  61. Anonymous says:

    I too would love to receive your book. Women relationships, that has been a learning process. I don't know if I will ever truly understand. Yet, for years I have told others in bible study, in the church, and in between that if one keeps their First Love, JESUS!In the right order,He provides.
    As we have been created for relationship! Being open,that is the beginning of wisdom. for Jesus knows all that we need as He too, was in human form and experienced everything as we do, yet he was without sin.so as one prays for His intervention to act and bless He does. May God bless us as women of Faith to know him more and trust that as we need, not want but need He will show up with an amazing friendship, mentor and guide! I offer prayer for each of us as we continue to live in this world and not of this world! in Christ's love, Jan Ryder
    jmryder53@gmail.com

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