Written by: Nikki Laureano
“As iron sharpens iron so a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 27:17
I had the opportunity to spend time with some of my favorite people in the world this past weekend. They are the kind of friends that inspire you to serve deep, inspire your children, affirm potential in others and love hard. They are the kind of friends that overflow with the love of Jesus, and there is never a shortage to pour that love into others. They are my tribe, they show up, and they are women of valor.
But two years ago, I did not have this community to encourage me along my journey. In fact, I was living a posture of isolation and anxiety. I did not know that God was calling me into battle at the time, but thankfully, a sweet friend came along and she saw.
She exercised bravery and she fought for me by believing in me and reminding me the importance of flexing my “dream muscle”. I am forever grateful for this friend, and grateful that the Lord placed her on my path when He did. He has an uncanny way of perfect timing that I am learning to trust more, and He always knows exactly what we need.
Because of this friend, I now have an incredible team of encouraging women who have taken both my hands and pulled me into a posture of open arms and strength. Through God and the wisdom of God-fearing women, I have morphed into a woman of valor.
“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20
“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourself with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:12-14
This weekend, I became overwhelmed with emotion looking at this amazing community. I could not help but correlate their story of bravery with God’s story of love and creation. Our God loves us so much, He created friendship and as we serve Him, each one of us is called to be woman of valor in the battle for love and compassion.
Being a disciple means being intentional in your community. It means getting out of your comfort zone and fighting for people by gently stepping into their mess, their pain, and their lives. It means living a life defined by mission. And it also means giving people access to our lives—the REAL life that Jesus died for.
This week, I encourage you to pray for God to show you who to invest in. Ask God who you can love well this week. Then, open the door to your less than perfect life and fight hard for them.
And don’t forget you are a champion! You were created for a unique purpose, and you are a woman of VALOR!