By: Libby Peterson
Friendships have always been of great value and importance in my life. I thrive on having authentic and true friendships. Over the last few years, I have been blessed to experience a new level of friendship in my life. It all started with committing to my health and fitness with one of my lifelong friends, Kristin. Kristin and I have been friends since preschool. We were together over the holidays a few years ago visiting, and we decided to commit together to do a daily workout and pray the same daily devotional together.
These two choices with Kristin have brought so much into my life these past three years. Sharing faith and fitness with Kristin opened doors to other lasting Godly friendships. Through my daily workouts with Kristin, I met three other ladies who have become my best friends as well: Jenn, Kylee & Bess. I met these godly women through our fitness group and over time we have shared our faith journey together.
Kristin and I invited these three ladies into our daily devotional group. What I have found is that God places the right people in our lives at the right time. I didn’t go looking for new friendships, but I was open to who God was placing in my life. Have you ever met someone and thought, oh I could be friends with that person? That was the exact thought I had when I met each one of these ladies.
Kristin and I met in preschool, as 4-year-old little girls, we went to the same grade school together for 8 years, followed by the same high school for 4 more years and then went to different colleges but always stayed in touch. We have had many ups and downs in our years of friendship but have always known that we were there for each other no matter what.
I met Bess, Kylee, and Jenn online through a Facebook group and online workouts via zoom. I remember Jenn and I started in the group around the same time, posting our workouts and being new to the group together was what we had in common. Shortly after Jenn joined the group, she posted one day in the group for prayers for her family. I remember the post being powerful and I had a sense it was something pretty big and life changing. Over the next few days, she posted that her sister had passed away suddenly, as a team we got together and sent her a wind chime as a reminder of her sister. I had never met Jenn in person before, but I felt God placing us all together to be a support system for her and give her the reassurance that we are here for her.
Bess & I interacted with each other through zoom workouts and posts in the group. Then Bess and I committed to doing daily nightly workouts with each other and our friendship grew because we spent about 15 minutes each night talking with each other and sharing life together. It was just a natural progression of our friendship.
Kylee would post in the group and always have such positive and encouraging posts that I thought I could be friends with this girl. We chatted on zooms, but it wasn’t until we had a team retreat that Kylee and I really became friends. I stayed at Kylee’s house with her family, and we got to spend quality time together just living life.
These four friendships have brought a deeper level of faith and hope into my life. They are women who live lives of faith and trust in God, and we have grown into being able to share faith together daily. We know we are there for each other no matter what and we challenge each other to find God in our everyday lives and be that example of faith out in the world.
They are women God knew I needed in my life to support me on my faith journey, to support me in my ministry life and to support me in being who God calls me to be. I can’t imagine life without them. I look back on that one decision, when I joined a fitness community for myself to become healthier and through that God opened a door to these lasting friendships.
God knows who we need in our lives and already knows how they will show up, we have to be willing to see where God is showing up and who he is placing in our lives. So often we think we know what is best for us, but these ladies remind me that by taking a chance on myself I also took a chance on lasting friendships.