The Friends I Didn't Know I Needed

July 8, 2015

This spring I was a part of a single moms retreat in Minnesota. The retreat hosts several hundred single moms and volunteers. Three years ago when I first heard about the retreat and all the love and support they lavished on the single mamas who attended, I just knew I’d want to be a part of it.

But I was hesitant. What would I have to offer? I’m not a single mom. I wasn’t raised by a single mom. I really don't have many close friends who are single moms. How would I be able to help? And wouldn’t it just be kind of silly for me? 
The Diva Boutique Team 2014

Talking with Carol, the organizer for the event, gave me the confidence I needed to join the team, and for two years I organized, planned, and put on the Diva Boutique -- a shop set up for the women to come and get new and gently used clothing and accessories for free, all part of their retreat experience.

Then this past fall, after deciding to step down as the boutique organizer, Carol asked if I’d like to be an advisor for the retreat while also emcee’ing with the other organizer. Again, I thought, Won’t people think it’s weird? Won’t they wonder why this woman, who really has no connection to single moms, loves single moms so much?

But when I told Carol my fears, she quickly smiled and told me that God uses people, sometimes in places and ways they never thought possible.

I agreed to do it because I love Carol and I love single moms and because, over the past couple of years, I have also gotten to know Julie, the other organizer for the retreat and emcee for the event.
Julie and I having so much fun emceeing together.
Julie is a single mom herself— just finished college, works full-time, and raised four amazing kids—and is one of the kindest people I know. Really. She is honest and caring, to the point and gracious -- all at the same time. And I admire her so much.

The weekend went off beautifully. Julie and I had so much fun (maybe a little too much) emceeing and rooming together, along with our assistants friends. The entire weekend I just could not. stop. smiling. We laughed together. We cried. We got honest. We had fun. We bonded.

We became friends. Good friends.

And here’s what I keep thinking about now that it’s all over: What if I had missed this opportunity? What if I had let my insecurity or ideas about how I’m different or have nothing to offer be a reason not to participate?

What would I have missed?

Because the truth is, the single moms retreat is one of my absolute favorite weekends out of the entire year. You couldn’t pay me to miss it. I love this mission, this tribe of women.
My roomies for the weekend! Love these women SO MUCH!

I’m telling you all this because there just might be something outside of your comfort zone that you feel called or lead to go and do.  And maybe, like me, what’s holding you back is what you perceive as your differences. But what if what’s outside of what you know is the very thing meant to fulfill you?

I’m realizing my friends don’t have to all be just like me. In fact, I’d prefer it if they weren’t. I want to be challenged in my thinking and habits. I want to see the world through different eyes.

I'm beginning to believe we were meant to love those who, at least on the surface, look very different from us. That it’s one way that God reminds us that we’re all in this together. And that we need one another.

And I'm beginning to understand that love comes to us when we’re open to it, and that sometimes friendship is created in some of the most unlikely places.

We are once again linking up with Holly Gerth and Jennifer Dukes Lee.


  1. This was spot on for me today. I, too, have found a tribe that I never searched for, in fact, would have said I never even wanted. I like my little comfort zone, cling to it. But this reminds me how much more God has in store if I'd only let go. Thanks you.

    1. Brenda Lynn, thanks for your comment, I am much the same way and feel like God is constantly reminding me to move out of what's comfortable! Blessings to you today!