Every family has one… that certain individual who gets injured and banged up more than their fair share. That person who spends the majority of your family’s health care budget on their co-pay needs because, for whatever reason, accidents mysteriously, regularly and relentlessly hunt them down and throw a good bit of hurt on them. In our family, this person is my teenaged son, Preston.
We’ve been up, down and all around when it comes to Preston’s breaks, bandages and bruises. So it was a bit old-hat to be sitting in a small examining room last winter, waiting to see the doctor about yet another injury. This one happened in gym class at school. Preston climbed up a rope, made it to the top, and then had the bright idea of letting go of the rope instead of scaling down safely. Brilliant. He broke his big toe… in the middle of basketball season.
The doctor looked over the x-rays and, in spite of the break, had good news for us: Preston only had a hairline fracture in his toe. It would heal quickly. He would be immobilized in a funky shoe for a week or two, and then he would be able to get back to playing basketball as soon as the pain subsided.
As we prepped to leave, the doctor instructed Preston that once he was able to put weight on his foot, he would need to use a “buddy strap.” The strap would hold his broken toe snugly to the healthy toe right beside it for support. A nurse then handed my son a few black Velcro strips and explained that he should wear them to play basketball as soon as his pain was manageable. The support of the buddy straps would help him get back in the game quickly.
My eyebrows raised and my mind reeled as I pondered the similarities between buddy straps and friendships. There are a million times when my heart or circumstances are fractured. Each wound and challenge threatens to keep me immobilized both emotionally and spiritually. In those times, it always benefits me to first seek refuge in the stable arms of God and to then buddy-strap my heart to a few godly girlfriends. As the psalmist cried out, so I cry out:
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken (Psalm 62:5-6, ESV).
Then, after seeking God, as I ready myself to put one foot in front of another, my girlfriends rally as my buddy straps and provide prayer support, wisdom and encouragement. When one friend is weak because of life-fractures, it is a blessing for a strong and healthy friend to come along side to help her.
We need each other as Christian women. That’s what Girlfriends in God is all about: women encouraging other women in faith and in life. When Sharon, Mary and I co-founded GiG, it was purposed to spur you toward the heart of God through devotions and conferences. In real life, we are buddy straps for each other. Our lives are filled with as many life-fractures as the next person… so we often rally to speak words of encouragement, truth and hope to one another. At times, we even speak correction. As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17).
Where does this find you today? Do you have some life-fractures and challenges? Are you the buddy strap to any of your friends who are struggling? Perhaps you’ve got both going on. If so, then praise God. Praise Him for trials – which can grow you in perseverance, character and hope (Romans 5:4) and for His provision of friends in your life that love you, challenge you and cheer you on through the hard times. And praise Him for the opportunity to be a buddy strap in return.
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, NLT).
Dear Lord, Thank You for giving me access to Your grace and strength through Your Son, Jesus Christ. You are my Strong Tower, my Refuge, my Shelter, my Help and my Hope. I am so grateful that when my days are filled with hurt and struggles that You are right beside me – and that You have blessed me with some buddy straps. Please help me encourage my friends toward your grace, hope and truth today.
In Jesus’s name, amen.
RESPONSE TIME: The photos are me with a few of my awesome buddy straps: BJ, Susan and Tara. Got a great buddy strap story? I’d love to hear about her! Leave a comment below with a story or a prayer need.
Thanks for doing life with me!