Buddy Straps

Gwen Smith Blog, Devotions, Friendship 30 Comments

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BJGS

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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.

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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!

Gwen

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Comments 30

  1. Thank you for reminding me that I do have Buddy Straps and to lean on them when I am down, but also give them my support when they are down: My buddy straps are Deborah, Renee, Marsha, and Dianne.

  2. GIG! Thank you Ladies for beinging a part of my life daily. Your messages have given me so much hope in my kufr. Please pray for me and my Husband that God restore our marriage. Tell Sharon and Gwen that along with you that I’m grateful for all yall books I’m Reading Your scars are Beautiful to God! And right about now I needed to know that and. God Bless You Lady’s. My Buddy Scraps that who you GIG are to me! Keep encouraging us teaching us about the Love of God.

  3. Your post was heaven sent, in my opinion. Yesterday was a life-fracturing day for me. I buried my head in the covers last evening and didn’t get up until noon today. Because of that, I missed the weekly women’s prayer meeting this morning that I joined a couple of weeks ago. I really could’ve used that “buddy strap” today. Thank you for sharing and encouraging me to “buddy up” instead of hiding under the blankets. I would appreciate prayers for the circumstances that fractured my will yesterday. Thank you, once again!

  4. Thank you for this beautiful post. I have always struggled with having girlfriends that have the same values as I do. My friends are fun and we always have a great time together but we don’t pray, read scripture or even reference God in our conversations. This is something that I have truly struggled with since I was in high school. I am grateful for the people God has put into my life but it feels like I don’t have someone to support me on my christian walk. Please pray for me.

  5. Gwen, Thanks so much for your encouragement each day through GIG. One of my buddy straps sent it to me and it hits me right in the face almost every day. I lost my husband 8 months ago after 45 years of marriage. I could not have made it thus far without my girlfriends and my daughter and daughter-in-law who call me almost every day. God has been so gracious to me. It’s sad to see several girls who don’t have a buddy, and I pray God will send them one soon. We girls all need girlfriends. Perhaps a church pastor’s wife could connect them with a buddy, and get busy in a church fellowship. There are always women who need a buddy. Thanks Gwen for your ministry.

  6. I can’t wait for the day Girlfriends come to Denver. Your devotionals are so helpful and keep reminding me who I am in Christ. It’s okay to fall and its ok to reach out and let someone know your hurting. Thank you and God Bless each one of you.

  7. I am a retired nurse and I know about those buddy straps. Such a simple way to heal. My husband has Alzheimer’s, An email or a call from my friends have given me such comfort. So many times GIG has given me the devotion I needed for that day. Thank you God for my many friends, and Your scripture. Carol

  8. I love you, Gwen!!
    My “buddy straps” are Judy, Jan, Jody, and Carol and of course my lovely daughters Kristi and Keri!

  9. Amazing post today! I have several buddy straps, but my tightest buddy straps are Brittany Roberts and Sally Hicks. We are always there for each other when needed and even when we aren’t needed sometimes! 😉 I have a prayer request: Please pray that my recent medical tests will reveal why I am having headaches, nauseous and dizzy. Thank you!

  10. I have a groups of women and men that God has centered around me. I am blessed to have LaShundra, Natausha, Anitra, Monique, Joe, J, Regina, Mary, Arthur, Tracey, Tia and Saint. These people make me laugh when I wanna cry. They pock me up when I fall. They tell me the hard truth when I wanna hear a soft lie and love me. When I was sick physically (contracted a flesh eating bacteria) they were there, prayed, sang and made me laugh. When I was gripped in a deep depression they were there. I have done the same for them.

  11. This was a difficult devotion for me. My family moved to a tiny town of 800 5 years ago now. I have been a stay-at-home mom and our church is in the larger town 25 miles away. I had hoped with the town being small that it would be easy to make friends, but many of my sons class mate’s moms live in surrounding small towns and I have had many health problems that have made it very difficult for me to get out a lot. I have felt very lonely these past few years and been through many struggles, including 3 miscarriages, alone. I have been so thankful for my husband and my mother through some of these trials, but o how I have longed for a friend. Life may finally put me in a easier place to find one, as I am applying for a job this week for the first time in about 8 years. Please pray for me that as I venture out I will find someone to be a friend and buddy strap.

  12. I need encouragement. Tell me how trials help one grow in perserverance, character and hope when I feel that circumstances never play out in my favor? I am going through a trial with my son, he has applied to graduate school and has been working so hard to fulfill all the requirements, but found out this week he is not even getting an interview! I am heart broken for him. He is 29 years old and has finally found what he really desires as a career but they will not give him a chance. I have prayed and prayed, but to no avail. Please pray for him (and me)

  13. Gwen, I really needed this today. Especially, since I’ve been grieving the end of a dear friendship. This post reminded that I’ve had quite a few “buddy straps” to get me through this challenging time and I’m happy that God placed them in my life. How fortunate I am! I had to say a prayer for them and continue to do so. They deserve only the best!
    And Gwen, you and the rest of crew that make up GIG, have also been my buddy strap. Your daily devotionals get me through my day, week, and everything in between.

    Peace be upon you.

  14. Please pray for my boyfriend, Kene Ifejika, whose being held by Immigration officials, his family, and myself. Pray for his deliverance and victory in obtaining his citizenship. He is my best friend, and I am his buddy strap. With God’s grace, guidance, and mercy we will get through.

  15. Hi Gwen, loved the post. I read the daily devotionals via Girlfriends in God. Each one always speaks to my heart and now my 21 yr old daughter has subscribed and is enjoying them too. May God richly bless all your work. I am from the UK and have suffered severe ME/CFS for 18 yrs which is very debilitating. Though life has been difficult, especially when the kids were young and grandparents had to care for them as I was too ill, the Lord has brought us so close as a family and to Himself. When I thought, numerous times over the years, I could not go on, the Lord gave me strength. I know He is in control of all things and I believe on Him for my return to full health in His time and way. I would appreciate your prayers. God bless. Much love.

  16. An encouraging post indeed! I’m thankful for two of my favorite “Buddy Straps” Sherry and Diane! They are blessings in my life! Pray for God’s Ongoing Direction and Protection for my family and I! It is a great care/concern for me especially now ! Thank you! 😉

  17. John 14: let not your heart be trouble. My heart is heavy because I don’t have close friend but Jesus is my BF.One of my friend is turn away from me and she is friend with another friend.I won’t let that bother me but I do pray.I pray God will comfort me.Pray for me and my husband get a new home so we can move.So, We can start our new life and have new friends in our life.Thank for post and your beautiful friends.

  18. Last Friday the Lord called our beloved unborn twins to be with Him. They were just ready to be born in a couple of weeks more. Our souls are broken so our hearts but our family and Church family just embraced us and have demonstrated their love through many ways (visits, calls, messages, preparing our meals, cleaning the house and so on). My husband and I have been comforted and we’ve felt God’s love and care through His people. We are so thankful to the Lord and we praise Him even through this hard trial. Please, keep us in prayer. After twelve years of marriage they would be our first sons.

    1. Oh, Indy… My heart is swollen with ache for you, friend. I am truly sorry for your loss. So, so sorry. I praise God for the comfort and support that He is providing for you and your husband and pray that His grace, provision and peace would continue to sustain you as you grieve. In His Grip, Gwen.

    2. Hi Indy, I thank God for the grace He’s given you & your hubby. Our lovely heavenly father who gave those ones after twelve yrs is more than able to do it again. Don’t loose hope but hold strong and keep praising and worshipping and soon you will embrace His blessings. It is well with you belove.
      Lil

  19. I am thankful for my family, all of my church family, and my friends as well. I don’t have many friends but the ones I have are the best anyone could have. I thank God everyday for everyone that is in my life. <3

  20. I love this devo–sharing it with a group of women tonight as we prepare for our Women’s Spring Retreat!!!!! (And my best buddy strap will be there)

  21. Great post, Gwen! About two years ago we moved from CA to PA. We knew no one here and left all our family behind…and my buddy straps. God has so graciously provided a new church home and more buddy straps that I’ve ever had. YAY God!

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