By Melody Vanosdol

I thank God for encouraging friends.

In the past few years, some of us from high school reunited thanks to Facebook.  I wasn’t all that close to them in high school, but now I sure wish I would have been. They are godly women and encouragers. Few things could be more important in this crazy world. We call ourselves the Guilford Gals.

As the years have not so slowly crept up on us, we are all trying to get healthier, or at least not less healthy. We don’t have a group focus on weight or food, just health and love. What a concept in today’s world!

Recently one of our gals invited us to join her in a plank challenge. Without thinking, I responded, “I’m in.” Seriously? Can I plank? Yes, I can! I was thrilled and amazed that I could plank. The first day, it was a fight to hold the position for a whole 30 seconds. But I did!

I’m not small. I never have been. But I’m learning how strong I am.  I’m looking forward to learning how strong I can become. What adventure awaits me next? I am steadily losing the fixation on my weight. It’s not completely gone. But it’s dwindling. Praise God!

I don’t remember what I said after I replied that I was in, but I remember her response, “We are strong women! We’ve got this!”

Part of God’s desire for us is to have strong (in the Spirit), encouraging friends of like faith. After all, a cord of three strands is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

Seek out friends of like faith.  They are extensions of God’s hands.

The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray (Proverbs 12:26).

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend (Proverbs 27:17).

We can’t necessarily cut all negative people out of our lives.  For some people that would mean divorce or cutting a parent out of their lives. Those are incredibly serious decisions. He will either remove your barriers or show you how to climb them.

Let Him give you those who will help you climb your barriers. They will be your encouragers.  We all need a cheerleader every now and then. Your biggest cheerleader is Jesus Christ. He’s already proven how much He loves you.