The Dancing Church

Sharon JaynesLiving Fully, Power of Words, Relationships 142 Comments

I don’t know about you, but a few of my greatest lessons on how to love other people haven’t come from church folks. For example, one came from a dance club. You read that right.

Nestled 50 feet off Highway 17 in Pawley’s Island, S.C., rests C.J.’s Beach Club. For years, Steve and I eyed the clapboard building tucked in the grove of myrtle trees, but it wasn’t the sort of place we would tend to visit. One weekend it was just the two of us on a short holiday at the beach, and we were feeling adventurous. Steve turned the car onto the crushed-oyster-shell parking lot of C.J’s, and we decided to taste the local nightlife of the coastal South.

C.J.’s was a dance club. Now, before you click delete in shock that we would darken the doors of such a place, I want you to stay with me a moment. We grew up doing a dance called “The Shag,” which is like an East Coast swing. This was shag night at C.J.’s, and the disc jockey spinning the 45s was about 75 years old and had a striking resemblance to my mother-in-law.

Steve and I felt a bit uncomfortable as we walked through the doors and noted the neon signs advertising various drinks, but we were committed. All eyes turned toward the new couple as we walked across the threshold…there was no turning back. The smell of popcorn laced with cigarette smoke filled the air as middle-aged couples shuffled their feet to old beach music under the spinning disco ball.

We each ordered a Coke and found a seat. It wasn’t two minutes before a couple wandered over to our table and sat down.

“Hi, I’m Tom,” the fortysomething man said as he extended his hand to Steve. “And this is my wife, Julie. We’ve never seen you here before. Do you live around here?”

As soon as they walked away, another couple sat down, and the same friendly banter ensued. Then another couple…then another. By the time we left C.J.’s, we felt as though we had been welcomed into the family. We knew about families, college alma maters and occupations. We had walked in as wary strangers and walked away as warm friends.

“Y’all come back when you’re down this way again,” several called out as we made our way to the door.

As we drove away in silence with the sound of oyster shells crunching under our tires, sadness washed over me. “I have been in many churches in my time, but never one that was as welcoming and warm as those folks were tonight,” I whispered. “We have a lot to learn.” Steve felt the same.

All through the New Testament, we are reminded to love one another (John 13:34), accept and welcome one another (Romans 15:7), encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11), and be kind to one another (Ephesians 4:32). Paul even tells believers in his day to greet one another “with a holy kiss” (2 Corinthians 13:12). For us in our culture, that could mean good ole hug or a hardy handshake in.

What struck me about the dance club was that no one said, “Now turn and greet someone around you.” It was simply spontaneous, genuine interest.

What is going to attract the world to the church and ultimately a relationship with Jesus Christ? Genuine interest and caring concern. More than a theological debate, modern facilities, or the latest media-savvy services, loving relationships are the net that casts out and gathers in a bounty of souls. Simple kindness reflects the heart of God to a weary world.

Friend, let me be the first to love on you today. You are amazing. I love doing life with you. I want to know you better.

Click on “comment” at the end of this devotion and tell me 5 things you’d like me to know about you!

Heavenly Father, I want to be known as a woman who welcomes others. Show me someone today that needs an encouraging word or a hug—someone who needs to feel the love of Christ. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Words are one of the most powerful forces in the universe, and God has entrusted them to you! They echo in hearts and minds long after they are spoken. How will we use this gift? Your words can change the course of someone’s day…even someone’s life. In The Power of a Woman’s Words learn how to tame your tongue and speak life to those around you. This book also has a companion study guide that is perfect for women’s Bible study groups!

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Comments 142

  1. I really was moved by this post I am trying hard to live my life pleasing to god loving him and others is my daily goal.

    1. Good morning I am a retired 62-year-old and grandmother two children and four grandchildren and son-in-law and daughter-in-law I enjoyed your devotion this morning and it’s so very true are churches today are so judge mental not giving enough of the old fashion love that we need in our communities the devil is trying to break our family apart thank you for sharing God bless you

  2. I am a 64 year old mother and grandmother. I have 15 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. I totally enjoyed your devotion and it spoke to me.
    I am a barista at the VA and love serving the Veterans and showing Jesus. I am striving to make it to heaven.
    God bless you and keep on letting Jesus use you!

    1. Edna, I am 74, a mother, a very grateful grandma(mema) of my only grandchild. I am a facilitator for Celebrate Recovery, a Bible mentor at prison–CRU volunteer. I encourage you to live fully in God’s love and Grace; He is the One who makes both you and us stand firm in Christ! I love you.

  3. Here is something about me.
    I can be kind, But lately I have a short fuse and bad temper.
    I am a single foster parent of 1 teen and 1 preteen.

    I have apologized but I need a germinate fix.

    Thank you!

    1. Bless your heart for your giving. May you find a place, if even for a short time, to take care of yourself. Any time for yourself can begin to give you rest of your mind, body and soul. I have come to realize that sometimes we know what not to do, but we just don’t know what to do! May you sense God with you moment by moment.

    2. Dear Jodie
      I can relate it’s easy to be short when we are tired and Overwhelmed. I have adopted two children through the foster system I have a very helpful husband. I can not imagine doing it alone.
      Remember this You are forgiven!!! Don’t beat yourself up. God understands your load. Everyday cast everything on him. He is with you to help you
      I understand I am praying every morning that I would live and move and have my being in Him and he would live and move and have his being in me. I really want to be changed. It He has to change me. That only come as I look at him and to him for help. I also love Col 3:12. To get dressed I. Jesus. God bless you. I truly mean that. And I pray he changes both of us to rest I. His love and care

    3. Jodie, I am praying for you. Parenting is hard enough and you are choosing to do it alone as a foster parent. Thank you for having the love and dedication to take in those children. I too have had a short fuse and bad temper as of late (I blame it on the menopause hormones) so we can work on this together. You pray for me and I will pray for you. Ultimately we both know to give it up to God. He is trying to teach us something. Jesus loves you and so do I!

    4. ~ I am a mother of two adult children
      ~ I am a divorced yet remarried. Single mom for 10 years.
      ~ I long to belong to a church like you described at the dance club. My heart wants to have Christian couple friendships and and girlfriends I can have around me
      ~ I am a creative small business owner who makes jewelry and many other home goods.
      ~ I love to play in the garden but don’t seem to make much time for it.

      This devotion today touched my heart and made me realize what I feel is missing at our church. We have attended 7 years and hardly know anyone. They say WE need to involve ourselves but imagine how it would be if THEY involved themselves first. My heart is a bit sad as I realize that maybe this isn’t the church God has as to be at. Lots to pray about.

      1. Your #3 just blasted me away…. I want the same thing… but find in lacking in my church experiences. Maybe I can start the change I want in my church family. Love to all of you that are searching….

      2. God bless you Jennifer. Sometimes we have to be the change we want to see. We started a women’s Bible Study and fellowship group. Not everyone was interested, but we kept on. Even 2 or 3 gathered together is a blessing and ‘build it and they will come’, especially if there is food! All the best to you.

      3. You nailed about church. Your story is almost identical to mine! Divorced, remarried, two adult children, attended a church for 7 years, never connected or found friends. Imagine how it could be if ‘they’ cared about everyone.. I no longer go to church. Better people are at the Dance Club.

        1. Post

          Oh Karen, I am sorry that was your experience. Please know I wasn’t saying that all churches are unfriendly and uncaring. My church is very friendly. I was just pointing out how well the dancing friends did loving each other and welcoming strangers. I do hope you’ll go back to church. Even though the church has flaws, mainly because it is made up of flawed people, God calls us to come together as a Body and worship. Please give it another try. And perhaps YOU are the one who can be the example of reaching out and welcoming others. That’s what I try to do!

    5. Hi Jodie. Sometimes getting outside and taking a “talk to God walk” helps. Invite the children to go with you on some of the walk days and God will open a special line of communication for you all.

  4. 1 .More than anything, I want to be as much like Jesus as I can.
    2. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor
    3. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for nearly 37 years, have 4 children and 6 grandchildren.
    4. I have been a believer since the age of 7.
    5. My biggest goal is to help as many as I can come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

  5. I have crohn’s.
    I’m a grandmother of 1.
    I’m desperate for intimacy with Christ.
    I want a husband.
    I love people.

    1. I have diabetes
      Have 3 children 2 boys 1 girl.
      3grands 2 boys and 1 girl
      I too am desperate to be closer to the Lord.
      I have a gift for being crafty
      My husband is a gift.

      I liked your 5 and wanted to know you

      1. Yolanda and RoxAnne,

        Please check in your area for a Walk to Emmaus. It is a non-denominational Christian retreat that usually lasts from Thursday evening until Sunday evening. It will totally change your life and strengthen your relationship with Christ. You may not feel that you have time to go, but make the time – I promise that you won’t regret it!

        Blessings to you,

    2. I have Crohn’s too. Crohn’s can change how we feel about ourselves and the people in it. My husband and family doesn’t understand the pain. You are worth it! Keep fighting, God hears you.
      Prayers for you for friendship and closeness with God. May God bless you.

  6. My name is Denise. I am a Catholic, I have been happily married for 40 years. I have three beautiful children and one amazing granddaughter. I work as a caregiver in a local nursing home and I love to do yoga! I have so enjoyed your devotional Sharon. Thank you for sharing His word with all of us! Bless you!

  7. Hello Shannon, My name is Crystal. I am 38 years old. I have been married to my loving husband for 22 of those. Yes do the math I was 16 when we married. No one thought high school sweet hearts would last but here we are still going strong. We have three children ages 21,19 and 9. Until about a year ago we were not active in church. My brother in law convienced us to join him at his church. It is one of those small country churches where everyone feels like family. My husband got saved last year and our youngest a couple weeks ago ( was saved as a child but backslid for many years). My brother in law went to be with the Lord in January and I dont think we would have made it without the church. So when you talk about a church family that is like family, I am glad to say I have one. God bless you and yours and hoping you find that closeness in a church near you.

    1. I am 62 years old and have been married for 45yrs. I met my husband at church, his dad was the pastor. We have 3 children and 4 grandchildren, one is in Heaven waiting for us. A church family is so important, they are encouraging, caring and supportive in many ways.

  8. I AM A daughter sister wife and mother to 3 lovely God folliwing young women.
    One of my discovered spiritual gifts is the gift of hospitality. i am a young stroke survivor with some physical issues but have been discovering how to
    usethat gift in spite of.

  9. I really enjoyed your devotional today. I am a missionary (American) in Belgium. With the pandemic, no hugging is allowed. As the restrictions have lifted some in the US, we are just now beginning to have ours lifted. So, it’s still no hugs or touching, which is sad. This Sunday, 13 June, we will be able to meet in person for church, if you have registered.

    What you described about welcoming people is so important.
    I’m single, and live alone. These pandemic restrictions have really affected me.

    Blessings, Carol

  10. 1. I love spending time in the Word and learning more about Jesus.
    2. I find peace when I’m sitting next to a waterfall or the ocean, listening to water hit the rocks or the waves rolling in.
    3. I have my best conversations with the Lord when I sit out on my deck watching the birds (especially the cardinals)
    4. I have a passion for helping single moms because I was one myself and raised a son I am extremely proud of and love dearly.
    5. I have been blessed with a wonderful husband who supports me no matter what and loves me unconditionally. I was single for years before he came along but he was well worth the wait.

  11. Thank you for sharing this part of your heart today. As we look at Jesus life he mingled with all sharing His amazing unconditional love and amazing grace. What the world needs today is just what you said. Anywhere with Jesus we can safely go walking in His love and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Again thank you thank you. God bless you. Your writings have been an inspiration and encouragement to my heart

  12. Thank you for sharing this story today. May our hearts be so filled with the Love of God that we can’t wait to share it with others.

    Five Things I Want You to Know about Me.

    1). I am a follower of Jesus Christ
    2). I love working with youth and the community.
    3). Feeding people is one of my favorite ministries.
    4). I am not perfect. I have failed God so many times.
    5). I am believer that counts God sometimes. I get overwhelmed what I think and feel at times.

  13. 1. I met Jesus on the beach.
    2. He really is close to the broken-hearted and He heals those crushed in spirit.
    3. Writing makes my heart happy.
    4. We attended a large church a few years ago, and NOT ONE PERSON spoke to us. WE welcomed some visitors who came in late, so I loved this post!
    5. I have 6 of the greatest grandchildren ever!!😃

  14. Thank you for sharing this Sharon. I’m old enough to be your Mom but you’re a fine young woman who sounds like a terrific wife and Mother who has her head in straight. My daughter is a lot like you and I’m a very proud Mom so I know your Mom is too. Again, thank you for sharing your time and words.

  15. Hi Sharon,
    I live on the East Coast and I follow you by email.
    I’ve learned quite a bit. Most of your articles make me really think through my day, thank you for that.
    Keep writing, keep praising!
    May God bless you

  16. I love Jesus. I am shy. I live in florida and love the water. I am a widow. I have 7 beautiful grandkids.

  17. This is a great message I have seen this played out in my walk as a military family we have moved around and I see this all the time whether is a small church or big church people in the in side gravitate to the people they know and they don’t understand that they are the arms that God needs to reach his people

  18. Hi Sharon, that was a very powerful read! I do agree, we need to be more welcoming. As for 5 things about me? Hmmm….
    1. I love the Lord and couldn’t go on without Him.
    2. I have so many dreams I get overwhelmed by them, partly cuz the dreams are vastly different from each other. . One one them is to speak to women about who we are in Christ, and encourage them to seek His approval rather than mans. I want to help women through hurting marriages. Cuz I’ve been there. .
    Another is be a worship leader. Worship has literally been a lifesaver during excruciating emotional pain. I also dream of having my own gift shop, and make everything I sell, crafts, wood projects, etc. I love talking to people. I’d love to go around elderly peoples homes and write down their stories. I’d like to take in all the hurting kids ….the list goes on!
    3. I’ve been through deep pain that no one can see, and no one knows how intense it’s been, but im learning and healing. I realize that just because a person experienced trauma doesn’t mean you have to stay traumatized for life.
    4. I couldn’t REALLY cry for many years but God has opened the floodgates gates of my heart and now I cry easily. But I like that about me now. Instead of being ashamed, I can now feel with others better.
    5. I always felt like a bad kid growing up, never good enough. But the truth is, I’ve spent most of my life trying to please people and make sure I didn’t step on their toes. In the end it almost took me out , but not anymore. I still love making people happy but I’m learning to say no when I’m not able to meet others needs and I realize that in order to take care of myself I need to say no to a good thing sometimes.

  19. Hi Sharon,
    Thank you for sharing this. I was tearing up just reading it. I have been in many churches through the years and have known that sting of loneliness too. I loved reading your book “Enough” and feel like I need to read it again! Just good words of wisdom. Thank you for sharing your soul with us and for reminding us we are loved. I needed to hear that today.
    So here are 5 things about me for you to know! I’m a Christian wife and mom. I have 2 sons age 14 and 15 and I pray for them every day! I work with my husband at the family business which is a machine shop. I struggle with self worth and my weight, but I’m praying and reading and trying to get better each day. ok, so maybe that was more than 5 things, but just wanted to say I’m grateful for you and want to say thank you for sharing your heart with us. I would love to meet you some day.

  20. 1. I am a mother of 3, a grandmother of 2
    2. I am a people pleaser
    3. I am striving to be more intentional with God
    4. I love people
    5. I am striving to be better at being me.

  21. I Love God and am thankful for our many blessings.
    My husband and I have had a tough couple of years with him being out of work, surgeries, and the death of his mom and my oldest sister.
    I believe we’re in a season of testing but our spirits are tired, especially my husbands.
    I’m trying to trust God, but I’m tired.

  22. 1. Years ago at 18, I tried to end my life. Again at 30 something in the midst of horrible depression…I thought everyone would be better off without me. TODAY at 45, I am so thankful that I did not.
    2. I am proud of who I am today, with God’s help.
    3. My husband and I are the most loving, nurturing, stable relationship I have ever had and we’ve been together for 25 years.
    4. We have 2 sons who are awesome!
    5. I have learned that I AM worthy of all the things my father said I wasn’t growing up.
    Bonus:Most of the bad, was not from God & the stuff that was tough? I now see it was building me into a stronger person for the Christian I am becoming day by day. So grateful for second chances by our Father.

  23. I have been subscribed to this email for a long time now but rarely open it, so much responsibilities and time consuming work,chores, etc. Thank you Sharon for this piece today. I hope you guys did have fun.

    1. I have been married for five years by August 13 this year.
    2. I have two beautiful girls and considering trying for a boy
    3. I got my Ph.D. last year but I still feel unfulfilled and I thought I would once I got it.
    4. I am passionate about helping people, connecting with the needy, my strength is empathy but I found it difficult to start doing what I love due to marriage and I just lack mentorship. THis is what can make me feel fulfilled. I feel disconnected from GOD.
    5. I am looking to transition into a career in tech
    6. I hope that I can attain GOD’s purpose for me on earth

    This was a great read. I must say. Thank you once again. Its great to be reminded that my being nice, friendly, empathetic is a gift although it was really taken advantage of in the past.

  24. Hello Sharon! I am so glad you wrote this article. I want to convey in my life that God wants us to commune with Him in Spirit as much as possible in our daily lives, and commune with each other in Spirit in His family here on earth, and convey His salvation to everyone, His Kingdom come. I wrote a Bible Study and printed it and distributed about 50 copies to my friends, about communing and growing with Him and living with Him daily. I then invited them to a zoom class with me every two weeks on a Friday night but only 1 person could respond.
    So I had to cancel. I am thinking it is because it looks more like a lecture than a discussion Bible Study and I looked at it recently and I wish to write it more simply with better and more numerous discussion points. To that end I am having it critiqued by a professional author this month, and attending the zoom SpeakUp Conference in July for Speakers and Writers. I am going to order your book and study guide and see if I want to treat it like that, a book with a separate study guide.
    Other than that, I live with my family as I have a psychiatric diagnosis, and could probably live on my own but I prefer living with my adult children and doing for them and my grandchildren. I am visiting my son for 6 weeks soon so I am really looking forward to that. I love to quilt, crochet and write and Bible Study; I love to shop and go out for coffee with my friends. Can you write back? I have a special friend and he talks with me once a week he is so busy.

  25. Thank you for this reminder that we need to be welcoming to everyone!
    The 5 things I want you to know about me: I have 5 grown children, I’ve been married 39 years, I have 8 grandchildren, I lost my dad a year ago in May, I’m learning to let Jesus guide my life (instead of trying to do it on my own).

  26. Hi Sharon,
    I’m 55 years old, I have 3 grown children, 5 (truly amazing!♡) grandchildren, I love photographing God’s wonderful creation, and I just moved to North Carolina. (I’m going through a divorce, so I moved here to be closer to all of my kids and grandkids.) Thank you for your devotionals! I love reading and learning from them and I always pass them along to my friends and family!

  27. Thank you Sharon!
    1. I’m a black sheep turned Jesus girl on mission to encourage women everywhere.
    2. I’ve been married 4x ( twice to the same guy.)
    3. I have 8 sons
    4. I’m working on a book coming out in the spring.
    5. YOU have been a great encouragement and example to me. I have read your books and blogs daily and God has used you in my life in a big way. Thank you!!

  28. I am reliable and flexible. I’m willing to go the extra mile. I am friendly. I have good work ethics and tend to accept challenges and accomplish.

  29. I am a retiring pastor.
    Retirement is painful.
    Preaching is my passion.
    We adopted a little girl in the winter season of our life.
    I am a wife of 51 years.

  30. I was saved when I was 9
    I am married to the love of my life
    Together we have four children
    I am retired
    I will be 70 years old the 25th of June

  31. 1. I love the Lord and could not do without Him.
    2. I read and the study guide to Power of a woman’s words and it helped me so much!!
    3. i am blessed with 3 grand children, Eden 12 , Emma 6, Barrett – 4 weeks and the 4th one will be here in August.
    4. I am truly a forgiven and loved child of GOD . God has forgiven me of a sin that until I was 45 didn’t even realize it had it.
    5. My husband is a true friend.
    Have a wonderful day and God bless your work!!!

  32. Your devotionals have truly encouraged me. I’m am currently reading “Take hold of the Faith you Long For.” I see myself in the lines of your story. Things often look good on the outside. My childhood memories flooded my mind when I read the first chapter. I grew up in a religious home. However, a true relationship with God came later. I am thankful I know Him today. Jesus is my everything. I pray you continue to allow God to use your life to lift other’s. I am a Mother of 3 and Grandmother of 3 boys. I’m an Early Childhood Educator and I live in Ohio with my (honey) husband of 31 years.

  33. Hugs to you Sharon. You are a delight
    Thank you for your honest encounters of how you see life. Five things about me are that I have my husband of 44 years, 3 children, 8 grand babies. After retiring from my job with the Canadian government, we moved 2 hours from my hometown to be close to our children and their families. Families are important to us. We raise chickens. And I love grape ice cream. Lol

  34. I work for my 90 year old mother who has Alzheimer’s.
    I am feeling insecure bc of a big weight gain.
    I’m in my 50’s.
    I’m terrified of my husband retiring and then trying to make our bills.
    I’m wondering if my daughter will marry the man she’s dating.

  35. This is one of the best you’ve written! Thank you for caring. I’d like you to know I love children and teaching/working with them. I enjoy journaling and writing about the ways God prompts my heart in simple everyday situations. And I love ice cream! Lol..A Blessed Day to you my sister in Christ I haven’t met yet!

  36. I’m a small town Canadian girl.
    I’m 51 but I see everything with a childlike wonder.
    I have 4 kids ranging in age from 9-28.
    I’m a horrible housekeeper.
    I have anxiety.

  37. 1. I feel rejected by the church and it’s people because I divorced.
    2. I’m still extremely lonely and robbed of all joy.
    3. I try to stay positive and kind but life kicks any air out of me day after day.
    4. I’m tired, weary and feel pain and hopelessness all the way to my bones.
    5. I still love to be kind and encourage others when I can.

    1. Rebecca, I am praying you will find a welcoming church with God’s help. Stay close to God and He will draw close to you. People will fail you because we are all human and have shortcomings but God won’t. Sending prayers and hugs your way today!

    2. Rebecca, I cannot imagine what you must have gone through thus far. A divorce can have harsh effects on a hurting soul. I have prayed for you. I prayed for the peace of Christ to so envelop you that you feel His presence surrounding you, holding you up. Christ invites us all to come and lay our burdens down at His feet. He will give you rest. I am sorry for your experience at the Church you went. May we all learn to see others through the eyes of Christ and love with the heart of God.

    3. Dear Rebecca, my heart felt sad to read your post. I remember loneliness , post divorce. Everyone looked happy and fulfilled. Please know that I am praying for you. God loves you and will provide the support you need. Reach out and let trusted ones into your life to walk with you and encourage you. Consider medical support as well if you are depressed. You are worth the effort.

  38. This is so true !! Most churches are cold to strangers and take time to speak only to those they know!!
    My mother would say “kindness will open doors for you and is always remembered by those you have shown it too”.

  39. Hi Sharon, Your words were a warm embrace this morning. Thank you! I am a farm girl by birth and a Pennsylvania small town girl by choice. I married my high school sweetheart 38 years ago but your post reminded me to ask him to dance. Spending time with family, advocating for children living in poverty, and enjoying God’s Creation are some of my passions.

  40. This was a great read . My now boyfriend who was a pastor for 6 six years .
    We just had this discussion!
    It gives me relief that you wrote this .
    I’m not the type to judge anyone !
    I try and love everyone the same.
    It can hold me back knowing he would never walk into a place he might feel out of place . We are called to be the light and walk in faith . I love people ❤️

  41. I am a wife and a mother to 2 young men and two young women and a grandmother to one grandson.
    I have been working since I was 15 and looking forward to retiring in a few months!
    I grew up in the church and have been a christian for 35 years.
    I still struggle with assurance of my salvation, my constant battle with my weight, and various other sins that overwhelm me at times.
    But, I know that Jesus loves me and died for me and prays for me; so am trusting and resting in Him!

    1. I feel very blessed to be part of a church that is like that dance club. Three years ago when my husband, our daughters, and I visited Open Door Baptist Church in Prattville, AL they made us feel that way. That first Sunday we met several families and the Sundays after it was the same. Our church is like that, a genuine family! ❤️

  42. 1. I love Jesus
    2. I’m a mom of 6 and a grandma to a beautiful baby girl
    3. I’ve been married to my high school
    Sweetheart for 31 years
    4. We have a son who recently told us he is struggling with his identity.
    5. I’m broken, my heart hurts for him.

  43. Sharon, you model this more than you know! Here are some things i want you to know about me:
    1. I led a book club in reading THE POWER OF A WOMAN’S WORDS.
    2. I reached out to you to visit our zoom.
    3. You responded with genuine interest.
    4. You dropped by at the appointed time and listened to each precious woman on the call.
    5. You showed me that my efforts matter.

  44. I love that Jesus loves me warts and all. I struggle with letting Him be the pilot of my life and me resting in his love.
    One of my biggest blessings is my family.
    Was blessed that my husband and I were able to keep both our jobs through the pandemic.
    Struggling with being an empty nester.
    Working every day to be a person that Jesus would be proud to say this is my child.

  45. Wow, that was powerful. Struggling lately w getting along w my only daughter who tells me I’m hard to talk to lately. I feel like she has allot of negativity n it wears on me. Please pray for us. Her name is Carmen. Thank you so much!

  46. I absolutely love this message, encouragement and reminder. It’s what God’s been speaking to my heart! And today I’ll be attending my 2nd grader’s end of year school party and all the parents will be there so this is an encouragement to be the first to step out and be friendly and welcoming.

    I love to host people and parties at my house.

    I love to encourage others.

    I struggle with looking to others to fill my cup. And not the Lord.

    I look for others to approach me and welcome me.

    I love the feeling of walking in grace and peace as it confirms I’m doing what He’s asking me to.

  47. I just love this!!

    1. I met my husband on a blind date and have been happily married for 27 years.
    2. I am a boy mom of 2 handsome fellas.
    3. I am a PK (preacher’s kid).
    4. I am constantly trying to do my best to live for Christ in a genuine way.
    5. I am a southern girl 🙂

  48. I’m 56
    My mom has Alzheimer’s and it’s terrible slowly losing my best friend.
    I have 3 precious grands and one on the way.
    I love the beach
    I love Jesus and yet still struggle sometimes accepting that He loves me

    1. Teresa, my heart goes out to you. My mother in law, too, had Alzheimer’s. It is so hard and heart wrenching to see our loved one fade away. What I have learned in the journey is hold on to your memories and meet them in their moment. Take care of yourself. I believe this is what Jesus did while on this earth….He met us in our moment, treasured His time with us and took care of Himself by making time to pray to His Father.

      Please know, I am praying for you and yes, indeed Jesus sees you and loves you.

  49. I was invited by a man and his wife to lunch after Church. He was new to this Church yet he told me that his previous pastor always encouraged his congregation to invite someone to lunch so that they would get to know each other. Sharing a meal is one of the best ways to get to know people. I always tell others “I may not be able to come each time I am invited but it sure feels good to be invited nonetheless.

  50. I have been a fan for years. I love the talent God has given you – the ability to author such words and stories with a beautiful simplicity that a Christian at any point in their walk will understand.

    5 things about me;

    I have a 13 year old daughter who is a true blessing from Heaven.

    She and I are safely living with my mother after leaving a 14 year marriage that ended with a level of severe unsafeness resulting from alcohol, abuse, and severe narcissism.

    We live in Arizona.

    God is doing a huge work in our lives and the church that we call home. We greet each other like family and always say “welcome home” upon arrival.

    I am 41 years old and God is not through with me yet. He has plans for me that only I can do – big BIG plans and I fully trust Him!

  51. Hi Sharon! Lived this post! 5 things I would like you to know about me? 1. I am an imperfectly perfect woman of God who loves Jesus with all my heart. 2. I’m blessed with my husband of 26 years (2nd marriage for both of us), 2 amazing kids, 2 grandgirls and 2 dogs❤ 3. I love singing my heart out for God 4. your book “Praying over your husband head to toe” has blessed my husband and I abundantly 5.I hope to meet you one day!

  52. Our church is known for it’s friendliness thankfully, and several of us try to back off until ‘next week’ to keep people from feeling overwhelmed, but friendliness is always the way to go – even a quick smile & wave passing by! Then next week stop & say hi!
    1 – I’m a 46 yr. old wife of a newly diagnosed (last fall) High Functioning Autistic husband whom I’ve been married to for 24yrs. Anxiety has been a huge part of our family life for over 20 yrs. and God has used our openness with that to help others many times.
    2 – Many of our marital disconnects and hurts can be explained with this diagnosis and our acceptance of it. Two years of research of what this looks like makes me see that we are ‘normal’ for an ASD/Neurotypical relationship. Regular counselling only made it worse. Had to have someone with skills in adult Aspergers/High-Functioning Autism – this is a must for anyone else going through this! Don’t stop looking til you find someone with training with adults in AS/ASD/HFA. Psychologists are your best bets.
    3 – My faith in God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit have absolutely grown SO much during this hard season which is now turning around with a newfound understanding of how he hears/sees things because of his wiring compared with Neurotypical people (most of the rest of us).
    4 – We have 2 daughters (23 & 21). One bought a house down the road, the other is home but just got full-time employment in her field and would love her own place as well. I know I am so blessed to have them handy – very thankful for this!
    5 – At 46 I’m finally learning that God’s timing, love for me, plans for my family, and people He places in my life are strategic on His part and absolutely not random. I know of families around me who have already had some eye openings because of our family’s situation and the knowledge of wiring/anxiety/disabilities affecting everything. God is using this to help others even before we are for sure out of the woods ourselves! THAT’S how good He is!!
    6 – I know I was only supposed to do 5 but this one is super important for you to know…I need a LOT of time in God’s presence to stay afloat. Thankfully the pandemic has given me time to make me see this. I need personal study time, ‘together with others’ study time, music, prayer, etc. with God at least 5-6 days a week. I never took that time before. It’s been invaluable to me (Thank you Sharon for your contributions!). And I prolong the studies by journalling what speaks to me in scribblers (for non-Canadians this means a coil bound lined book lol), and answering the questions by writing them down as well. I have a separate place for favourite or ‘need reminding of’ scriptures that I hand-write out (have 28 pgs. single spaced full), and another for wise statements I’d like to remember from any of the studies I do. I highly recommend for you gals to write them down & refer to them once in a while. As Katy McCown said in my current study ‘She Smiles Without Fear’, we must REMAIN in Christ and live in God’s presence and love every day. We need Him more than we even know.

  53. Thank you for sharing Jesus!

    1. I’m divorced after 31 years of marriage (I lost my home, my church family and what few friends I thought I had). Thankfully the Lord blessed me with 3 adult children!

    2. Out of that horrendous time of our lives 2 of my kids accepted Christ and were baptized!!!!

    3. I am a Paraprofessional for special needs students (one of which I am Fostering).

    4. Despite going through a divorce with a narcissist I have come to believe that not only am I a worthy human being, my true Hope, Love and acceptance comes from Christ.

    5. I LOVE to read, take long walks, cook, enjoy being out in nature, experience new foods, and find ways serve others!

  54. Thank you for this message. As we search for a new church home (nearly impossible during a pandemic) we have struggled with wanting to feel like family but not even feeling welcome as we walk through the doors. I know God has a plan for where he wants us to be, so I will patiently follow where he leads us until we find the place that feels right.
    1. God carried me through an abusive, troubled childhood into a joyful, blessed adult life.
    2. I am blessed with an amazing husband, five beautiful daughters and one grandchild.
    3. I love being outdoors in God’s creation. It is where I find peace and feel his presence most.
    4. I have been struggling with weight gain in my 50’s and would love to be able to overcome that!
    5. I love Jesus and know that without him I am lost.

  55. Thank you for sharing this.

    I am 59. I have been married for 39 years. I love my husband dearly but I pray that he would have a relationship with God. He believes, but does not attend church or read the Word, I would LOVE for us to do that together. I have 3 beautiful children and 3 amazing grandchildren who I love so very much. I always hope that God uses me daily to make a positive difference in someone’s life even if it’s just smiling or saying hello.

  56. 1. I love the LORD.
    2. GOD used cancer to save my life—I am a surthrivor.
    3. I enjoy helping others.
    4. I am not perfect.
    5. I have a heart for people.

  57. Thank you so much for sharing this devotional today because it is confirmation of what the Lord is asking me to do next in my life. I have hosted an annual event for women since 2013 but do to the pandemic I have had to pivot and host virtual events on different topics the Lord downloads to my heart. “Matters of the Heart” was created to honor and celebrate the life of my late sister who transitioned in 2010. We were diagnosed with cancer the same week but after 6 years the Lord called her home. He has left me here to help women learn more about Him but also, as cliche as it may sound, to live their best life. I want to do everything I can to celebrate my sister but use the life He’s blessed me with to overflowing. God recently gave me the theme of “Lean Into Love” to share with the ladies and this devotional confirmed I heard His voice and not mine. Thank you and be blessed!

  58. 1. If I had a superpower it would be talking to animals
    2. I love to craft
    3. I am a lot like Peter I react instead of responding and can be a hot head this is something I want God to change in me.
    4. I sometimes struggle with believing God truly loves me even though I believe it in my head. If I mess up I feel like a big disappointment to Him. I’ve been a. Christian for 50 years this August and I still struggle.
    5. I have a wonderful husband of 22 yrs and 2 beautiful children we adopted
    I am a truly blessed lady 🦋

  59. Hi, I’m Anissa. I’m 53 years young. I’ve been with James for 25 yrs. I have 4 daughters and 3 sons in that order. 3 of my daughters are from a previous marriage which is how I met James after we moved to his neighborhood. I have two grandchildren. I love to sing, roller skate, crochet and watch comedy movies. I love the Lord and I pray each and every day.

  60. This spoke to my heart. I have always wanted to be accepted and never ever felt accepted by anyone. I’ve always had to earn peoples friendship and love.
    1. I’m 61 years old
    2. I have 5 kids and 8 grandkids
    3. I work with special needs kids, but tired and looking for what God wants me to do next.
    4. Married for 33 years to a wonderful man who is very sick and my not have long to live.
    5. I desire Gods plan for my life and I’m scared what the future holds.

  61. 62 years old, 3rd marriage. just retired as VBS Decorating chairperson after 25 years!; step-grandma to 6 wonderful kids! Striving to please the Lord daily, but need to get into the word something fierce for better direction. Thank you for this!!

  62. Hi!!!

    1. I am a 30 year old mom working from home in Puerto Rico. 😊

    2. I am married and currently separated from my husband. I am standing, praying and fighting for our marriage for over a year now.

    3. I have a one year old son who is my miracle from God. He was born at 27 weeks and spent 89 days at NICU. He is healthy and strong!

    4. I have lived in Fort Myers, FL and Fort Campbell, KY. My husband was in the military and we moved a lot.

    5. I am not perfect, I am trying each and every day my best to love everyone like Jesus loves us, I want to please Him and worship Him, even in the bad days. He has given me so much peace throughout this whole journey; He has showed me that prayer is powerful and can do the impossible!

  63. 1. I was born in a car. My parents lived 25 miles out in the country and my dad didn’t drive fast enough to the hospital. (Fun little fact to share that people don’t hear everyday!)
    2. I’ve lost a lot of people I love in the past 5 years: husband (he left the marriage), all his family, best friend #1 (moved), best friend #2 (died), and just lost my mom to cancer. I constantly wonder who is going to be next. Which I realize is not something I need to be dwelling on.
    3. My life is full of miracles. I do see the good God has done despite the tragedies. I have to remind myself daily how he has been my hero.
    4. I had one year (3 years ago) that I went though a divorce, sold a house, moved into a new house, started a new teaching job (was previously a SAHM), went to school full time getting a Masters and raised 3 kids. God carried me that entire year, could not have done it without him.
    5. I’ve experienced a lot in my life and would really like to share my story with other women to give them hope.

  64. I love this. I am often “othered” so let me list the things that cast me out:
    1. I am a born again believer
    2. I am vegan for the animals
    3. Beyond vegan I went back to school and got certified in Whole Food Plant Based nutrition to help people eat as God intended so they do not suffer from the most prevalent diseases of this world
    4. My family is multi cultural-my daughter in laws came from Turkey and Vietnam and are not Christian which causes judgement
    5. My oldest son married a woman who targeted him, got him mixed up with all sorts of evil and he lost everything and nearly his life.

    All these things keep me from fitting in the nice little box at most gatherings. Truly I have something for everyone to judged. I eat weird, I talk about Jesus too much, I accept non Christians into my family and I raised a prodigal.

    I am not complaining. I live an amazing and happy life. I do have a circle of friends I can count on and a great group of girlfriends that I have known for 60+ years. The 5 things above are truly blessings as they keep me on my knees when I might otherwise be patting my human self on the back.

    Thank you for asking.

  65. 1) I love Jesus, yes I do! 2) My smile is contagious and more than once I’ve heard people say they love to see me in the choir loft and with the Praise Team, I’m always smiling! 3) I’m a frustrated dancer! 4) I love my husband dearly, we just celebrated 44 years of wedded bliss!! 5) I love to laugh and I love to make people laugh!!!

  66. I am 47 years old.
    I am a widow.
    I am in the process of having both knees replaced.
    I have very little support from my family.
    I am really tired of doing everything for myself.
    I know God won’t give me more than I can handle, but I need a break. I’m physically and emotionally exhausted.

  67. This really touched my heart. I too have experienced kindness and a loving welcome from other places more than churches I visited. I’m glad I don’t have to feel ashamed for loving that feeling even if it does come from other places. Thank you and God Bless.

  68. 1. At 80, I am probably one of your oldest, but faithful reader of Girlfriends in God.

    2. My husband & I met in Sunday School when I was 14 and he was 15. God is a perfect match-maker!

    3. We will have been married for 60 years July 1st. We have two daughters and three grandsons.

    4. We both became “born again” Christians when we were in our late 20’s.

    5. Our faith in Christ has been the most important thing in our lives—He has never let us down!

  69. 1. I loved Sharon Jaynes book: When You Don’t Like Your Story.
    2. I have been writing my story for about 5 years now (memoir) but am struggling with revealing some truths that I believe will help others.
    3. I am married to a wonderful Christian man. This is my 3rd marriage.
    4. I play bass in the praise band.
    5. My adult sons from my first husband don’t talk to me anymore.

  70. Hi Sharon I was introduced to you through Susie Larson’s radio show
    I live in Mn. I am 56 years old
    I have 4 children. Jason who is 40
    Chris 32 and Lydia 15 and Hadassah 15
    I’ve been a mom since I was 15 I was assaulted and became pregnant and kept my child. I was abandoned by my natural family at 16. But was adopted by God at 19. I a have been married to the most wonderful man for 25 years now I have struggled with anxiety depression anger loneliness off and on. I’ve recently been through a traumatic brain 🧠 njury that God i s walking me through His healing. I’m learning if we don’t deal with the pain as life comes we will deal with it later when it’s deep in our bodies too. So I’m dealing with the pain and God is my deliverer. And He has been faithful to me. God bless you and your followers. In Christ.

  71. Dear Sharon,
    I love reading all the comments, it shows how much you are touching people’s lives.
    1. Acts 17:28 has been my theme lately – in Him I live and move and have my being
    2. I am a missionary (American) in Scotland, we are starting a true furlough for the first time in 19 years and I feel like my world is once more being turned upside down
    3. I wrote a book and published it through Amazon last year. I quoted you in the book! The book is called ‘Discovering God’s Rest’

  72. i agree totally with this article i went to a christmas party an was overwhelmed with love that ive never felt at churches.

  73. Dear Sharon,

    I know I am a child of the King; however, I still struggle with the following:
    1. God-fearing woman who LOVES the LORD
    2. Self-assurance in myself knowing I am doing what God desires of me
    3. Self-disicpline in my time spent with God
    4. Mother of a 22 year old which I delivered at 41. Having problems holding him responsible for himself. (in other words I am a real enabler when it comes to him)
    5. Divorced for 19 years and would love to find a God-fearing Christian genleman

  74. You asked for 5 things about me:

    1-I love reading Christian authors (like you) who are REAL
    2-I am a mother of two girls and a Gigi of 4 girls and 1 BOY
    3-I am a retired high school business teacher
    4-I am treasurer at my church
    5-I am the wife of a kidney dialysis patient…so we are going through a difficult season

    Thank you so much for all your encouraging words!!!

  75. 1) your book “Enough” changed my life! I’ve shared it with some young girls in my church and hope to do a study helping them facilitate it.
    2) I finished “When you don’t like your story” kicking and screaming that I didn’t want or need to tell my story. But God quickly proved me wrong and now I’m about to lead a women’s study in my church using your resources!
    3) was in an abusive marriage for 10yrs with a narcissist. Have 2 wounded adult children bc of it. But God moved him out of our house in 2004!!
    4) I live in NC on a small farm about 45 min from Mooresville
    5) I love to volunteer .

  76. I am 67 years old. This year is my husband and mine’s 50th Wedding Anniversary.
    The doctors told me at age 17 that I would never be able to have children. God blessed us with one son. After he was born I had to have emergency hysterectomy and could not have any more. We tried to adopt a child and there was so much red tape, after 10 years we gave up.
    I am active in my church, where I have been going for over 35 years, and I have to say that our church is a very friendly church. We go up and introduce ourselves to new people and welcome them. I love my church family because they are my family.
    My son goes to the church where his wife was raised and is the Assoc. pastor there. I have one granddaughter who just got married this year at the age of 21. And I have a grandson that is 15 years old. Both are baptized believers in our Lord. I am a very blessed woman and I know that only by the grace of God am I here today. I am disabled, but I don’t let that stop me from serving the Lord.

  77. 1. I love that I have the time to bask in the Word today (as most days) and spend time with my Beloved.
    2. I am blessed to have a husband who supports my walk, ministry and lifestyle. Who is faithful in providing us an income so I can stay home and care for our family.
    3. To live in ‘such a time as this’ …
    4. To have completed four years of Mentoring Institute, being refined to further speak into the lives of others on His behalf. This brings together the reality that Father wastes nothing and I was and am created with a purpose.
    5. I have lived long enough to have gone from being afraid of failure, then fearing success to being content to walk daily in HIs ways.

  78. Hi Sharon,

    Your writings are always good, sometimes touching some very raw chords.
    I am 64 years old, married to my husband Steve for 16 years. I have 3 sons, James 41, Drew 35 and Keegan 29. In 2008, just 15 months into my marriage, my middle son Drew suffered a severe traumatic brain injury in a car accident and we take care of him at home. He doesn’t walk or talk but we believe God will heal him (hopefully on this side of heaven). I hope the blog I keep about my son will one day become a book, but I want him to write the final chapter. My wonderful husband stayed with me through this tragedy. It is a very hard and exhausting life and sometimes I feel very lonely but God is unbelievably faithful and I am so grateful to Him for his lovingkindness. Bless you.

  79. I am a daughter of Jesus Christ first and foremost!
    Standing for a marriage that ended 4 yes ago. Last Sunday would have been our 39th anniversary
    Mother of 2 grown boys who both experienced divorce shortly after I did. I felt like a failure.
    Daughter of a pastor(deceased)
    I have 3 younger sisters, 2 brother inlaws, 2 nieces, 1 nephew, 1 sister who passed away when I was 2 and she was 18 months.
    Bonus point: I love your devotions! Thank you for them! God bless!

  80. Hi Sharon,
    I love this story you shared, I am a 45yo, twice divorced, mother of 2 grown children 26 & 24 (the younger child cut me out of her life a few years ago), I am “employed by the Lord” according to what He revealed to me last year upon moving me from Pennsylvania to Virginia, (He also revealed to me a few months ago that I’m NEVER going back to working a “regular job”, which I’m still struggling with since I’m STILL on unemployment and I’m waiting for something to give.) I wrongfully still struggle with worshipping money, so as I sit here writing this comment I’m freaking out because I have about $45 to my name, have lived in my car since mid-December, am completely alone AND I have no idea what I’m going to do for money since Pennsylvania just redid their unemployment website and I can’t even login to file for my benefits AND on top of this Customer Service isn’t available until June 10th.

    I absolutely believe that God does miraculous things, I’ve experienced them myself, BUT for some reason with this situation I am having a hard time believing that God don’t have it out for me. I envision losing my car and having to live on the street by myself in a place where I have no friends nor family.
    I have tried to attend churches but the Lord has been keeping me from getting plugged in because I have a tendency to want to serve got the wrong reasons. PLUS these churches wouldn’t know what to do with me, none of them ever do.

    I am a Christian by the way. Sorry to vent all of that, you did say to mention 5 things about myself and I unloaded my life story instead.
    Anyway, I appreciate your ministry and the inspirational things you write.
    God bless

  81. I have read this before and loved its story. We, the church, do have a lot to learn. Welcoming people who walk in should be spontaneous, greeting the members should be from the heart and feeling welcomed should be every time we step foot in the church. Think of others before we think of self.
    I am a woman of the most high God!
    I just turned 70 and walking into another season of service.
    I have been married to a man of God for 50 years!
    We have one son and daughter in love and two beautiful and entertaining grandchildren.
    We have moved out of state and looking for a church family.

  82. Hello, Sharon Jaynes! My name is June and I just want to Thank You. I love your devotionals and this one touched my heart. I always need prayer and I Love The Lord, My Rock and My Foundation, right now I fell far away from Him. I absolutely know what it is like to live in a house full and yet be alone. I will be 70 next week and am so grateful My God has blessed me with this time. Keep up the great work you are doing! And May God Bless and Keep You and Make His Face to shine upon you always😊😊😊❤️❤️❤️🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

  83. I appreciate your Scripturel messages and the wisdom they put forth!
    My marriage was one of being mentally and emotionally abused. My husband finally divorced me and has since passed on.
    I have 3 wonderful children and their mates that are following the Lord of which I am so very grateful. I have 7 grandchildren all of which have asked the Lord into their hearts!
    I am in a changing and challenging time of life. Presently am in the process of moving and felt that God has led every step of the way!
    I would ask for your prayers as I am very lonely and would so much appreciate finding a Christian man that has lost his wife and is lonely and praying for a Christian woman with whom he could spend the rest of his life with. That we could spend the rest of our lives serving God and loving and caring for each other. Sharing together what the Lord would have us accomplish for Him!
    Thank you so much for your prayers!!!

  84. Hi Sharon,
    Just commented a rather long comment and apparently it got lost!!!

    I became a Christian at an early age. I appreciate your website and the blessing and encouragement it gives.
    I was married to a man that was mentally and emotionally abusive! He divorced me and has passed on.
    We had 2 children and thankfully they are serving the Lord and have taught my wonderful 7
    grandchildren to know the Lord too!!
    I would so appreciate your prayers! I am in the process of moving and that is always hard. Would you please pray that the Lord would lead me to, and him to me, a man that loves the Lord, has lost his wife, is very lonely and praying for a Christian woman to marry. I am so very lonely and am praying for the Lord’s choice that we might love, encourage and care for one another and work together to reach out and bless others with God’s Word and the proclamation of it.
    Thank you so much for your prayers and support!!!

  85. Hi, I’m Jane.
    I’m a teacher, a wife, mother of two adult sons, am 55, and going through menopause! I say a hearty “amen” to Sharon’s article about the dance club. It’s like we’re afraid to be real in church.

  86. This post struck a chord with me. I find church sadly lacking the older I get. I’ve tried several bigger churches and appreciate greeters at the door and friendliness in general. I feel “entertained” by a slick well oiled church service and even very good sermons. Churches are very program oriented for families and youth. Everyone rushes out after services and there’s no real connection to build real intimacy…. Too busy to get on with the day.
    Not everyone is able to do “ministries” or find the “right”
    Small group. Sadly, i can just watch online services and get the good sermon out of it.

  87. I’m an African American mom of 2 teenaged boys and a wife. I married my college sweetheart, and we’ll be celebrating 24 years of marriage in a few months. I’m also a middle school science teacher, and I just completed my 22nd year of teaching. Thanks for sharing your gifts with other women!

  88. Hi Sharon,

    My name is Annie, reading your devotional this morning touched me in a special way. It confirmed once again to me what is missing in my life. My family and I moved from FL to SC about 6 years ago. While in FL and for the last 14 years we belonged to a small church family of maybe 100 members. Over the years, I served in different ministries and connected with other families. Since we moved, we have visited different churches in this Bible belt area, and though most of them have large choirs, a good preacher, and many programs and a lot of nice individuals, still to this day cannot seem to connect and belong. I feel very disconnected all these years, and other life events have not helped, such as moves, the loss of my father and of course this isolating pandemic. Still trying to find a church body that actually cares enough to get to know us as individuals, just like those strangers did at that club with you. Thank you for sharing your story today, because now I can at least know I am not the only one who feels this way.

  89. I’m a (1.)wife with (2)no children of my own but (3) 2 step kids and (4)grandkids and greatgrandkids. Notice the grandchildren arent step. LOL
    I was (5) saved by the grace of Jesus in 1994 at the age of 35 but was raised in a church and knew of God but not personally. (6)I love your devotions and they minister to me.

  90. 1. I am a 28 year old Nigerian living and schooling in Australia
    2. I am engaged to be married in December
    3. I lived in the UK for 7 years and belonged to a church that welcomed me with open arms and became my family; longing to find that here in Australia soon
    4. I have been through a lot of challenges health wise and family
    5. I love Jesus

  91. Hi Sharon!
    My family recently moved across state for my husband’s job. Your devo really resonated with me, as we are new in our town, neighborhood and trying to find a church home. We have 4 wonderful kids (24, 19, 14, 12). I am an anxious person, but trying to trust that the Lord has brought us here for a reason. That we will find our people and make a dent where we are sent!

  92. Wow… thankyou for your words. What an encouragement for me today. I tend to shy away from people but this is not what God wants me to do. He is our enabler. God is my strength and pure delight. Hallelujah.

  93. What a lovely article! It brought tears to my eyes. Right now in my life, is a period of isolation that I know the Lord brought me to. It’s most definitely of the Lord. Yet, the isolation is very, very difficult. I’m not married and the only family I have are my two adult kids who currently live with me. In addition, none of us have a car. Yep…THAT isolated. So, your article was incredibly touching. Thank you! And, lastly, five things to know about me: 😏
    1. I LOVE music of all kinds and felt a strong connection with music 🎶at a very young age. (Check out and in the search box type in: “Jacquelyn Pontzious.” I have my own page.)
    2. My entire family in both my mother’s and father’s side are from South Carolina.
    3. My maternal grandmother is 100% Cherokee Indian.
    4. We moved when I was very young to South Miami, Florida and we spent lots and lots of weekends at the beach!!! So incredibly pretty!! 🏊We now live in Portland, Oregon.
    5. I worked until I was 63 years old (or until 2013) and a good portion of that was working in law offices.

    Thank you once again for that incredibly touching article!

    Jackie (Elsey) Pontzious

  94. Thank you Sharon, your words are so often exactly what I need for myself or to pray for someone the Lord puts on my heart.❤️
    1. I love Jesus and drive to know Him more each and every day
    2. My family is most important behind my Lord and Savior
    3. I still fall short and struggle with sin daily
    4. I have a heart to bring others to Jesus and pray for them but I struggle to follow through with openly sharing the gospel bc I am not confident in my ability even though I know God will give me words if he calls me to share. I pray for my actions and my life to be the hands and feet of Jesus
    5. I am heartbroken over family members and loved ones who are living a lifestyle that is not God honoring and they think they are ok bc they say they love Jesus

  95. I loved this! God teaches us to love each other, not just while in church. Everyday and everywhere in order to let our lights shine.
    I am a 63 year old Christian woman with more blessings than I can count. My grown daughter who is currently in recovery from a heroin addiction texts me every morning with a challenge to make a stranger smile today. God is good!
    I remain in a cheerful disposition most of the time because I KNOW God loves and guides me and mine.

  96. 1. Lost my mother in law yesterday.
    2. Waiting for my friends mom to pass, who was a second mom to me
    3. I am a lost Oma, lost my full term granddaughter a year and a half ago.
    4. Trying to cover a friend who’s cancer is back given only 2 months
    5.Know God loves me, just a lot of heartache

  97. Thank you for your faithful writings. You are a blessing to so many! I have attended multiple churches in my life, but the small church God led my husband and I to about 10 years ago feels like family. They are some of the most welcoming people I know… a small country church. They have helped teach by example how to reach out to strangers who visit, and support each other in prayer. When I had chemo and surgery they overwhelmed shy and introverted me with love and support.

    I encourage and challenge everyone who reads this to step out of your comfort zone and welcome a visitor. Ask them questions about their life. Ask them to join you for coffee or a meal.

    Five things about me…
    1. I am a grateful child of God.
    2. Like you, I enjoyed dancing with my husband… even taught dance for a short while.
    3. Breast cancer brought me closer to Jesus.
    4. I have broken every commandment but God still loves me and forgives me… His grace is sufficient.
    5. I need to practice being more welcoming to those outside the church.

    God bless you!

  98. At 63 going on 64 this year, I feel as if my life were just beginning. I escaped from an abusive marriage to move by my son, his wife and my two granddaughters. I’ve written a devotional called “We Are Safe, God is Good.” I love Harley and Indian motorcycles; although I’ve never owned one. I’m going to a Glorieta, NM adventure camp with my 15 year-old granddaughter! I jsut volunteered to be a Volunteer Prayer Team Coordinator with Operation Christmas Child. Thank you for the opportunity to share ourselves!

  99. Five things:
    I’m 32 year old recently appointed stay at home Mom of 2 toddlers. We raise goats and chickens as well as kids. I’ve been in church my whole life, saved at 5yrs but have deepened my relationship since reaching my late 20’s. One of my daily spiritual battles is the fear of making mistakes.

  100. I really enjoyed these words.
    I’m turning 60 July 4,
    I have 5 wonderful kids and their other half.
    I have 10 loving grandkids.
    I have a wonderful man in my life and his family.
    I have truly been blessed.

  101. Good morning! I am 62 years old and a Grandma to three children with one coming in December. Jesus Christ is my best friend and I’ve been doing Girlfriends in God for many, many years. Thanks for your words. I’ve been married for 40 years and enjoy Pickleball.

  102. 1. I just turned 70 (I had a hard time with this birthday)
    2. I have been married to my precious husband for 48 years
    3. We have a 40 year old special needs son who lives with us
    4. We have a sweet (but very independent) daughter who has her own place and has inspired me
    5. Music and crafts are my passions

  103. This spoke to me! I am a 41 year old mother of 2 beautiful/handsome college students and been married for 22 years. I am a country girl at heart but live in town. My husband and I love to go dancing and totally understand the hospitality that can come out of that atmosphere. Thank you for reminding us to be more open and loving to all those around us.

  104. Hi Sharon
    I love this idea
    First of all about myself :
    1. I’m from Winnipeg,Manitoba, Canada
    2 Pastor’s wife
    3 Shy, so interacting with new people is a challenge though as a pastor’s wife I’ve adapted though it is not an easy endeavor for me.
    4 Would love to do a mission trip to Northern Manitoba to reach out to the Indigenous peoples.
    5 So blessed that my children have married christian partners and are raising their children in the faith.

  105. Hi,
    I’m Carole, 64 years old, now live in Keller TX. I read my girlfriends in God every day it’s available. I am married for 7 years now but we dated on and off for 20 years before we married. We are today in Branson MO for a patriotic convention!

  106. Hi Sharon!
    First I want to say I love your beautiful heart. 5 things about me? I love to love on people. Unfortunately I do it to my own detriment sometimes. I make myself tired and weary. I love to garden and work in my yard. It is where I am most at peace. My place of prayer and being close with Jesus. I am a caregiver for my elderly mom. All my friends encourage me that I do a good job taking care of her, but I feel that I fall short. I am often impatient and short with her. My husband is constantly reminding me about my tone. I apologize often but I still do it again. I feel that I am failing her. But I try. I love books. Reading is a passion for sure. All kinds of books. My husband and I often have yearly reading challenges to see who can read the most books. That brings me to the last thing… I am madly in love with my husband! He is truly a gift from God and my hero. His love saved me from a slippery slope many years ago. He is my favorite person on the planet and I tell God almost daily thank you for giving him to me.
    Thank you for your devotions on GFIG. Reading these start my day out every morning.

  107. 1. I don’t have any kids, but I have cats who think they’re humans
    2. Quite a few of my friends’ parents claim me as one of theirs
    3. My mom died in 1998 of breast cancer
    4. I used to be painfully shy…I’m not as much now but sometimes I still have the confidence problems I grew up with
    5. I have bipolar disorder, ADHD and anxiety. It gets in the way of a lot of things.

  108. I just Love, Love, Love the area. I have visited Pawley’s Island several time and never knew about that place! The area is so beautiful! ♥

    As much as I love this area, I cant fathom the new place that God has instore for us. If this area is beautiful to me, then how can I imagined the love and beauty that he has for us in heaven!

    I have always wanted to learn how to Shag, but my husband says he has two left feet and will never try.

    I agree that we all could give a little more understanding to others. For we never know what they are or have been going through.

    Gods word says that we should love the person and hate the sin, so in order to show others what God has done for us we need to be able to reach out to others more often. I myself get in a hurry and forget that a lot!!!

  109. five things about me
    I know Jesus Christ as savior and Lord of my life. My very loving and welcoming husband of 56 yrs. died this year.
    Grandmother of 4, entire family of my adult son and daughter, show love and care for me, and have confessed Christ.
    If it is GOD’s plan for my life, I would like to be married again. My desire is to become more and more, loving, kind and

  110. The five things I’d like you to know about me: In remission of cancer, still healing from the effects of cancer, spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally; a mom of one son, Myles; a work in progress of trying not to move before God; and I love to bake/cook (written two cookbooks and working on the third). Thank you for sharing your precious story!!

  111. I read your columns as part of my devotionals each morning. Thank you. Many of them, speak directly to me. I am 65 years old. I have always tried to step forward and offer a kind word. Often to complete strangers. My husband died suddenly 10 months ago. Since we lived in a state far from family, I sold the home we truly loved to be closer to my daughter. I do not know anyone who isn’t attached? Or who isn’t busy with grandchildren My children are too busy for me. Other than speaking out loud to Jesus, I sometimes do not use my voice for days. I wear my mask every where I go. Everyone has grown weary of my tears.

    1. Post

      Linda I am so sorry. My heart hurts for you. I am honored to know you visit with us each morning. You are loved.

  112. I read your response and can truly relate to how you feel. I am 71 years old and no longer married. My two adult children live with me but other than that, I have no other family. I would love to chat via email. I truly would enjoy that type of thing so much. Life is so different for all of us. Would love to hear from you.

    Bye for now…

    Email me at:
    berrcc@yahoo. com 🤗

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