Friday, March 22, 2013

Love knows no bounds {A guest Post}

Friends, this girl is very special to me. Back in December, I decided to participate in the Cara Box Exchange for the very first time. I didn't know it yet, but the Lord had planned for Laura to be my partner all along. Through many emails, we became friends. Real friends. She shared her heart with me about her struggle with many  hard things that had happened in her short life & I shared with her my struggle with anxiety, which she also has. I couldn't have imagined what God was going to do with this friendship in such a short time but for some reason He chose me to speak love and truth into her life. I still don't believe any of this was my doing but only the Lords. 
Read the story for yourself &
please, check out her blog, follow along and make friends with her too! You will love her as much as I do!

Hey guys,

I’m Laura and today I want to talk to you about something your church may be wrong about (or at least mine was growing up.)

The church I grew up in had a pretty good policy on the company you keep: “birds of a feather, flock together.” Which I find to be relatively true. But this viewpoint of theirs really focused on surrounding yourself with religious people. They made their opinion very clear- if you had friends who weren’t strong in their faith, or who didn’t believe at all; they were a weakness in your relationship with God. They will bring you down, my church said. They will lead you into temptation. They aren’t the kind of people you want to surround yourself with. They told us that your close friendships should all be with Christians (preferably those from your own religious denomination who shared the same “beliefs” as you.)

And I’m here to tell you that they were wrong.

That they are wrong.

Surrounding yourself with religious people, or people from your church, isn’t necessarily “the right way to live.” If you have any life experience you have probably come to realize that there are a lot of religious people you wouldn’t want to spend time with outside of church. Who aren’t necessarily good people despite being religious people. And you probably know that there are a lot of good people in the world who aren’t religious, who don’t attend your church, or who may not even believe in God at all. People who are generous, loving, kind, and forgiving.

I was one of those people. For a very long time, I was a good person. A good person who didn’t believe in God. I grew up an avid Christian but faced a lot of hard things in life that weakened and ultimately diminished my faith entirely.

But I was tolerant, excepting and open minded. I never pushed my beliefs or lack there of on any of my friends. I respected that they believed something different than I did and I was never a threat to their devotion to God. I also expected that they return the courtesy and never push their faith on me. I was a loyal friend, a trustworthy friend, who happened to believe entirely something else than they did.

And those friendships were invaluable to me.

Those friendships saved me when I experienced heartbreaking things like infertility, adultery and divorce. Seeing my friends who had hope during storms like the ones I faced made me want that same hope. Having friends who didn’t abandon me when I felt disheartened, made me want to have the strength they had. Strength that came from something other than themselves. Strength that came from God.

I met Jess in December, a particularly bad month for me in terms of struggling with the overwhelming emotions of sadness, failure and disappointment. Jess is obviously very strong in her faith and very vocal. She always made it known- what she believed, but never expected that I jump ship and agree with her. She practiced tolerance and patience. As did I when her profusely religious opinions came to me via email. We formed a life-long friendship in such a short amount of time. A friendship built on respect, love and acceptance of one another, just the way we were.

And then she said something life changing to me. “Is it okay for me to pray for you? I know you don’t believe but I really think it might help.”

Granted, I knew she was probably going to pray for me regardless of my response. But folks, she had the consideration to ask me as her way of letting me know that she was. It was her way of quietly saying “I respect your beliefs but I want to help you the best way I know how.”

A couple of weeks later I got a hand written letter from her. With words that brought me to tears. “I hope you know, that even when you don’t believe, Jesus loves you so much.”

I met Jess when I was beginning to want a change in my life. When I was beginning to see that I had been so strong for myself for so long that I was exhausted and emotionally battered. I met Jess when I made the decision to slowly start exploring faith as a way of finding hope and happiness in life despite the obstacles I faced. I made the decision to start trying to believe in God again on my own.

But her friendship, her encouragement and her prayers helped me beyond recognition.

I still struggle with my faith. After all, it has only been a few months since I started tip-toeing into a new church (where I am pleased to say I have found much more to my taste than my childhood religious institution.) Some days are great, and some days- not so much. But every day I have the love and support of my friends. Friends who are good. Friends who believe and friends who don’t believe.

I very much admire Jess and her devotion to Christ and her church. And I think that her friendship with a non-Christian has actually STRENGTHENED her relationship with God. Contrary to what my church always said. She spoke to God more frequently when she prayed for me. She felt God more fiercely when she desperately hoped he would find me. And she found unspeakable joy with God when God started to heal the wounds in my heart.

She never told me these things. She didn’t have to. Because I know Jess. I know that she is never more happy than when she sees her God do amazing things. And I know that she never feels more complete than when she helps a lost soul find their way to him.

I hope that you cherish all of your friendships. Those with believers and those with non-believers. I hope you surround yourself with good people, not just religious people. I hope you love all people the same. That you respect and value the good people in your life- those who share your faith, and those who don’t. I hope you never expect that other people change their beliefs to yours. I hope you love your non-Christian friends just as much as your Christian friends. I hope you know that they may never believe the same things that you do and I hope that doesn’t make you think any less of them.

And lastly, I hope you never underestimate the power of your faith and how it can silently work miracles in other peoples lives.


A struggling-with-my-faith-but-finding-my-way friend of Jess’s,  


  1. wow! lovely post..
    Have you entered for my giveaway?

  2. Woop Woop! I am so excited to meet some of your lovely followers <3 I hope they enjoy my post. xoxo

  3. What an amazing story, and one that can only be told because of the power of an incredible God! I am often disheartened by some of my Christian friends who don't know or have friends who are non-believers. How can this be? How can you be a light in the darkness, when you are only around light? Thanks to Laura for sharing her testimony.

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