I’m propped up in a bed, in a beautiful home, watching the sunrise over the gulf of Mexico. Rough times, huh? My precious friend, Karen, arranged for the two of us and our friend, Mary, to have another friend’s home for the weekend, so we could retreat somewhere really special. Certainly, it doesn’t disappoint!

But you know, we could be anywhere and it would be special. This particular gathering is to celebrate our 50th birthdays, all within about 5 weeks of each other, but for whatever reason, in whatever location, there is something really extraordinary about this friendship.

First of all, we met on the Internet.

No, there is not a friendship “dating” service. Mary and I met through blogging, and Karen met another friend through Twitter, who picked her up at the airport and brought her to a conference where Mary and I happened to be. Incidentally, that conference was only the second time Mary and I had seen each other; the first was a live recording by a worship artist that we loved, and we made arrangements to share a hotel room before we’d even met face to face.

It’s everything you tell your children NOT to do.

But, despite all the red flags in that paragraph above, it was ordained that we meet. We originally thought it was to form a ministry called gIRL {girlfriends in real life}. We had one really special gathering in North Carolina, and then God finally got us to realize that He wanted us to pass the ministry on. It was as if we could go no further. So we did, wondering what in the world the whole thing had been about. Now that some time has passed, I think we are starting to figure that out.

We are three very distinct people, each bringing very different gifts and approaches to any ministry that we do. All of us really appreciate the gifts of the others, and as is not often the case with three people – women especially – we are able to keep jealousy out of the equation by hitting any hint of it head on. We’ve always spoken very plainly with each other, gaining each others’ trust to the point that, now, we can ask the hard questions in love, and receive them willingly and gladly. Even though we all live in different states and don’t actually see each other often at all (or ENOUGH), we are each others’ people. Whether or not we are all ever involved in a formal ministry work together is really beside the point now. It would be wonderful, certainly, but I believe God brought us together in an extraordinary way, so that we could have an extraordinary friendship, building each other up, and holding each other accountable to do great things for God no matter who we’re with or where we are.

The full logo for gIRL was this…

girlfriends In Real Life: meeting God together on the other side of the screen

Now that I think about it, that’s the full description of the friendship of three women who met on the Internet. gIRL was God introducing us to ourselves, and what real friendship is when done His way. It was His introduction to an extraordinary equipping to reach women, through the simple yet profound blessing of true friends.

The sun’s all the way up, now, and I smell coffee. Time to head downstairs and enjoy the sweet respite of gIRL time.


“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV

Friends come and friends go,
    but a true friend sticks by you like family.” Proverbs 18:24 MSG