About the Author

Kristen Strong, author of Back Roads to Belonging and Girl Meets Change, writes as a friend offering meaningful encouragement for each season of life so you can see it with hope instead of worry. She and her US Air Force veteran husband, David, have three children and live in Colorado...

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  1. I’m not a Mom, but you’re right, we all need a posse. I refer to them as my sisterhood. I have one made up of long-distance friends who all know each other. Sadly, there has been some acrimony and hurt among some of the members and we are now a fractured sisterhood. But even with that support, I don’t have a posse close by. Lots of reasons for that, and it’s something that I need to take responsibility for changing. Thanks for the post.

  2. These days, I’m longing for more face to face time with my girlfriends. We need these friendships … maybe more than ever! We’re spending more and more time in front of our screens (especially those of us who love to blog!)
    It’s so easy to get sucked into the technology that keeps us focused on our keyboards instead of investing out time and energy on building those relationships that God has placed in our paths.

  3. Thank you for taking the time to write. As a mom to 5, a pastor’s spouse and an art and communications minister in my own right, I feel very isolated at times. I long for the accountability and support that comes with supportive friendships but after 20 years in ministry and moving from place to place, it is hard to put myself out there knowing that we will someday move away from all that has been established here. I try to connect online with others and to invest in relationships that are built on more than our church work so that they can continue after a move without being “inappropriate” for the new pastor.
    Sigh. I just wanted to know I heard your words this morning and will add this to my prayers….

  4. Right now my posse is missing. I had a great group of girlfriends as a young married, but as a mom I have isolated myself. Most of our friends have moved away and I have not been intentional about reaching out to other
    moms. In fact, I’ve been just the opposite. In the last year I was hurt by a lose friend and now I’m scared to start over. Your article is yet another reminder of how important it is for me to get out there and try again. Thank you!

  5. I so respect what you’re doing with & for your kids. I’m a grandmother now and I do remember those days of trying my best and yet wondering if it was ever enough. God is our eternal helper and will always be there. None of us are perfect parents…we just do the best we can and He knows our hearts. And yes, it really is up to us to create and nourish friendships and honestly, what would we do without dear friends?
    Brightest blessings ~
    Pat

  6. Lately my posse has been my online friends, its been hard to not always be able to hug them in real life or bring them fresh baked goodness, but I know they are always there. Thankfully i know that He is always there, and I can turn to him whenever I wish.
    sometimes I see a posse and feel this tinge of jealousy because I feel like an outsider, that I am not good enough to join them, but I know it isn’t me, its my doubt that is keeping me feeling that way.

  7. @Anne – Sisterhood…perfect! I’ll be praying that your friendship fracture heals and that God opens some doors for a same place sisterhood. Far away friends are wonderful, but every girl needs someone to hang with in person!
    @Linda – you are so right…we must keep investing in flesh-and-blood people. There is risk involved, but the benefits far outweigh them! Thanks so much for your thoughts!
    @Kelley – You speak the truth, girlfriend. I think that in some ways, your lifestyle as a pastor’s wife parallels my own as a military wife. After 15 years of moving, this extrovert still has to sometimes fight the urge not to abandon the cause and retreat to my safe place. What blessings have I missed because I did do this? Learn from my mistakes and just give in to the want for community! Goodbyes hurt, but loneliness hurts more! You have my prayers, sweet girl!

  8. @Melissa – I am so sorry for your pain. The loss of a good friend cuts like a knife, huh? In the busyness of life and kids, it’s easy to put friendship on the back burner. I’ve been guilty of this, too! My prayer for you is that you are reminded that God did not give you a spirit of fear (2 Tim. 1:7) and that He opens your door for true-blue friendship. Thank you so much for sharing your heart today…I know you are one beautiful friend!
    @Pat – your encouragement means more than you know! I especially dig these words: “None of us are perfect parents…we just do the best we can and He knows our hearts.” Amen, Sister! How blessed your children and grandchildren must be to have you in their lives.
    @DE – thank you, thank you for your reminders today. He is the best kind of Friend, isn’t he? I have also felt that tinge of jealousy over a posse that I wasn’t a part of. I think you are right…our self-condemnation is based on feeling, not fact. What if we just said, “Y’all look like a cool group of girls, may I join your conversation?” It may sound cheesy or forward, but I believe most gals would be tickled at our honesty! In the meantime, you have my sincerest prayers for some flesh-and-blood friends. And you can join my posse anytime! 🙂

  9. Well, I’ll be! What a delicious surprise to find you over here, Kristen! I think you are the perfect person to be preaching the power of the posse because you are so full of encouraging words of affirmation for others. Anytime there’s a blog post – you’re there with your love and support. You are a delight and a joy and I would be in your posse any day! Heck, I feel like I already am! Thank you for these lovely encouraging words!
    ~Lisa-Jo

  10. Will you be one of my BFFs? Oh that is right you are! Great post! I am having a hard time imagining how fabulous things will be when we are old and look back on the chronicles of the posse. What a blessing to have each other.

  11. I know this only too well. Still trying to find my place after this last move. Of course, I am blessed to have my forever friends even if they are far away. I know that if the seven of us can manage to get together once a year from across the globe and with all of our “issues” at home, anyone can do it! It is so worth the effort!

  12. What a great post, Kristen!!!
    Thanks for being part of my posse! 🙂 Your friendship and advice are priceless. You have been such a blessing and an encouragement since we’ve moved here. You are a great example of someone who really puts herself out there to meet new friends.
    Love ya!

  13. What an encouragement to us moms, feeling like we are wandering around an island holding onto our kids trusting little hands asking God, “what were you thinking letting ME raise these little blessings??? I DO NOT know what I am doing!!!!” The balance is a daily question for me, too little/too much, too strict/too laid back, too distracted/over attentive…ugh, what lies from the enemy!! His Holy Spirit will guide us when we ask Him to, and He is just ALWAYS there. It’s amazing to me to think that as you said, He knows what it is like to raise BOTH the godly child and the wild disobedient ones (that would be us!!). Once again I am amazed by His love and patience with us, and for giving me a “posse” to navigate this island with. Blessed indeed, thank you!!!

  14. @Lisa-Jo – girl, you are the epitome of love and support. You can saddle up to my posse any day, anytime!
    @Chrystal – sweet girl, you give me an entire meal of encouragement! Thank you!
    @Jen – You better believe it. Just try and get rid of me! Muuuahahaha! 🙂

  15. @Rebecca – so many of us have been there (or are there). In those times when I don’t find nearby friends quickly, I have felt God calling me to a deeper fellowship with Him, relying on Him more. However…I have it on good authority that at least one crazy-for-you gal pal will be cozying up to your campfire sooner than later! 🙂
    @Jamie – thank YOU for being a part of mine! You are a fabulous Mama and you bless me beyond belief. Love you muchly!
    @Jessica – my dear, I’ll take your words to heart because you are mega encouragement in a petite package. You are right on…when we don’t know what in the Sam Hill we are doing, He always does. Phew! Thank you sweet girl!

  16. Kristen, you take friendship to a whole other level, girl! From your sweet smile to your jubilant laugh, I love being in your circle. Can’t even imagine my life without you and your family in it. Every time I move, I incourage myself to be more like you and entertain people at my house often because “that’s what Kristen does”. You always welcome new people in your home to break bread and that’s special. Lova ya!

  17. I needed to read this post. I have often thought I am not the mom I need to be…it’s true! Yet, God is good and He will provide where I fail and carry me through when I am weak. Also, I need that encouragement to get out there and put myself back in the mix making new friends after our sixth move in fourteen years. I get weary starting over in each location and my initial reaction is to circle the wagons, lick my wounds, and not reach out to others. I am going to look for opportunities to make new friends while continuing to praise God for the old!

  18. Thank you for the reminder that we do need to have a posse in this life. I know the evil one does try to invade and undermine everything that is done that brings glory to our Father. Both of my boys are grown and out of my home. One is living for the Lord and the other has decided that he is gay. He also just told me that his “friend” has Aids. Talk about the enemy having something to use to put fear into my life. You don’t know how many times I have cried and wondered what I did wrong or what should I have done differently. He did make a profession of faith several years ago and I did see growth in him. Right now he has no use for God. How can he make the choices that he makes and be so indifferent to God’s love when he was raised in a home that loves Jesus? These questions haunt me and at times I feel so lost and such hopelessness. I do know that none of this is a surprise to God and that God is faithful and will be beside me through all that I encounter in this life. I am at a time in my life that I don’t have posse friends. I have those that I can call on if I need prayer, but don’t have friends that I can call to just get together and share, laugh, and enjoy each other’s company. I have always been the one that others go to when they have something going on in their life and need someone to listen or be there for them. I love that role and am blessed that others feel safe with me and I have seen God work in tremendous ways throughout these times with others. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. I am just longing for a friend for me. Thanks again for reminding me that maybe I need to step out and be a friend to someone who is also longing for the same thing. Blessings!!

  19. @Cheryl – aww, sweet pea, your words make me feel all warm and fuzzy! I disagree with you on one thing, though…you are hospitable because that truly is the heart and soul of your character. You are warm and inviting, and I know you’ve blessed others countless times by welcoming them to your own posse!
    @Mary – Isn’t that the truth, huh? I have been guilty of circling my own wagons, too. And when young’uns show up, it’s easy to get preoccupied with all the responsibilities that parenting provides. I don’t want others to miss out on you, girl! To know you is to love you madly! I love how you remind us that we can praise God for the old friends while praying for some new ones!
    @Pat – what courage you have to share what is on your heart now. I just know you have ministered to others in doing so! I am praying over your situation now. In the meantime, realize that God isn’t finished with your baby yet…he is a work-in-progress just like all of us. Take hope to heart that your security rests in Him, the One who has more than a little experience in parenting wayward children. Thank you so much for sharing with us here.

  20. I know what you mean when you discuss ‘being intentional’ about friendships. Even though I’m not military, I have several moves under my belt and have developed extraordinarly friendships along the way. My only regret, at this stage in my life, is that despite best intentions, I cannot seem to keep up with the friendship component in my life. Family and work matters have taken a predominant center stage in my life. So, now, I’m grateful for the posse that knows me and loves me despite my availability or lack thereof. But…what I cherish most now is that posse comprises the prayer warriors in my life – the ones who, because of an intentional commitment, are the ones who pray for me…and I for them. And, of course, you are one of those cherished few who have stolen my heart and cemented a permanent place in my posse. Love you and this ministry that God has given you.

  21. @Allison – I am so glad you commented because you bring up some good points. It seems that life is full of different seasons, and each season brings about a greater or lesser availability to nurture friendships. Sometimes life is such that you have to tend to “first things first” and let the rest come and go as needed. Thankfully, as you say, we can still enjoy and call on those friends and prayer warriors who have your back spiritually (even if they are far away physically)! And yes ma’am…you know I got your back! Love you!

  22. Hey Kristen! I’m so excited you’re here on (In)Courage! 🙂
    Oh, I didn’t know you were a military wife!
    My hubby served in the Army… but, now he’s retired. Would that make me an ex-military wife?
    No, seriously – I can’t agree with you more. My mommy possee is my life-line. And my online ones, too!
    Great post!

  23. To know Kristen is to totally understand the love and support of a friend. While long-distance and online support is much needed and helpful, the face-to-face interaction is so important to us women–moms or not. God certainly made most of us very social creatures, but He made ALL of us in need of His guidance and grace every day. I know that I wouldn’t get through the amazing blessing of having children and trying to raise them to great servants of our Lord. It is hard work and not to be done alone—Praise the Lord for His help and making sure that He provides us with friends here to help as well. I love Kristen and miss you so very much!!!

  24. Such a beautiful and thoughtful post! You have such a gift with words, and the ability to share what God has written on your heart. Sooo thankful to know you, and to be able to read your wisdoms!! Love you oodles and oodles!!

  25. @Sherri – Oh how I miss you, too! What I wouldn’t give to have some face-to-face interaction with you right now! Thanks for the reminder that we are all in need of His guidance and grace each day.

  26. Thank you SO much, sweet friend! I replied to you on the blog…
    Love and miss you…I dont get nearly enough Sherri time these days! Itll be easier to chat, I think, when we are in closer time zones! 🙂