There have certainly been times in my adult life I felt isolated. There have been seasons when, outside of my marriage, I felt like I was going it alone. I longed for connection with certain peer groups and through certain life experiences.

I’ve had friendships that were short term or surface level, and at times, those connections felt lacking and sometimes frustrating. I’ve also mourned the loss of friendships that were deep and beloved but evolved into different things as people and lives changed.

I know now those people and relationships were pivotal in my journey of finding me and my people.

I have grieved some of those connections and the beautiful people I’ve known in my life, but I give thanks for them. What I know now is the path we each take and the people we meet along the way lead us to the place we are meant to be. I have been surprised to find the women I cherish most don’t fit any one mold. I wish I had known what a gift friendship among women would be.

I wish I had known that women of my grandmothers’ generation would teach me about tradition, service, commitment, and the power of food and fellowship, all while pshhing my generation’s Weight Watchers points and obsession with social media.

I wish I had known that women with an extra 15 years of life would become my lifeline—that their wisdom and perspective would save my life and their love and guidance would give me hope.

I wish I had known that my peers would choose directions all their own and that in our differences we would find bravery, strength, and inspiration.

I wish I had known that the girls I cared for when they were young children would grow into amazing women who would inspire me with their grit and moxie.

I wish I had known that my people would come from all walks of life and different generations—that we would each have our own histories, personalities, and preferences.

I wish I had known, but I’m so happy to be uncovering this truth in my own time.

It has been the slow opening of a gift. I’m grateful to be discovering the treasure that is true friendship among women of all ages and life experiences. I am grateful for the leadership, camaraderie, and sisterhood in this band of women I call my own. I am grateful for the differences that set us all apart while somehow bonding us all together.

What a blessing it is to realize that my people don’t all need to like or even know each other. We don’t need to all sit together in one room and live in perfect harmony. There is not a membership quota or limit. I claim my people as my own, not in ownership or possession, but in love and respect. They have friends that are not my own, and vice versa. Healthy adult relationships in no way resemble the cliques from my childhood. Honest friendships in adulthood are forgiving, pliable, and understanding. Ah, what an honor it is to be a part of this band.

These women motivate and encourage me. Somehow, as we each live the lives we’ve been given, we are gifted with the opportunity to help each other along the way. We share the blessings of life with food, fellowship, prayer, loyalty, laughter, grief, honesty, confession, encouragement, support, and mentorship.

My own daughter has the privilege of witnessing this beautiful tapestry of women supporting women in my life. She sees us making time for each other. She sees us praying, laughing, and loving. She sees our differences and our similarities. I pray she sees there are seasons when there is more take than give and as the tides change our roles change with them.

As she grows and matures, I pray my daughter seeks the counsel of those who have gone before her and reaches out to encourage those around her. When she broaches adulthood and seeks mentorship and support from other women, I hope she finds it. With each season of life, my desire is that she will know there is strength in our similarities and in our differences.

I hope she understands not every person along the way is meant to be in our lives forever, but sometimes, the most beautiful friendships come from those in different stages of life. When she is someday charting a career or navigating marriage or embracing motherhood, I hope she puts herself out there and finds herself amid generations of women who know the power we all hold when we band together and let each other in. When the day comes that she stops to consider her people, I hope she looks back at my example and says, “I wish Mom had told me how amazing this would be, but I’m so grateful she showed me instead.”

You may also like: 

When You Realize a Friend Doesn’t Feel the Same Way About You

It’s OK to Have Loved and Lost Friends

Life is Too Short for Fake Cheese and Fake Friends

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Mandy McCarty Harris

Mandy McCarty Harris lives in Northwest Arkansas with her husband, young daughter, three dogs, and eleven backyard chickens. She writes about living happily in the messy middle of life. She can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and at

I’m the Friend Who Flakes Out Sometimes—Thanks for Loving Me Anyway

In: Friendship, Living
Smiling women with arms around each other

I recently read a quote that said, “Sorry I’m late, I didn’t want to come.” It resonated. Not because I don’t love my friends. I do. Fiercely. Wholeheartedly. But, I’m that friend. You know the one . . . the last commit, the first to leave. The one who chooses option C when everyone else chooses options A or B. The one who doesn’t initiate the plans. And struggles to show up to the ones that are made even though they are with the people closest to my heart. The one who politely declines opportunities for reasons that are sometimes driven solely...

Keep Reading

Here’s to the Friends Who Don’t Hide Their Messy Parts

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Two women sit in a field with arms around each other

To the friend who invited me over without picking her house up beforehand . . . thank you.  You had no way of knowing, but I’ve been especially weighed down by the feeling of “I can’t keep up” lately—and when I walked into your beautiful home and saw dishes in the sink and laundry scattered here and there, I let out the deepest exhale I didn’t even realize I was holding in.  Because seeing your mess? Your less-than-perfect? It didn’t make me think any differently of you, but it did allow me to give myself the grace I desperately needed....

Keep Reading

I Didn’t Know How Much I Needed Other Mothers

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Two mom friends smiling at each other

I read somewhere the other day that when a child is born, a parent is too. In my first few months being a mother, I’m learning just how odd that sentiment is. In an instant, I became someone new. Not only that, but I became part of a group I didn’t realize existed. That sounds wrong. Of course, mothers existed. But this community of mothers? I had no idea. It took us a long time to get where we are today. Throughout our journey with infertility, I knew in my heart I was meant to be a mother. I knew that...

Keep Reading

Please Don’t Tell a Couple Trying to Conceive to Just Relax

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Black-and-white photo of medical supplies

This is a plea. A plea to those who know someone who is struggling with infertility. So, if you’re reading this, this is directed right to you. Please, for the love of everything, when someone tells you they are struggling to conceive, do not tell them to “just relax.” I know it’s the cliche, default term most blurt out because they don’t know what else to say. It’s awkward to discuss for some. I’m 10000% positive it is coming from a good place and is meant to be calming and reassuring, and you really do believe it’s true because a...

Keep Reading

That Mom at the Playground Could Become Your Best Friend

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Young mother sitting on bench looking at playground

I didn’t realize I was that mom at the playground. That mom who always smiles at the other moms even if she doesn’t know them. That mom who often makes small talk while she pushes her toddler on the swings. That mom who strikes up a conversation while sitting on the bench watching her older kid play. That mom who can often tell whether you are interested in talking to her or not. And if you don’t seem interested, that’s okay. Because maybe you’re preoccupied with other things going on in your life right now. Maybe you’re overwhelmed with the...

Keep Reading

Mean Girls Aren’t Like the Ones You See In Movies

In: Friendship
Woman whispering in another woman's ear

Mean girls aren’t like Regina George. If they were, it would be easy to know to stay away from them. Not all mean girls are wealthy, image-conscious, stick-thin blondes. They also don’t always have the reputation of being “mean girls.” The problem is that mean girls are way worse than Regina George because they don’t look like mean girls. Mean girls can be your “friends.” Mean girls know how to gain and betray your trust. They are the girls who, on a rough day, ask you what’s going on not because they care about you, but so they can have...

Keep Reading

To the Mom in the Trenches, I’ll Come Back for You

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Mother sitting on bed holding one twin while the other crawls nearby, black-and-white photo

Your hair is in a messy bun for the sixth day in a row. You’re trudging to work sniffling because with all the germs your kids bring home from daycare, you just can’t seem to recover. You haven’t had a date night in four months, or has it been five? You stare blankly across the table at your spouse, his lips are moving but your brain can’t quite compute what he’s saying because the baby was up at least 10 times last night. You are just so tired. On top of this, we add in holidays. A time of year...

Keep Reading

6 Ways to Be a Friend to Someone Grieving

In: Friendship, Grief, Loss
Friends hugging

Grief can truly be such a lonely experience after you lose a loved one. The loneliness isn’t necessarily because you don’t have anyone around you. It’s because only you had your relationship with the person who died, and it’s hard to find anyone to replace that. I have first-hand experience. My mom died recently and unexpectedly at the age of 62 and I at the age of 34, and it single-handedly has been one of the most painful experiences of my life. However, having support from family and friends will help you navigate this difficult time. Without it, the loneliness...

Keep Reading

I’m the Hostess without the Mostest, but Who Cares?

In: Friendship, Living
Kitchen island with bowls of snacks, color photo

I wasn’t born a hostess. The idea of inviting people over to my home, whether planned in advance or on a whim, isn’t a natural inclination of mine. In fact, knowing people are coming over usually fills me with a sense of dread and wet underarms. The predictable swarm of anxious questions would buzz into my ear while I frenzy cleaned: Oh my gosh, what if the house has a weird smell I’m not aware of? How the heck do you style a charcuterie board? Why did I think it’d be easy? What if the house looks too messy? Or,...

Keep Reading

Why Does It Feel Like Everyone Else Is Doing It All and I Can’t Keep Up?

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Laundry basket with clothes on couch

I’m doing laundry today and as I sort and fold, I can’t stop my thoughts from going to an anonymous post I saw on a community moms page earlier this week. It went something like . . . “How are you ladies doing it? Really? I can’t keep up on the laundry, let alone everything else in the house. I’m working, but money is still tight and I’m a mess constantly pulled between home and work needs. My husband and I are struggling in our marriage. I am often counted on as a caregiver/helper to my parents, which I’m happy...

Keep Reading