Valerie Jones

{Live with Purpose. Lead with Passion.}

I am a blogger, worship leader, and speaker who helps worship leaders and team members connect with purpose and passion in life and leadership by offering encouragement, community, and practical resources so that they can thrive in life and leadership, both on and off the platform.

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Filtering by Tag: friendships

{Five Minute Friday | Friend}

It's Five Minute Friday. That means unplanned, unedited, straight-from-the-heart-to-the-paper writing. Yep, you just write whatever comes out based on a word you're given. If you have five minutes, you should give it a try!  Find out how here.

This week the prompt is {FRIEND}.

Ready? Go.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the prompt. See, the Lord and I have been talking a lot about this. It seems over the last several months, many people I called friend have wandered away or become somehow unavailable, several of them without explanation or conversation. I'm relieved to see some of them go if I'm honest. But, with others, there's a certain sense of loss. Confession: I'm quite needy these days, craving connection with particular people face-to-face. But, I'm not great at making time for that outside of my daily grind. And, the sting of rejection is a very real thing to sort through when you reach out with no reply. That's where the Lord and I have been sorting some stuff out. See, the thing is, some people make you better and others, not so much. I want the former to be true of me. So, I'm asking Him to teach me how to be a friend who is an honest and lovely representation of Jesus. I'm also asking Him to show me where to invest and where to let go. That's a hard process.

There's another piece, though. I found myself again looking to people to satisfy some deep thing in me rather than to Jesus. And, y'all, it's just not possible. Goodness, at some point, it seems I could check that box. But now and then, I find that I slip back into old patterns of people-pleasing because my soul is longing for something that only Jesus can give me. In seasons of transition, it's especially easy to slip back. I am oh so thankful that God continually pursues us.

Here's the thing: Jesus is enough. I know, that seems shallow and cliche. But it comes from a belief deep in my soul, anchored firmly in His unwavering love. Nothing else will ever be enough, especially when I neglect the most important One. Sometimes we do that you know? We overfill our lives, our hearts, and minds until we don't have much room left for Him. And though we're busy or living "full" lives, something is missing. Even if we can say we have everything we want, apart from Him, it's all meaningless. When I find myself in a spot where I'm missing something or someone, He's always the remedy. May I encourage you today sweet friends if you are struggling with feeling alone and isolated? He's our most constant companion, a friend that sticks closer than any other. Start with Him. He is enough. Let Him be the One we think of first. Yes, always Jesus.


{Five Minute Friday | Team}

It's Five Minute Friday. That means unplanned, unedited, straight-from-the-heart-to-the-paper writing. Yep, you just write whatever comes out based on a word you're given. If you have five minutes, you should give it a try!  Find out how here.

This week the prompt is {TEAM}.

Ready? GO.

The people around you matter. I can’t think of another nugget of truth that so profoundly affects you from the outside in. Those people surrounding you and your relationships with them matter. Have you ever aligned yourself with the wrong people? I have. The effects can haunt you for days, months, even years. Then, there are people who, without a doubt, are God-sent. People who make life a little sweeter. Yeah, those folks are like treasure.

One thing I’ve recognized over the last few weeks is this: I need my team to share the same crazy-love for Jesus. I need my team to pray for me, to challenge me, to hold me accountable to the truth of Scripture. I need my team to be striving and working toward the same thing — chasing God wholeheartedly, knowing Him and doing what God has put in their hands to do to bring Him glory and make Him known. Something beautiful happens when we gather around Jesus. Something crazy-good. 

I know what you might be thinking. Why in the world would you only want to be with like-minded people? But, that’s not what I’m talking about. I have no desire to hole up in my living room and spend all my time with “just my people.” My team, though, they are home-base. People who launch and propel me forward and out into the purposes of God. Yeah, that’s what we do for each other. Not everyone gets to be on that team. Not everyone has permission to speak into and over my life. It’s a big deal, and I would be foolish NOT to guard my heart in that way. 

I am so thankful that God has placed people around me who love Him like crazy. I love how our stories tie together. I love what He’s doing in our lives, both individually and collectively. Sometimes, we laugh together, or cry together, or just have all kinds of fun together. Conversation flows. Sometimes, it's easy, sometimes deep, and other times it's hard. But, it's always ok. There is always love and trust, camraderie. All of these things matter. Godly friendships can't be underestimated. Even in our relationships, we can be about making Jesus known. Even our team can be about kingdom business.

Who’s on your team? May I encourage you today? Speak life. Encourage. Love. Pray for each other. Believe in each other. We are better together.