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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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. AMEN! I am a fellow 2 and this really touched me! For me The Lord taught me that we all have free choice and I can’t force someone to love, accept, and be happy. This resonated that lesson to me.

    • Amen to your comment, too! And I find that sometimes, I have to accept that someone else may be happy without me in their lives. And that’s okay, too.

  2. This completely hits home with me, Kristen! I have to keep reminding myself that that particular friend has chosen not to reciprocate and that I need to move on. It’s a struggle sometimes.

  3. Maybe that the one who doesn’t reciprocate a call to your friendship, is that she is depressed and suffers from anxiety. I so longed for a dear friendship at times in my life, but wouldn’t let anyone close, out of fear! I was afraid of the rejection if they saw the real me! When I was younger, mental illness wasn’t mentioned. After years of hiding in the dark and with God’s grace, I matured and my healing came when I stopped trying to hide that crowds make nervous, I cry for days at a time because I hurt for someone else. I admit now, my compassion, my sensitivity, and I am honest with myself and others! And strange when I did mention what I thought were such terrible failures in myself, so many others felt the same way about themselves! We moved a lot when I was a child and that affected me too. If I did make a good friend at school or with a neighbor, we would move and I would never see them again! (this was looong time before cell phones and social media!) And too, changing schools, I hated always being the new kid! That alone made me so insecure and anxious! But God has blessed me to now to enjoy the wonderful gift of good friends and I treasure them! I reach out to others now, but tread softly at first…blessings to all who reach out and blessings to those who made be afraid to reach back!

    • I so appreciate what you share here, Kathy ~ and I think you’re exactly right. Out of anxiety or fear, it’s possible to think, “I will reject her friendship overtures in an effort to protect myself from getting rejected on down the road.” And yet, I love the way you learned to “tread softy at first…” and reach out just the same. Because more often than not, vulnerability breeds vulnerability!

      Such wisdom here, Kathy! Thanks again for sharing!

      • Thank you so much, Kristen! You warmed my heart with your reply…the old me would have never commented, there again hiding out instead of reaching out!
        Praise God. “I am weak, but HE is strong!” Have a wonderful and blessed day and thank you for your beautiful posts! I read InCourage every day!

  4. Kristen, I appreciate your post today. I have struggled with friendships, (I don’t have many) and feel that I am doing the work of two. I pray God would bring me a Godly friend who is like minded, that would like similar things as I do especially someone who loves God and wants to include Him in their life. I love what you said, “Letting them be isn’t the same as leaving them behind. Maybe the person is not able to reciprocate now or ever. Either way I’m gonna be fine.” I truly need to hear this, like giving myself permission to feel the way I do and leaving the rest to God. He knows what’s best, always.

    • I *love* the way you’re giving yourself permission to feel the way you do while also leaving the rest to God. That’s golden advice, BC. Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. I had a lifelong friend walk away a couple of years ago when my life was in triage. I really needed her to be there, to be a listening ear, to offer words of encouragement, to be hopeful. It’s something I still struggle with today. Not allowing bitterness to take root. For the one friend who walked away, God provided a dozen more. A wonderful group of ladies from church who have been a big comfort and an even bigger blessing.

    • Angela, I’m so sorry this happened to you–that’s so very painful. And yet you share such hope of how God provided for you. Thank you, too, for the reminder to not let bitterness take root. Very wise indeed. Grateful for you, Angela!

  6. Kristen – I have never taken the enneagram evaluation, but I may like you be a two. I tend to give (or perhaps over-give) and sometimes this leaves me feeling what I have dubbed “lukewarm-lopsided-love.” But I like how you phrased it better.

    This I know…the world is a better place with enneagram 2’s like you!


  7. Kristen,

    I am definitely an enneagram 2. My emotions can sometimes get the best of me. The other day an MD was telling a mom, who did have a stroke, that there was nothing they could do for her 40+ yr old son. He has a brain bleed & surgery is not an option due to other heath issues. After hearing that I left the unit & cried my heart out. it still hurts to know a mom may lose her child. This is me: I feel things acutely, and in the process, my heart can get banged up and bruised as it bumps into the hard stuff of humanity. Yes ma’am.

    Blessings 🙂