I was a few weeks into the first grade when my family moved. It wasn’t a big cross-country move, but it was big enough that I was zoned for a different elementary school. As a shy child, I was nervous about going to a new school and making new friends.

I wound up meeting my lifelong best friend in first grade. We were inseparable throughout high school. We were college roommates and the maid of honor in each other’s weddings. To this day, when I go back to Ohio for a visit, we make time to catch up and belly laugh over ridiculous youthful antics. I’m grateful for that friendship.

When I struck out on my own after college, I landed in Texas where I knew exactly no one. And once again, I found a wonderful friend. Despite living on opposite sides of the country, we still do our best to keep in touch. And when I moved from Texas to South Carolina, I met another woman who has been my bestie for 20+ years.

The Lord drops people into your life when you need them most. He gives you friends because he knows we need them. We need girlfriends to laugh and cry with. We need women in our lives who will pray for us and our families; women who will spur us on and encourage us (Hebrews 10:24-25).

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 tells us, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” (NIV).

So, in August 2021, when I moved to Asheville, North Carolina, I wondered if God would once again send me friends.

Spoiler (and not surprising): He did! But … I had to do my part. I had to take a step of obedience before I would be richly rewarded with the amazing group of women I now have in my life.

Pay attention to God’s call 

When SWHW launched the Discipleship Team in late 2021 (then called Local Leaders), I really felt God calling me to start a Bible study group in my home. Honestly, it seemed a bit crazy. I was still new to the area and thought, “Who in the world will I invite?”

I was sure anyone I asked would think, “We just met. Why are you inviting me to a Bible study?”

Despite my misgivings, I couldn’t shake God’s prompting.

I had met a few lovely women through the local chamber of commerce and thought, “Well, Lord, let’s do this!”

So, I started my group in January 2022 with three women, and we quickly grew to four and then five. Those women invited others and, a year later, there are 10 women coming to my house every other Tuesday to study God’s word.

A few of them have told me what a blessing this group has been. They were longing for community. They needed a group like this.

The power of our obedience 

Last year I read a quote on Instagram from author and speaker Alli Worthington that summed up this entire experience perfectly:

“Someone somewhere is depending on you to do what God has called you to do.”

Your obedience just might be the answer to another woman’s prayer. The women in my group had prayed for exactly this kind of group.

Because I was obedient to God’s calling, their prayer was answered. I don’t mean to sound like I’m patting myself on the back. God could certainly have answered their prayer in another way. And yet God invites us to partner with him in his work. And that means our obedience truly can be the answer to someone else’s prayer.

Starting way back in first grade and all the years since, God’s been looking out for me. He’s sent me the friendships and people I needed in the exact moment I needed them. Maybe their obedience was the answer to my prayer. God reminds us in John 14:21 that keeping His commands is an indication of our love for Him and, in turn, God will love us and show Himself to us.

When I moved to Asheville, I hoped I would find a friend or two. Some women in Asheville hoped to find other believers for community and Bible study. We shouldn’t be surprised when God puts the puzzle pieces together to create a beautiful picture.

If you’ve been considering gathering some women for a Bible study, let me encourage you to step out in faith and do it. Believe me, I know it’s scary. Start with one woman. And then invite another. Those women will invite other women and soon your space will be filled with friends.

Those women will be blessed and so will you (Luke 11:28). You just might discover you needed them as much as they needed you.

God often asks us to do things that are out of our comfort zone. Ask Him for the courage to take action and be obedient.

When we do our part, God will show up in a big way!