Beyond Borders

courage. faith. action.

Friends, Circles, Fitting In.


On Fridays, Lisa-Jo Baker invites you to write for 5 minutes without stopping, without editing. 5 minutes on a word prompt. There is a whole bunch of ladies that write and link up and even have a twitter party the night before in anticipation of the event. Yeah, it get’s that exciting! You can find them on Twitter here #FMFParty….. For more information about 5 minute fridays click here.


This weeks prompt is Friend



I read yesterday of circles. Standing outside of them and feeling the lonely awkwardness because the ones in the circles never stepped back a bit to let the circle widen. Staring at the backs of heads, stiff shoulders like impenetrable fortresses. Fortresses for the elite, and all the writer had ever seen is the way she didn’t fit. How she grasped at conversations like crumbs falling from the table. And each attempt feeling like the beggar she knew herself to be.

Her words pierced straight through my heart and I felt the hollow emptiness. I wondered how she could read my mind, because that was my story written right there in her story. Because in my life there is no room in the circles for autism, and food allergies, and chronic illness, and little ones that well you just don’t know what to do with them. There just isn’t circles for that. Because it is just too messy.

And she is living my story, and suddenly I wasn’t alone anymore. Until I was…

Because in my real life, He hasn’t shown me those circles, the ones that step back and widen. Instead He brings me two special friends, in the oddest of circumstances and the saddest. They live in different states.  They encourage me. Breath life into me. And when I have nothing left, and the tears are falling and I don’t have words, they raise their voices for me. Pray over me. Bring God right into my room. My quiet place. He shines so bright. These women see the ugly and the messy. And they do it anyway.

So I wait on the Lord for those circles, and I cherish the holes He has filled with these two women who brave through ugly and messy and we love through backlit screens and keyboards.



And because I had just 5 minutes to write, I didn’t have time to mention my sister who has always been my one dearest and truest friend. Though our lives are heading in different paths right now, and I don’t see her as much. She is still my heart. Always. Then my two long time girlfriends who have we have kept in touch over the last 16 years, these two are always a text away to say please pray. And these two the same they have their paths and their circles, but we are always here for each other. They are all important to me and I love them so.


To read more stories about Friends, check them out here.


This weekend (in)RL is hosting their annual webcast, the conference that you don’t have to leave home for… the one for community. This year’s theme the power of story. I am joining in on my own, because I want to know what it looks like to share your story. God is calling me to do this, here in this space. You can join in too. It’s free. And if you wish to find community to share it with host a group, or join one of the 436 groups already meeting.



Author: Shelly Richardson

A stay at home mom, married to my best friend, who loves like Jesus. Together we have four beautiful daughters. One biological, one adopted and two by way of marriage. Our 12 year old daughter was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome when she was 6 years old and our youngest was diagnosed with autism at 3 years old. I have dealt with chronic illness most of my life and at times has been debilitating. It is through this illness and the special needs of our children that drew us closer to God. Beyond Borders is the place where I write out my story of living beyond my borders. A place to share of God’s love and grace, His mercy and sovereignty, and what that looks like in my own little world of chronic illness and autism. A place where courage and faith intersect and He moves me to action. My hope in writing is that you find something that inspires you. Encourages you. Makes you smile.

4 thoughts on “Friends, Circles, Fitting In.

  1. I’m so glad He sent two to stand with you! It sounds just like something He would do …

    We all want to be included. May we never be guilty of tightening the circle instead of opening it up to make room for more..

  2. I don’t have all the struggles that you speak of, but I’ve always struggled to find which circles I fit into. It seems like there is always something about my life that disqualifies me. People are polite but remain distant. It is wonderful when God sends us those precious people who become such a sustaining force in our lives.

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