So what do you do when the book that cost you 18 months of your life and many many tears comes out into the world? You go to Panera for breakfast and coffee and then maybe you are too distracted to do any real work so you start people watching.
When two little kids next to you EXPLODE into whoops and hollers of “Grandma!! GRANDMA!!” when their grandma walks into the front door and when they THROW themselves on her with the uncensored love of toddlers you start to cry.
Because this is the thing — all of life on this planet is about relationships. Our relationships with Jesus and our relationships with the other people He’s created.
That’s it. Period.
So I’m sitting here over my bowl of oatmeal kinda weepy and praying awkwardly for the people around me and for you.
For every one of you whose eyes scroll through these words. Because at the heart of the heart of this book called Never Unfriended is this guarantee —
There is a God who would die before He would ever unfriend you.
There is a God who did die rather than unfriend you.
No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)
Jesus didn’t leave, unlike, or unfriend a single one of his 12 closest friends. He’s not about to start with you. Not even when they deserved it. Not even when they swore they’d never met Him, didn’t know Him, despised what He stood for. Instead, He kept on keeping the promise He first made through Moses in Genesis, that He would never leave or forsake His people (Deuteronomy 31:6).
In His final prayer, His heartfelt conversation with His Father God on the night before He would die, Jesus testified to His own faithfulness as a friend,
While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. (John 17:12)
Jesus could tell His Father in no uncertain terms, that as far as it was possible for Him, He had kept the faith and the friendship of every one of the men entrusted to Him. Even Judas had been included right up until the moment He chose to quit Jesus, not the other way around.
This is the God who moved into the neighborhood to come and be your friend. To get to know you. To understand your quirks and watch your kids grow up and look over your shoulder as you try that new recipe or squint at new gray hairs in the mirror.
This is the God who allowed Himself to be constantly interrupted, inconvenienced, and disregarded. This is the God who embraced the act of kneeling, of dirty feet, of smelly company, of listening and never ever, ever being too busy.
This is the God who has pursued you since before time across galaxies and DNA and broken families and past hurts and who never, never, never considers you a waste of time.
This is the God who is not shocked by your failures, your doubts, or your choices.
This is the God who does not keep a record of your wrongs.
This is the God who isn’t keeping score, keeping tabs, keeping you down.
This is a God who made time stand still on a broken hill on Calvary so that He could reach through the past into your future and grab you by the heart and the hand and the soul and rescue you.
You are loved harder and longer and more urgently than the ending of any Jane Austen novel.
The thing is — do you believe it? Do you believe that Scripture is a love story with your name in it?
Beloved, all you have to do is say yes. And let Him love you and wrap you in His righteousness and He will take away your sin and your failings and your fear and give you His own life — life to the full.
There is a God who believes that you are worth dying for.
Do you believe that?
If you’ve never met Jesus before we’d love to introduce you to Him.
He is the most faithful friend. And He would die before He would ever unfriend you.
If you’re just meeting Him for the first time or getting re-acquainted with Him after a long while, we’d love to pray with you. Just leave a comment below or keep reading over here to learn more about what it means to be friends with Jesus.
We pray this book might be a small reminder of the massive love your God has for you.
He is the only one who can live up to the promise to Never Unfriend you. It’s worth taking Him up on it.
Summer Rae says
Dearest Miss Lisa-Jo,
Thank you so much for sharing the words our loving Heavenly Father has laid on your heart. I know what it is like to have people, “family,” or friends “there for you” one second and completely gone/uninterested the next… there are honestly no words to how comforting it is when you realize that no matter who leaves you… or where you may go… GOD is always with you. That is all that truly matters; Praise Him! Knowing that He will never leave you makes the relationships that you do choose to have so much more meaningful and fulfilling. I want to thank you again for such an encouraging post and I pray that your day is blessed!
This side of Heaven,
My prayer is that I will feel the love of Jesus in my life and have a thankful and grateful heart and love Him the way He loves me
Becky Keife says
That’s a beautiful prayer, Melissa. Joining you in that. xoxo
Sonya McCllough says
Yes, and Amen … Lisa-Jo.
I just love this book and thought about you the other day as I was reading in the Bible Jesus making a point of calling Judas friend. Thankfully, I am two years into my crazy three year journey with the one and only Jesus and He has showed me so many things because I asked Him for an undivided heart. Won’t He Do it and then bring you through it. What a friend we have in Jesus (I love that song).
Terri L Kyle says
Oh my, God’s timing! Yesterday, I felt SO very alone, knowing God was actually carrying me the entire time or otherwise I would not have survived. I will not bore you with the details, instead, just ask for your prayers, as my situation involves my career, taking care of my precious Mother, my health, and beloved coworkers. And, as we all know, these are all a huge part of our lives.
Thanks for such encouraging words written at a time I needed the message as a reminder.
Becky Keife says
Terri, I’m so glad this post reached your heart at just the right time. Only Jesus. I’m honored to pray for you today in these requests. Truly He carries us and cares for us, more deeply than any other friend could. Thankful to have you here with us.
Terri L Kyle says
Thanks so much for your prayers. I cannot tell you how much it means to me.
Lynn D. Morrissey says
Lisa-Jo, what a beautiful concept for a book. I am (relatively) new to FB, and I recall the time when I first realized someone had unfriended me, presumably because I was honest, though hopefully gracious, about a differing opinion during this past presidential election. I presumed that friends are honest with friends. This friend decided that my transparency with her was reason to end our online friendship. What surprised me most, though, was that her rejection without so much as a discussion, really stung me. I guess any form of rejection always does. But oh to know that we have a friend who sticks closer than a brother, and one who would and has laid down His life for us: Jesus! And then, He wants to maintain a loyal and giving friendship with us in an ongoing, vital relationship. It’s almost too good to be true, isn’t it? But praise God it is true! I wish you much joy as you share this amazing truth with many readers. Your book sounds wonderful. Also, if you are ever in St. Louis, look me up, and I will take you to the original Panera. Whenever I see that word, I smile, because it’s really called The St. Louis Bread Company, but marketers that they are, they realized no body wanted to by bread outside our city–hence, the name change outside our area: Panera (which, of course, means bread!) 🙂
Well said & thanks for the reminding encouragement
So good to be reminded of my Savior’s love for me!!
Michele Morin says
Powerful words — especially with my heart already preparing for Easter. And it occurs to me that if God were ever likely to have unfriended us, it would have happened in the Garden, long ago, and the entire redemptive plan — the narrative arc of history — would never have happened. He showed us long ago how far He would go to keep us close to His heart.
Blessings to you as you share the Truth through the pages of your book.
Kathy Cheek, Devotions from the Heart says
I met Jesus Christ when I was 11 years old, and I have always known He is forever with me, He is an always Savior! I would not trade this journey with Him for anything! He died for me and rose again and death has lost its sting!
Becky Keife says
Becky Keife says
Yes, Kathy! Amen! Praising Him with you.
Rosanne Harris says
Thank you for such welcoming words to start my day off. I just cannot wait until I am able to purchase your book. Each week I put a little away as I am
On disability. Hopefully I will order soon!! You are such an inspiration to me.
I know that Jesus will never unfriendly anyone this I know.
Bless you friends,
Shauna Letellier says
And that’s why we call it “good news!” Thank you, Lisa-Jo. True and lovely.
Thank you for your writing and including God’s precious Word. What a Friend we have in Jesus!
Kay Lake says
This morning when I woke up I was hit by a wave of missing my grandsons. I thought of the time when we visited at the time of their other grandmother’s death (in their house) and the youngest woke up from his nap and saw me and threw himself into my arms calling out “Grammy Lake”. Just like the little ones at Panera. So thank you for the reminder of the Greatest Friend of all. It is wonderful to be so loved. Today I will make a point to spread it around where I have been planted.
Blessings to All,
Becky Keife says
Such a sweet memory in the midst of missing. Thank you for sharing, Kay. And love your heart to respond by spreading the love you have in Jesus.
Patti Goldenson says
I am a Christian. I have a bad church experience and don’t go to church now. I have kind of lost my way a bit, but your letter today really touched me. I had forgotten that God and Jesus are my friends and that they love me, they accept me as I come. I could use some prayer for a spiritual healing. Thanks,
Becky Keife says
Patti, Thank you for sharing. I’m so sorry for your wounds and painful church experience. I pray you will know the truths written in this post are for YOU. Jesus knows you, understands you, sees you, and delights in YOU as the truest of friends ever could. His love is lavish. Praying healing for your heart and that God will guide you in building a renewed relationship with Him and others. -Becky
Bought to tears as I think about this in our current world. Everyday people unfriend, unfollow and block. But God!!!! Jesus you are my BFF, my forever friend, my tried and true, oh sweet Jesus….
Rebecca L Jones says
You are wonderful Lord! What more can I say? Thank you being a forever friend.
Liz C says
In my life of ups and downs, of greatness of utter failure, of love and of loss-I really only know, really only know one thing-I am SO loved, with a love that I can scarce comprehend. This love I can not rightly explain, yet could NEVER deny. Miss Lisa-Jo, your email had me praising and yelling yes, Yes, YES!! This is my God. Thank you my dear. Thank you.
Becky Keife says
I LOVE your comment, Liz! I’m throwing up praise hands and rejoicing in my heart with you. He is so good indeed!
Beth Williams says
This is a great book & I’m so proud of you for writing it. Over the past few years I have had some ups & many downs. Through it all Jesus was right there with me! He never unfriended me or gave up on me even in my worst times. He has shown me great love and allowed me to witness a miracle & walked me through some dark times. Praise God Easter is coming and we can celebrate His resurrection!!
Congratulations on the book & 100 reviews!
I just got your book yesterday which I preordered. (Although with my limited data etc it never left me sign up for those fabulous preorder gifts which of course made me really sad) I am thoroughly enjoying it! Thanks for all your time to get the book to where it’s in my hands! I’m so grateful for Jesus! He has been my only unfailing security in life.He is totally AMAZING! THANK YOU JESUS!!!!
Suzanne Stevens says
I just got my book in the mail yesterday. It couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. I am in great pain over a friendship that is so unhealthy. I know I am the one who has to stand up for myself and say that I am not going to be treated like this anymore. I deserve better! I have to stop apologizing and trying to fix things that I had nothing to do with. I can now see the control I allowed this friend to have over me. No more!
I am digesting this book slowly, paragraph by paragraph. I need to hear this and let it sink down deep into my soul. I need to trust Jesus. He will never leave me or forsake me like so many women have done to me.
Thank you so much Lisa for such timely words of wisdom.
Are you considering doing a book study with this book? I would love it!
I attended Abundance in Phoenix and came away totally inspired and blessed! So why, having accepted Christ some 61 years ago, I was 9, do I battle doubts and insecurities about my salvation and where I’m going when I die. I constantly ask God to help me through these feelings and pray for more faith. I desperately want the peace He promises. Please pray for me!