About the Author

Karina Allen is devoted to helping women live out their unique calling and building authentic community through the practical application of Scripture in an approachable, winsome manner.

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  1. Karina,
    How fortunate your friends are to have you – someone who is in it for the long haul. What a blessing! As I recuperate from surgery for the 4th time, I have seen the usual flurry of activity at the beginning, which don’t get me wrong, I’m very thankful for. But the loyal friends become fewer in number as the recuperation wears on. It’s made me examine my own friendship perseverance. Am I good in the short sprint, but come up short in the long distance races? I think, like you said, that there is a deeper level of friendship in which God can provide a special joy when we really dig in deep and come alongside for the long haul. You have me thinking long and hard as to what kind of friend and servant I want to be when I come through this (hopefully last for awhile) surgery.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Bev! I’ll be praying for some quick healing sister! Yeah, this friendship has truly changed how I persevere in friendship. I am loyal in nature, but this has upped my game. I pray that you will last long in friendships. It is such a joy on this side.

      Blessings!

    • Bev
      May the God of all comfort be near you as you persevere through this next surgery. Praying for healing, peace and that the joy of our Lord be your strength. My husband was hospitalized a few weeks with complications of pneumonia & then a stroke. Diagnosed with GPA an autoimmune disease. He’s getting a chemo treatment for the next few weeks. It’s been difficult walking through this journey as I’ve had fibromyalgia for 27 yrs and he’s been strong to work as I homeschool our boys. I know we’re in a different season now and have had to choose peace and trust that God’s ways are not our way and His purposes are beyond what we can see or understand. It’s a blessing to read your posts as the past two years we’ve transitioned from full time ministry on the east coast back to Texas to be near family. Our home never sold and after 2 years now face foreclosure during my husbands illness. But as I’ve been in the Word the Lord reminds me that He is my portion and He is faithful. I’m exhausted but peace is a gift from the Lord. I pray you have the courage to ask your friends for help if you need them… People who are healthy really don’t understand but if you let them know what you need you’ll be surprised that they will be there!
      The song by Chris Tomlin ” All the Way my Savior Leads Me.” Ministered to my family these past few years & May be helpful to you as well! Blessings, Bren

      • Bren,
        I am so sorry for what all you’ve been through. It just strikes me sometimes that it seems like some people endure so many trials, while others kind of get off easily. I was reading 1 Corinthians chapter 4, and I have to say I kind of identify with feeling like the crud on the bottom of one’s sandals right now. I know there will be a great reward for those who persevere and don’t lose hope. I cling to that through times like these. I pray that hope for you as well. Thank you for taking the time to encourage me. My foot is healing well, though I have 3 more weeks of non weight bearing before graduating to a boot. I had a bad fall in the garage and now have a case of shingles. It just seems like it’s never ending. I will have to check out the Chris Tomlin song/video – love him!!
        Blessings and thanks sweet sister,
        Bev xoxo

        • Thanks for your prayers!
          You are in mine too! I’ve read your posts before and somehow thought to get you my cell# so we could encourage each other. You may have plenty of support right now, but
          Should you need a friend feel free to email me your contact info at:brendasbhive5@yahoo.com
          I appreciate your heart for the Lord!
          Bren

      • B,

        Praying hard for you and your family. Like Bev said some families/people seem to have more trials than others. May God bring hope & healing to your hurting souls. I know how much music can help in trials. It soothes the soul and brings peace. Remember God is Always with you and will NEVER Leave you! We love you!

        (((((Hugs)))))

  2. Beautiful testimony. I was blessed to be a part of my friend’s journey for three years, now almost 12 years ago. Her children were 3 and 13 months when she died. I still think back on the meals, laundry and babysitting…and her bizzare attack cat! He remarried, and I’ve glimpsed their new family over the years. Thank you for your story, and may God strengthen you, and all those helping, for the journey ahead.

    • Amen Ingrid! I love your story!

      It is a process and life changing thing to be a part of someone’s pain and healing for an extended amount of time.

      Thank you for the prayers!

  3. You are a wonderful friend and a valuable servant of God. May God bless you and I will pray for your friend to be healed. Thank you for the example you set to me of what good friendship looks like.
    Much love
    Jas

  4. Thank you, Karina, for this challenge. I’m hearing you say that we need to lean into the strength of our faithful God in order to be the kind of friend who stays faithful and attentive when the newness of crisis has worn off and the days of chronic need show up.

    I love how you have been enveloped in the love of this family even as you pour your life into theirs.

  5. Karina,

    What a beautiful way to honor your friendship with this family. I saw the beauty of a long standing friendship a few months ago when my mother in law was dying. Her friend never stopped caring, never stopped visiting, or shopping, or calling family… she was, like you, a loyal friend who was never afraid to do whatever her friend needed at the time. She is a Christian woman I admire and hope to emulate. As I go about my day, I’m going to look for hints in my friends conversations to see if I need to change my viewpoint on how “fine” they really are. Thank you!

    • That’s so good Linda!

      What a blessing that must have been for your MIL.

      “Fine” usually is only the tip of the iceberg. Sometimes it takes a while for that person to ask or accept help. I pray you see beneath the surface to figure out how you can meet a need.

  6. Karina,
    I have experienced first hand the kind of care you are providing for your friends and after several years my heart warms up when I remember those times and those people
    I want to be that kind of friend, I have a family that really needs someone to love on them but they are so independent and self-sufficient I often get discouraged (I know exactly why they act like that, and it only makes me more eager to be for them, but sometimes I feel perhaps I’m not the one who’s suppossed to do it)
    Now I feel encouraged to continue to pray and be alert, when they need me, there I’ll be
    (Will be praying for a miracle for your friends too. Have seen God do some pretty amazing things around here)

    • Yezy, that’s a great place to be in. Your heart is soft and your spirit is willing. Keep being there and eventually they will ask for and receive your help when they’ve reached the end of themselves. The Lord will guide you.

      Thank you for sharing! Agreeing with you in prayer!

  7. What a beautiful devotion! I believe God uses people like you to use the gifts He has given us for His glory and purpose. There is no greater gift than having a friend stand by you in hard times! God positioned you for this family, to be His hands and feet. When I pray for people, I pray for their needs but I also pray that they see God’s hand and His love through it all! And I am sure your friend and her family feel and see God through your dedicoand committed friendship!

  8. Lovely Karina,
    I am so glad to have found you in my inbox today! I always love to read what you have written, sweet friend. And it makes my heart glad to hear about the good that God does through you because I know it brings you so much joy. I pray that I will have a heart like yours!

    • Friend, thank you for your encouragement. I am sure you have a heart like mine, cuz you have a heart like His. I pray that God will give you opportunities to display His love and kindness.

      I love you!

  9. Thank you, Karina, for reminding us all of the need to care for others in their time of need. Our lives become so busy that we often lose sight of those needs. I LOVE your powerful message in how we need to be strong and “prayed up”! I am member of the order of the Daughters of the King and monitor the prayer requests via email in our church. Until I began to help with the prayer line, I had no idea how many in our families, community, and loved ones need our intercessory prayers. I was able to send out a Thanks & Praise message this morning and that was a wonderful way to start the day. As the storms pass over us, we can lean on one another.

    • Amen Patty! I love how you are using your gift for intercessory prayer! There are SO many needs in our communities that go unknown because people keep silent about them. I am so glad that you can share those needs so others can provide help.

      Blessings!

  10. Karina,
    It’s miraculous how in times of turmoil the Lord works wonders.Thank-you for sharing your beautiful message with us….

    Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility,gentleness, and patience
    Colossians 3:12;13

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, and your friends

    Blessings to all,

    Penny

  11. I really connected with this! With my health I’ve seen the help at the beginning but it’s dwindled down greatly. I really really appreciate the help I got. My chronic illness isn’t their journey or responsibility. But it’s so misunderstood that every time I think I’m getting on top of my way behind work load, my help stops and I’m left to flounder again. But thank God for the help He did send. And thank God for my ‘sister’ friends who share the load emotionally and through prayer although they can’t physically help. Its a blessing! I keep praying for the physical helper I also need. And praise God for all the blessings and help He sends along the way! I have some amazing friends:)

    • I am praying for God to bring some tangible displays of god’s love and care for you! May He carry you in this season. May He shower healing over you and peace to your heart.

      Be blessed sister!

      • Thank you! He sends blessings everyday! He is such a miracle working God! He’s what pulls me through each day:)!!!

  12. Yes. I have a friend who has gone through a lot. She was adopted about 5 years ago, and then her parents almost got a divorce this year, but thankfully did not. She is in 9th grade like me, but we tend to have a friendship that goes in phases. Sometimes we seem to be best friends and other times in life, we barely speak a word to each other. I have been tempted several times to just give up on her, because she hasn’t always treated me like a good friend should, but she has gone through a lot, and she needs consistency. So, I guess I need to be patient with her, and still at least be there for her. So, thank you for this. I will probably call her up today:) Please pray all goes well, and all said is to build each other up and not tear each other down.
    Have a great day!

    • Mary Margaret! You sweet girl! I love that you are here and that you are thinking the way you do! Know that God is crazy pleased with you!

      Friendships are tricky and hard and messy and beautiful. Your friend sounds like she is hurting and in need of some healing from the life that she has led. Keep praying for her and for God to open doors for you to tangibly show her His love for her.

      Yes, call her! I’d love to know how it goes!

      I also wanna send you something. Email me…karina268@ilovejesus.net

      Bless you!

  13. Karina ,
    What a beautiful testimony and what a jewel Steve and his family have in you ! As I myself have dealt with a life – altering illness for over 12 years now and picked up a few more illnesses along the way , I have lost so many ” friends ” . It seems very few of any at all were here for the long haul . I am blessed with an awesome husband and daughter but even family I’ve found ( other family ) are not in it for the long haul .
    This makes me proud as well as wanting to examine my own look and take on friendships . May God bless you and your friends !

    • Jen, I am so sorry to hear that. I pray that the Lord does a supernatural work in your life. May He heal and restore your health and peace of mind. May He bring those anointed to carry your burden alongside of your family. May He bring someone into your life whose burdens you’re anointed to carry. May you willingly and joyfully comfort those with the comfort you’ve been given.

      Blessings!

  14. Thank you so much for this amazing testimony. As with Bev, I too am yielding myself to the Lord as I know I have come up short. Relationships have been the weakest & most difficult part of my life & my born again life with Jesus. I am thanking Him for restoring to me so much that was stolen in the area of relationship. God bless you abundantly as u move forward with this very special part your life.

    • Gail Noe, thank you for sharing. I love the new mercies God bestows on us. We get endless chances to get it right. May He bring someone in your life who needs the care and help that only you can uniquely provide. Take heart. Don’t be discouraged. May God continue to restore friendship in your life. May He grant you a hundred-fold harvest!

      Blessings!

  15. Absolutely what I needed to hear today. My childhood friend had surgery today. I struggled with taking the day off work to be with her. Not because I don’t care, but I am just back to work after surgery (3 unpaid months) and have no days accumulated. But I trust God to take care of that. We are both cancer survivors and have been reunited in friendship after many distant years. I know that God destined for us to rekindle our friendship to strengthen and encourage each other and serve in the way he designed for us. Thank you for this word, I plan to share it with her when she wakes up. Praise God!

    • Dorothy, I may have tears right now! How sweet is the Lord?!

      Yes! God will take care of your need! May He provide in unexpected ways and abundance of provision to meet even your deepest need. He is good and faithful!

      I declare healing to every cell in both of your bodies! May y’all’s bodies function in line with how God created them. Y’all are more than conquerors. Christ dies to bring healing. May it manifest quickly! In Jesus’ Name!

      Thank you for sharing!

      • He is a good, good Father. We receive your blessing and extend it to all who read and share your testimony. We surrender to His good and perfect will.

        Thank you.

  16. Dearest Karina,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story; it is so beautiful to see GOD’s body continuously working together. As someone learning to love and serve selflessly as well set boundaries I appreciate your example and honest spirit. Your story is definitely inspiring as well as encouraging. Thank you again, I pray that you have a very blessed day!

    This side of Heaven,
    Summer Rae

  17. Praying with you for Steve’s supernatural healing. I just witnessed this in my dad who was diagnosed with inoperable stage 4 pancreatic cancer this past October and who is now cancer free after surgery on May 16. My family is so very thankful to God for this supernatural healing. God is good!

  18. It’s encouraging to hear stories like this. I am this kind of friend and I have those kind of “long haul” friendships, more like family than friends. Thank you for your sweet and honest story telling of friendship.

  19. Long haul friendship is rare, and to be cherished. Thank you for a beautiful reminder of how God sees things. May he continue to bless your beautiful friendship!

  20. Karina,

    Thank you for being an example of how friendships should be. Like you said people rush to help in the newness of crisis. It is when that newness wears off that people still need help. I’ve tried to be that kind of friend to others also. One friend in particular was going through aging parents/health issues with 3 people & her husband. During that time I would call almost daily to check on the status. Also cooked or got meals for them 3 different times. I was always ready to listen to her problems. You see at that same time I had aging parent health issues and could relate. Thankful for long haul friendships.

    Blessings 🙂