Fearless Women: Rachel Leininger

In the women’s session, Rachel Leininger shared that she believes in authentic friendship and that we as women are made in God’s image. As God is in community with the Trinity, women also need community with one another in holy friendship.

Rachel has had many different seasons of friendship in her life. When she was young, they were easy and uncomplicated. As she grew older, friendships began to encompass more “girl drama” as concern over popularity, relationships with boys, and competition began to infiltrate them.

It wasn’t until she grew closer to her friend Claire that Rachel realized that God might be calling her friendships to more. One night, Claire shared some of the real family struggles she was under. This opened the door for Rachel to start being more real and authentic with her friend. As they told each other their difficulties and triumphs, Claire and Rachel became a support system for one another, encouraging and building each other up. But what really set their friendship apart was that their mutual faith in Jesus became the foundation.

As Rachel and Claire grew older, their lives changed, and they moved to different cities. Even though they weren’t physically close, they maintained close communication, supporting each other as God led them into their respective vocations. Rachel got married and had three children, while Claire pursued a religious vocation as Sr. Truth. They continued to stay close and, unlike Rachel’s other fleeting friendships, her relationship with Sr. Truth has sustained the test of time. Because they built their friendship on honesty, authenticity, and faith, God has continued to bless it abundantly.

How Can I Build Authentic Friendships?

Rachel has some practical tips for you to build authentic friendships:

  1. Build trust over time. People need to earn our trust. Slowly opening our hearts to other women allows them to demonstrate that they are truly trustworthy.
  2. Be vulnerable. We want to laugh with our friends in the good times, but we should also share the difficulties we are going through.
  3. Be authentic. Our friends want to know who we REALLY are – not who we think we’re supposed to be.
  4. Hold each other accountable. True friends encourage one another in truth and holiness. They call each other out when they need to improve.
  5. Pray together. Lasting friendships are built on Christ.

We aren’t made to be alone but to live in community with other women. We were made for holy friendships and to help get each other to Heaven. A good friend is a Godly friend: a woman who wants us to live authentically fearless because we know that we’re made in God’s image.

Reflection Questions

  • Are my friendships built on faith and truth?
  • Am I helping my friends to live fearless and holy lives?
  • How do my friendships need to improve so that I can live how I’m called to live?
Written by Amanda Jelavich