GNO with Lilian Werner: Boyfriends, Style, and Friendships

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I’m married to Brad, mom to Inna, Ivan and Anya, and grandma to Anastasia. I am also “mama” to one hound dog and “service staff” to three very funny cats. 

When I’m not trying in vain to clean up Lego pieces, doll clothes, and pet hair, I am a counselor in private practice. I also oversee the women’s ministries for a Christian non-profit.

What would you tell the younger you about boys/marriage?


I would say that you really need to develop your sense of identity with all kinds of friendships, with boys included. And that the tension with that is that “boyfriends” can take up a lot of time and energy that could more effectively be directed toward relationships that will last longer.
I would also say that the feeling of being “alone” and that you can’t seem to escape isn’t something a man can fix. It’s part of the fall, and part of what directs you back to Jesus. I didn’t know Jesus until I was 22, and I didn’t know men couldn’t fix the loneliness of the fall until well into my marriage. You may feel alone sometimes in your marriage, it doesn’t mean you are.
What advice would you give a new mother?
I would tell her that she’ll hear a LOT of advice, probably. And she can read TONS of things. And at the end of the day, the Lord has trusted her with this baby, and she has to make the decisions that sit well with her soul. I would tell her that it won’t be the end of the world if she can’t do natural childbirth, or if the baby doesn’t breast feed perfectly, or even at all. We have so many things we cling to that “must” happen. I found it easy as a new mom to think I knew how everything should go, while simultaneously being afraid I was always making the wrong decisions.
 I would tell her that if I ever write a book for women it will be called Something Always Gives.  Because something always does. It may be you care for your house differently for a while, or you handle your employment differently, or leave it. It’s a lie that we can “have it all” and “do it all.” We can have all the Lord allows, and do all the Lord gives us fallen humans the strength to do. No matter what Oprah says : – )
What has God taught you about trusting Him?
He’s still teaching me about that. I’m a slow learner. I had a mentor once tell me that I think I know what’s best for me and for everyone I love.   was offended. He was also right. So, God has taught me that it’s trust when I “know” what should happen, and I stop clutching at my agenda to see what He’s going to do. I’ve also learned that several of the things I thought would kill me didn’t. I can live through someone not wanting to be my friend. My kids can make choices I with which I differ. Our church plant can close. My husband can have prostate cancer. I can lose a loved one. I don’t like any of these things. They are painful, sad, and broken. Yet I know God has met me in all of those times.  And so, very slowly because I’m stubborn, it makes it easier to trust Him the next time. 
I just went through a very distressing work situation, and I really felt God saying to me, “Either I’m good or I’m not.” All the fretting drives me away from asking Him the real questions of my heart, and from moving into deeper trust.
What’s the best beauty/fashion tip that someone gave you?
Someone once told me to start pinning outfits I like on pinterest to help me find my personal style. I prefer my “pinterest closet” still to my real one, but this activity has helped me.  I’m always in a hurry and on a budget so I tend to shop at Goodwill, Target, and Ditto. (Honestly if Aldi sold clothes I’d probably buy them there). But it’s helped me even in my scattered approach to fashion, to find a bit more of my own style.
What has God taught you about friendship?
In short, that it’s precious and that it has seasons. True friendship really does show us God’s love.  I’ve been blessed with some really good friends who take me as I am, and who walk with me through hard things, and who aren’t afraid to speak truth. I’ve also found that, especially as women, our friendships may change over time, but that doesn’t make them any less valuable. I just got together with college friends recently, and within a few minutes, it was really like almost no time had passed.  We’ve made friends in ministry that we see very rarely, but have such a deep connection to them. It’s always interesting to me just how God forms and shapes friendships.

Your friend, 


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