Two years ago had someone told me that I would have healthy, loving relationships with women that didn’t involve lying, guilt trips, grudges, and back-stabbing, I would have called you crazy. In my experience, that’s just what you had to deal with when you chose to be friends with girls, and it’s why I didn’t have any. During that phase of life I found it much easier to just not go there, and convinced myself that I was completely ok with not having girlfriends.
He had something so different planned for me. And I didn’t go quietly. There was kicking, and screaming. There were tantrums. There were not-so-nice words. And yes, there were tears. I didn’t want to be hurt again. I didn’t want to dispense that time and energy, all of which were so precious to me because of my work schedule, in to something that would ultimately explode in to a bloody, painful mess.
My husband had been really pushing me to find a life group. I had a host of excuses; I don’t have time, I don’t have the energy, I don’t want to lose more time with my kids, I don’t want to interact with women. So one night during a heated discussion that involved all of the above excuses, I pulled that whole woman thing where I don’t want to do what my husband thinks I should do so I do the “fine, I’ll go do this, but just so you know, you’re going to be wrong about how this turns out” thing. I pulled out my computer and started looking through the list of life groups on my church’s web site. And I found one. And I kind of cried. So I send the request to join, and really forgot about it, until I received an email from a sweet woman inviting me to a training class.
“Training? Training for what? This is supposed to be a life group!”
But I went.
And I was invited to join.
And I did.
And I served.
And I was taught.
And I learned.
And I loved.
I loved the women I served and served with. And not just the kind of love that we say to people when we don’t really feel it, but feel obligated to say it, but real and true, deep heart, cry-for-you-when-you-hurt love. When I prayed for these women I knew them, and God began to do this work in my heart. And a year later it changed again.
And more love.
And spiritual mothers.
And spiritual daughters.
In the time that I was serving I thought that I was giving something to the women around me. And I was. But what I didn’t understand at the time that I understand now was that God was giving something to me at the same time. He implanted something inside of me that I never thought in a million years I would have, and that is this beautiful, pure love for the women around me. I was caught in that terrible trap of looking at a woman and seeing her faults, believing her to words to be deceitful and manipulative, and keeping a safe arms-length away from connecting.
So I grieved.
For all of that time that I ignored His tug on my heart, and for all of the relationships that went south because of my preconceived notions about her intentions.
I am a better woman because of these ladies. I am more loved and treasured than I believed that I could be by someone other than my husband. I am continually blessed, and out of that blessing I can continue to bless others by the power of His words. If you’re her, if you’re who I was, I want to encourage you to think differently about your sisters. I want to encourage you to press on with His help, and find those healthy relationships what will make you a better woman.
Thank you to those who invested in me. I don’t know that you will ever know your full impact.