Two weekends ago I attended a women’s conference at my church. Let me just pause there for a moment and say that typically women events are not my favorite. No offense to those who take time to organize said events…it just isn’t something I look forward to. However, I do feel obligated to participate because I am a woman and I try to support events at my church as much as possible. This time around I was asked to be a part of the worship portion of the conference…right away I felt that was an exciting incentive for me, yet excuse after excuse filled my brain that seemed like justifiable reasons not to attend. Who’s going to watch my boys since the hubs works nights? How am I going to make time to nurse my 2 month old during the conference? I’m too tired to even think about attending band rehearsals…who’s going to watch the boys while I attend those rehearsals? Isn’t it funny how those negative and complaining thoughts enter the brain ever so quickly?! With that being said, I decided to ignore those thoughts and be obedient to the Lord. There were some bumps in the road leading up to the conference, but knowing what I know, that is how it is when God is trying to expose you to something great! I pressed forward, logistically everything worked out, and as a result my spiritual life has been shaken up and challenged.
Without going into too much detail about my past female friendships, I’ll just quickly say that they have not generally been the best. I have been the girl who has had mostly guy friends…ever since junior high and high school I’ve had female relationships that have ended in me being hurt and filled with unnecessary drama. Even recently, as a 30 something, I’m still being hurt by women. It’s now clear to me that the cycle will never end…how I move on from it and how I react to it is now what matters. I had to come to grips with the fact that as a Christian woman, a wife and a mother, it is spiritually healthy for me to have strong friendships with women. Ultimately those are the relationships that I can have the greatest impact. (Although, I will say that God had grace on me when he blessed me with two boys!)
Throughout the last few years, God has placed several women in my life that have given me hope in female friendships. There have been rough moments, as well as joyous moments, that I have had the pleasure in sharing with these women. In the past I would have closed off in fear of being hurt, yet through marriage, childbirth, depression, anxiety, marriage trouble, and a miscarriage, these women have been there. Whether or not I realized it at the time, they were there. I did not not have this epiphany until I was sitting in my seat listening to Christine Caine (www.ChristineCaine.com) encouraging us women to essentially cut the crap, band together, and change the world. (My own synopsis of course!) Questioning why we compare each other or focus on who’s the next big thing. I began to get chills recognizing that I was simply not trusting God. I didn’t have faith that He would allow me to have meaningful relationships because it was not happening in my timing. One of the speakers of the conference said something that tied this all together for me. “The Christian life is NOT a sprint, it’s a marathon. Don’t look to the right or the left…run your race!”
All the times that I have been hurt has made me truly appreciate the women in my life that God has placed there. They all are in my life for various reasons. IF I believe in my heart of hearts that God is real, then why am I questioning His process? “Affirmation from the world cannot mend a broken heart…do everything for an audience of one!” There is a stirring in my heart for women…did I just say that?! Yes! I am not the typical woman…I am not emotional and I eat like a man…IF I believe God is real, then I have to let go of what I think I want, and let the Lord show me what He wants.