We’ll be friends forever, won’t we, Pooh? asked Piglet.
Even longer, Pooh answered.
Nothing nourishes my weary bones like a girlfriend.
This weekend I sat at the wellspring of girlfriends and felt renewed.
One of my dear friends analyzed the weekend like this: “It’s sort of like a preview of Heaven….”
Don’t you love that picture? A place of community not competition. A place of empathy not exclusion. A place of compassion not comparison.
The reality is girls get girls.
If we scrubbed all the icky stuff that we women can sometimes do to sabotage one another, then our female interactions would be so deeply restorative.
I am really working on this.
I’m pretty good at friendship (I’m a little flaky right now with my crazy calendar, but I’m fiercely loyal and a defender to the end). But I’m nowhere near perfect at woman to woman interactions.
I can size up a reaction or a comment and input motivation to it that has nothing to do with me. Last weekend I heard a woman share her story about stopping herself from reacting to something hurtful that occurred. THEN six months later she received an apology from the woman who hurt her. Turned out, the speaker’s friend was going through some incredibly hard life circumstances and had reacted out of her pain. If the speaker had not given her the benefit of the doubt, if she hadn’t offered grace in response, then that relationship might never have been restored. They would have shot back and forth over each other’s pain, somehow trying to defend their own heart, and in the process more deeply scar one another and anyone else caught in the crossfire.
Maybe we could give our fellow travelers on this journey the benefit of the doubt?
I was typing this out when my friend send me this insightful post from Momastery about how hard women are on one another. The post was specifically in the context of stay at home moms versus working moms, but the storyline is true no matter where women turn. This is what came out of my soul in response:
You know, this conference I went to was revolutionary for me. I haven’t even been able to fully process it. I roomed with two “stay at home” moms though Lord knows they’re having to run from pillar to post to manage their busy families. One homeschools her kiddos and is being used by God to reach those suffering from sexual abuse because of her own painful experiences. One has been divorced and remarried and knows the dark struggles of marriage and the hardships of raising four kids aged 3 to 17 but passionately encourages others in their own struggles. We were sisters. I am telling you, we were sisters. It wasn’t about who did what when or comparing who had the deepest scars, but it was just about knowing we all had scars and we lived life as best we could and sought God’s face in the middle of it all.
There is so much competition. Between moms. Between bloggers. Between career women. Between Christians. And I am just so compelled to preach a message of community instead of competition.
So I am going to spend the next couple of months telling other people’s stories. Because I want to share that we all have our hurts and our struggles and our own stories. There is so much that goes into how we interact with and perceive others. Can we just encourage each other to keep walking and hold each other up when one of us can’t take another step?
Stay tuned. Keep the faith. Choose community.