Several years ago I stepped out of my comfortable little circle and joined a ~gasp~Womens’ Bible Study. For anyone who knows anything about me you know this was a huge step; afterall I had my circles who knew all about my life~or at least what I thought they should know~ and they loved me just the same.
For any one who knows anything about w-o-m-e-n you know how huge this was. Women can be scary, confusing, judgmental, critical, unpredictable and cliquish. What was I thinking?! The study calling me was “Captivating”, (a book I highly recommend to anyone who knows a female) and I could not resist. So, there go I…and 80 other women. YES! Eighty! What was I thinking?! All these The Social Sceneperfect- women- with- their- lives- altogether- with- loving- honoring- husbands, children- who- probably- read- the- Bible- daily-did-all-their-chores-and-homework-without-being-asked, who-could-bring-home-the-bacon-AND-serve-it-up- in- 30- minutes AND -still- look -like- a -super- model-even -when- they- cry; you know, those kinds of women.
And here was I, newly divorced, exhausted from long being the single – working mom- home owning-carpool driving-PTC attending- cookie exchanging-well you get the idea. As this time together went on, what I learned amazed me. Yes, there are some women who CAN somehow do it all, but the majority of the ladies I met felt the same way as I. Over the weeks, we shared our hearts, our hurts and hangups. We laughed and cried and prayed and encouraged one another. We discovered that Life can be messy and it is so much better to have real people to walk along with us when it is. It is so much better to have real people celebrate with us in those moments when Life seems neat and tidy!
Some time later, our small group leader shared that she did not even like other women because of the hurt so many had caused her and her family over the years. This was a turning point for her, as well. Since that time of growth and enlightenment I have continued to be part of various groups , not all with such healing outcomes. I, like you, have been deeply wounded by women who choose gossip and speculation over Truth. Whose own wounds cause them to reject rather than entertain the possibility of being rejected..or accepted. Whose rigid beliefs, insecurities and own traumas keep them reacting the same old way. Some of these women I have even called ‘friend’.
Women are people. People are bundles of emotions, conflicts, joys, experiences through which we filter life~and each other. In this new year I look back to see the amazing women that have been brought into my path . Learning that I am free in the safety of those with tender hearts, words of comfort AND reasonable accountability. How did they learn these skills? From other women with tender hearts, words of comfort…
These women are the reason I can open my home, join groups on mission trips, Youth Group activities, service projects, Ladies Nights and much more. These women are the reason I can share the not so pretty and be loved just the same. AMAZING! Lovely! Refreshing!
Hoping that along the way I will share some words of Wisdom, my own tender heart and lessons to shape the life of a young girl or mature woman (and my sons). As iron sharpens iron , a tender heart shapes another. Gentleness, kindness and acceptance offers the opportunity for one to be the confident, loving Princess we are intended to be. Today I invite you to shape a future with your own words of encouragement and tender heart. That through it all, you will still love, honor and accept them …and let someone know that she is not meant to do it alone.
“Two are better than one… for if they fall, the other will lift up (her) fellow.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Until Next time, Shandra
Linking here:The Social Scene