“Certain things in life are just downright hard. Singleness…Infertility…Job stuff…When our hopes and dreams are not meant, and our expectations get the best of us, we are prone to quit working at it and believing in (whatever “it” is). In those seasons, one of the greatest gifts is community. Friends that believe for more and hope for more than we can allow ourselves to. Friends that stand in the gap, point back to truth, encourage and get on their knees for us. Is there someone you stand in the gap for today?” – if:gathering
My heart swelled with a million “YES!”‘s when I read this this morning. I’ve been struggling with hopes and dreams not being met, and seeing the women around deal with the same thing. We all so desperately want to trust God with our lives, but can’t seem to ignore our own hearts in the process.
As women, we have the power to build up and the power to completely destroy. God has gifted us with influence, and emotional intelligence that we too often use for controlling, manipulating or seducing. Our deep desire to love gets warped through filters of insecurity and we find ourselves protecting ourselves from the very people that can help us.
I’ve been practicing relationships this year. When my insides tense up during conversations, I breathe deep and refuse to run. When an opportunity arises that is inconvenient, I put on my big girl pants and show up.
Life is hard. No matter who you are or where you are, WE ALL STRUGGLE. I want to stand guard for my friends who are suffering, and help them heal their wounds. I want to rise up and fight for the women who are being hit by the bullets of the enemy. I want to, and I want THEM to want to.
WE WERE MADE FOR THIS.
None of us can do this on our own, because we weren’t designed to. My friend Amy has such childlike faith that she cuts through my doubt and wonder and points me back to truth. My friend Cazi has such tenderness that she is often like a salve on my wounds and helps me not be ashamed of my scars. My friend Melissa has a passion that fiercely protects and helps you realize that you’re not alone.
I can’t do LIFE without them. Or at least not very well.
There are so many other miraculous women in my life, and we all bring something to the table. A table that would otherwise be very sparse were we trying to fill it on our own. I am so grateful that they are in my life, and that they let me into theirs.
My prayer is that God will continue to develop strong communities of women, that we would stop competing for a bigger piece of the pie and start fighting for a BIGGER PIE. That we would realize the power and promise of community, and step into it. That we would look outside ourselves to the people right next to us. That we would stop pretending like we’ve got it together while we’re actually spiritually and emotionally DYING, hoping that someone would just freaking SAY SOMETHING.
Well be the first to say something. Offer a piece of yourself to someone, and see if they return it back. If they don’t, it’s okay. We’re not all brave warriors immediately. But if they do, KEEP OFFERING and KEEP RECEIVING. Because “how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live in community.” (Psalm 133:1)