Women, if you don’t have a solid circle of ladies you call friends ~ GET SOME! (And by solid I mean those ladies in your life that love the Lord deeply and are intentional in doing their best to rise above the things that are common to tear us down ~ gossip, back-biting, and comparing.)
I haven’t always been someone that wanted to have close friends. I know, that is like heresy in the female world. But honestly, women can be mean. Seriously!
Sometimes we do it without meaning to, but ladies, often it is intentional. And why? We are insecure and we have a fear of getting hurt. So, what is the best way to keep from getting hurt? Either put up your defenses and hurt first, or just retreat. I chose to retreat after being hurt. And in that process, you know what happened?
I lost myself. I stopped using my gifts, I became completely discontent, and I allowed my joy to be taken from me. I stopped being who God created me to be.
Sure this may have been as a result of being hurt, but my retreat was my fault. No one else’s. God never called me to that.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. ~ 2 Timothy 1:7
Exactly. This is another one of those Truths we have to choose to claim and live out.
As I have prayed and asked God to heal my hurts and show me how I can best serve Him, He has been so faithful to answer those prayers. I will say, those answers didn’t always come in the way I thought they would, or maybe even wanted. Some of them came in a way that stretched me way more than I would have liked. But I am so thankful for them today.
Some of my closest friends today, I didn’t even know eight months ago.
Let me explain how that happened for me.
One table + Eight Women + Four Questions = IF:Table
I personally knew one of these eight women, and that was actually only as a result of a one time meeting about 5 months prior. Most of us didn’t know each other at all. So, what possessed me, this self made introvert, to all of a sudden trust and walk into some lady’s house I barely knew? I DON’T KNOW!
There was a mixture of the Holy Spirit prompting me (I just knew I needed to do this) and then my sweet husband. He was confident the Lord had placed this opportunity in my lap. So, as I sat in my garage contemplating whether or not I was going to even leave the driveway, the Lord used my husband to finally just say, “Kim, just stop it. Go!”
Well, I did. And I have thanked God so very often that I did.
You see, what happened around that table that night was so special. I have never felt so quickly connected to other women in my life. We were all seeking the same thing. We all had insecurities but we were all seeking authentic fellowship with other women.
We answered the questions which are really designed to help you get to know one another pretty quickly while skipping some of the superficial fluff we have a tendency to migrate towards. Honestly, in those two hours, we all laughed and some cried, but I think I can speak for all of us and say that we all felt safe.
Over the last 8 months we have shared in answered prayers, saying good-bye to one of our ladies that moved, introduced our families to one another, and are continuing to rejoice in new friendships. These ladies have challenged me to be exactly who God has created me to be, and will always speak Truth into my life. I can count on them to always point me back to who really matters. To get my eyes off of myself. To keep chasing hard after Him! King Jesus!
This life is hard and messy and complicated. As women, we can sometimes make that worse than it needs to be. Sometimes for ourselves, and sometimes even for other women.
In the words of my sweet husband, we all need to “just stop it!” We need to be obedient to God and use the gifts he has given us for His glory! And what a great way to glorify him ~ by encouraging His daughters to keep pressing into Him and keep looking up so they can do all that God created them to do!
So, as I said at the beginning of this, if you don’t have a healthy circle of friends that continually point you to Jesus, be a part of that change in your life! Let me encourage you, even if it is out of your comfort zone, if you get invited to something with other ladies that you feel could lift you up, GO! Or, maybe you are the one that is supposed to be the catalyst! Invite other women to your table, or out for coffee, or wherever your favorite place is. But just do it!
Let me share a video that will give you a glimpse into the vision of IF:Table:
This may not be the tool the Lord uses to help you connect with other women, but if it is, I would love to hear all about it. I can’t share enough what just simply saying YES! to one intentional invitation meant to me. I just can’t.
Please, please don’t miss out on the blessings the Lord has planned for you because of fear or past hurts. Those things are not of the Lord. He has GREAT plans for your life!
Instead of thinking, what if…they don’t like me? what if…I don’t fit in? what if…I’m not ‘good enough’?
Why not start with this ~ What IF this is exactly where I am supposed to be for such a time as this?! What IF some of my greatest next blessings are right through that door?!
Be obedient sister, whether you have a husband pushing you out of the driveway or not…just say YES!