So we’ve talked about why we need friendship and the power of encouragement.
We’ve learned that we must “get right with God” before we enter-in to healthy relationship and we’ve discussed the kinds of friends that might be present in our lives.
We dove into the fun topic of conflict and how to handle it in a way that glorifies God.
We’ve discussed forgiveness and learned a thing or two about boundaries.
We’ve covered a whole lot of relational ground during the past eleven weeks, sisters.
None of it has been all too easy; some of it was funny and still some was downright, unabashedly painful.
Yet in the end, all of this stuff we don’t always like to talk about will help our fruit to be sweeter when we engage in relationships with others.
Now the time has come for us to stick our toes back into the proverbial waters of female friendships–and do so without fear.
Because if we are right with God and we depend on HIM to name our identity instead of those around us, then even if we are hurt by another woman, or anyone for that matter, it stings just a little bit less. It still stings, yes, but when we understand how much we are loved by Him, it’s no longer devastating.
It’s been asked, “How do I know I won’t just get hurt again?”
And quite simply, my response is: you won’t.
You don’t ever know if you will be hurt in any relationship that’s beginning to bud.
But isn’t it worth the risk?
Because what if you aren’t hurt? What if it turns out to be a relationship that produces the kind of friend who loyally sits at your bedside when you are diagnosed with cancer? What if she holds your hand when you say good-bye to your husband? What if she makes dinner for your family for a week straight when you are taking finals for your PhD?
So often we are taught to look at the fear of new situations instead of embracing the possibility of what could be.
Sometimes I wonder if we are just so scared of the good that we hide behind what is familiar. What we know. What is safe.
But safety can be incredibly lonely. Been there, done that.
“So where do I begin?” you may wonder.
You just choose to start. You decide you are going to allow yourself to be vulnerable. Authentic. Unafraid. Straight-up real.
The iron gate of pretense is an unsurmountable wall that masks our true self and no one ever gets through.
Until the day comes when we have the courage to take it down. When we invite someone past our front porch and into our living room. When we cling to the truth of admitting we aren’t perfect and probably won’t ever be.
Anais Nin once said “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
Let yourself blossom, sweet sisters.
The world is waiting for your beauty.
And I must say . . . a patch of blossoming flowers is far lovelier than a single one standing alone.
Let us bloom and admire the distinctive ways we color the patch.
Thank you for walking this path during the past eleven weeks. We will dive deeper into each of these topics and more (including how to teach your daughters about friendship and suggestions on how to build an effective women’s ministry team) in my book, Heart Sisters: Creating Love and Support Among Women, to be released by Abingdon Press in 2014.
Stay-tuned for more information!