This writing thing has been an “out-of-my-comfort-zone” endeavor. I think the most difficult part of any writing project is getting started. On more than one occasion I have begun writing about something that has been on my mind or relevant to where I am right now, only to read exactly how I’ve been feeling in another post here on Well Christian Woman. I so appreciate the wisdom and vulnerability of those who write for this blog, and I have been both surprised and not-surprised by the commonality of our struggles, our desires, and goals as Christian women.
Sometimes it can feel as though we are taking this journey alone. We believe that our deepest cares and concerns are our own to carry and deal with all alone. Even those of us who recharge by solitude need to know that we have other women in our life who will cheer on our successes and support us in our failures.
I remember the deep relief I felt the day a friend of mine said that she detested getting on the floor and playing Barbies with her 4-year-old daughter. I adored my little girls, but I had been feeling the same way. The very thought of verbalizing my true feelings about playing dolls was enough to make me feel as though I had somehow betrayed motherhood. The relief came in realizing that not only was I not a terrible mother for feeling this way, but there were other moms who hated playing Barbies too!
There was a time I tried to be super mom, perfect wife, ideal pastor’s wife, best friend, and model employee, only to fall short in every area. There is joy in living in truth with ourselves and with each other. Trying to be something we are not is exhausting. I think as we get older we figure this out. We learn to embrace our flaws, accept our limitations and believe we are enough the way God created us. We can trust Him to change us in the ways we need changing and to use us as we are.
I have been lucky to have had some wonderful women come alongside me through the years; women who have loved me enough to speak truth into my life. It was not always received in the same spirit in which it was intended (pride does that) but it was always what I needed to hear for that time. I believe that God validates the impact of a woman speaking truth to another.
God has called you to serve me and me to serve you, by speaking the truth in love.
“…speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” Ephesians 4:15
In establishing the ministry of Inspire Women, the founder said this, “Imagine a world where every woman wakes up knowing her purpose. More than that, she has a friend who believes in her and will invest in her.” The women God has used to convict me of my bad attitude, my apathy, or other areas of sin in my life are the same women who have been there to celebrate with me when I get it right.
The challenge then is this: Instead of feeling offended, welcome the unsolicited advice of those who have come before us. I’ve said it more than once in my adult life, “My mother was right.” I believe one day my daughters will say the same.
I am doing my best to embrace the truth spoken in love by those who deeply care for me. I find it easy to become defensive when I’m challenged in this way, but if I look at is as an opportunity for growth, I will grow. Thinking back, the phrase “Ellen, let it go” was spoken to me many times. None of us likes to be confronted when there needs to be a change made in our lives, but that’s what helps to make us our most authentic selves.
I want to be someone who loves enough to speak the truth in love to the other women in my life. We live in an each-to-their-own kind of world where we value minding our own business above loving the people we are supposed to love enough to be real with them. We are all on this journey together and how blessed we are when we find the kind of truth-telling friend who will be honest with us.
Tim Keller said it well: “Truth without love is imperious self-righteousness. Love without truth is cowardly self-indulgence. Both are selfish.”