There isn’t a woman I know who doesn’t have a journey of bright highlights and heartbreaking challenges, beautiful smiles and oceans of tears, bestie memories and betrayal let-downs, wonderful surprises and painful trials, confidence-injections and insecurity battles, celebration moments and passing storms, things to look forward to, things to breathe past and things long gone.
Whether we’re friends, polite acquaintances, former amigas, barely on waving terms or otherwise…whether your bank account is temporarily bald, pockets are packed or wall is stacked with awards…whatever your skin-tone, accent, native language, social status, ambitions or address…
We’re all works in progress living in purpose, answering the heavenly call on our earthly lives, facing challenges, enjoying highlights and tending to people and things as best as we can at any given moment. We may have experienced similar things with different intensities, faced the same giants with different weapons, made the same poor decisions at times, and encountered loss of different kinds.
Choosing Encouragement Over Envy And Community Over Isolation
Sometimes the helping hand you’d like comes from a face you don’t…sometimes the one who shares the same trial as you (or overcame it already) doesn’t share the same skin tone…sometimes who you confide in is taking future post-it notes…sometimes the one who’s on the “still to forgive” list is who’ll recommend you for something you’re hoping for…sometimes the one who needs to say sorry is you…or me (ouch)
This isn’t a call (at all) for a group-hug. I’m too much of an introvert in this season for that, and let’s face it – some people have differences that are bound to clash, and not everyone is your friend.
Still, we may not know what someone else is growing through, has already overcome or will face at some point. Something healthy and healing happens when we can learn through and alongside each other and enjoy the value of what it is to encourage and be encouraged by one another along the way.
…like the acquaintance ‘dressed to the nine’ in town. I was on a mission but recognized that look. One little question and it turns out she was on her way to go take a bottle of pills after a longtime love was found to be cheating. With all the clacking of high heels and manicured nails on phones, who can even hear the sound of a heart breaking these days?
i asked if she wanted to pray. She did. Took out the small bible that has a special place in my purse and read and prayed…right there on a corner in town – literally at a crossroad. Even in my imperfection, a perfect Heavenly Father heard that prayer and comforted her. God is so kind and never turns a willing heart away – not mine – not yours – not ever. He cares and “his mercy endures forever.”
Things like that have happened quite a few times; pressing calls, messages, seemingly ‘random’ meet-ups. i had no idea the challenge i went through as a teen and shared about as an adult would make me more approachable to sisters at many stages of life struggling in different seasons. No props to me; all glory to God. He’s sent many helping hands who reached out along my life walk too.
When women (occasionally and purposefully) gather to celebrate, encourage and kindly correct each other, it overflows into families, communities, countries and deeds….but woo! – when we choose to be enemies – it’s like a bubbling river of molten lava travelling à toute vitesse, destroying everything in its path leaving little or no sign of life, far less the flowers we love so much.
BUT – have you ever seen or been a woman going through (or at the cusp of) a crisis and watched genuine friends or caring strangers quietly intervene? It is a sight to behold! Have you ever received or shared a timely word of encouragement? i have. None of us knows everything or is always bright-eyed and sunny-side up. There’s a reason we’re created in plural.
Sis, you are more than your career and to-do list and any of us can be used to encourage and uplift someone else; it’s a part of our calling, walk and work.
With sisterly love,
a willing work-in-progress
Feel free to highlight a sister/friend/relative and how they encourage you.
“Sister To Sister – Choosing Encouragement Over Envy And Community Over Isolation” by Indra Denys first appeared on ‘Joy within’ blog