“Real Talk” for Women, the flyer at church said. The evening gathering would be the first of its kind. The flyer went on,
Real Talk. Real Conversation. Real Women.
To be honest, I wasn’t optimistic. In fact, I almost didn’t attend. But our Women’s Ministry has a creative, energetic leadership team pulling together times for us to connect with each other, to build friendships. The least I could do was show up for the first meeting and give it a chance. Friendship building sounded pretty good.
That, and the flyer also mentioned dessert.
So I arrived and chatted with a few ladies I hadn’t talked to lately. Desserts in hand, we all gathered in a large circle formed by two couches and a bunch of folding chairs.
I half expected some open-ended questions, each followed by an awkward silence. (The loudest and most awkward silence, I assumed, would be by own. I’m not much for calling attention to myself.) Then maybe a handful of reluctant, brief responses to each question. Could I come up with anything impressive to say? Probably not. More awkwardness.
Did I mention I expected to feel a little awkward at this event?
Little did I know.
That evening’s facilitator shared her heart-wrenching story of a childhood marked by little love and no guidance. As she grew into an understandably dysfunctional adult, Jesus stepped in and offered to rescue her. He changed her life from the inside out.
We sisters started to share, people! Women opened up about the challenges they were facing, many of them things we’d normally never divulge. Too embarrassing, too shameful, too yukky…
…too much like we didn’t have every area of life completely under control. (On a side note: No one has it all together. Why do I hate to admit that I don’t, either?)
Struggling women asked for encouragement and/or advice. Those of us who had experienced similar problems shared our perspective from a bit farther down the road. No one displayed even a shred of judgment toward anyone else.
One woman, who bore especially heavy emotional burdens, became a little distraught. I found my “wallflower” self going over to kneel beside her and pray, along with a dozen other women.
“Real Talk,” indeed. No masks, no sense of awkwardness, no self-consciousness even. Just a sincere love and desire to help each other carry our loads to Jesus.
Because it’s all–everything is all–about him.
Our life was never about us, what we could do for ourselves. We are his creation, dependent on him for everything from eternal life, to meaningful careers and relationships, down to the next beat of our hearts. There’s no point in pretending otherwise.
And since Jesus already defeated death,
surely we can trust him to handle our problems.
Thanks for reading,
PS: This week I am linking up with the Soli Deo Gloria sisters over at Jen’s website. You are welcome to come “listen” in!