Life is hard enough on its own and even harder on your own. It’ll knock you down and bring you straight to your knees, skinning them up and bruising your insides.
I’ve heard it said before that when we are brought to our knees, we then find ourselves in the perfect position to pray.
That sounds really pretty – and I’m not at all disagreeing with it – but I have found that when I’m on my knees, He uses community to lift me back up. Into His arms they push me, cheering me on, shouting encouragement, calling out the Truth when I only hear lies.
It hasn’t always been this way. I haven’t always had these people. There are years in my story featuring only two characters – me and my sweet, sweet Jesus.
Those years, as painful and uprooted as they were, are some of the sweetest. Not because times were happy or I felt known deep inside, but because He was my safe place and my roots sunk into Him.
When you abide with the Truth you’ll find yourself dwelling in His goodness.
He is the One who doesn’t run out, run away, or run down a list of how you haven’t measured up. But oh, He does run. He runs straight to you, arms open wide, gifts in His hands, love pouring out.
He is our safe place and our stories are secure in Him.
But He isn’t much for walls and He wasn’t a big fan of the ones I built. I was callused, bruised, and torn up inside, but in many different ways He took on flesh to bandage my wounds. Through the words and love of those around me, He taught me what it looks like to live in community.
Fellowship is a funny word, one that is much more about what you see around you than letters strung together to make up a definition. Community is a buzz word but if it’s just a word then we’ve missed the entire point.
We are safe in Him, but we all need a safe place to breathe, safe sisters to hold our words and our stories in confidence and love.
Safe women hold hands when the light is dim and the darkness hovers.
Safe women speak the Truth in love.
Safe women listen to listen instead of listening to respond.
Safe women share when there is much and when there is little.
Safe women cheer instead of compare, encourage instead of envy.
When we choose to be safe women for each other, we choose to make compassion our default instead of comparison. We pick freedom instead of finding fault. We are a love letter to each other instead of a list of expectations.
We must learn how to be safe women for each other because our knees are going to scrape and our hearts are going to bruise. But us safe women, we can love and lead and listen. We can be a safe place for the telling as we open our hands and our homes and offer our hours. Free time is a fleeting gift but relationships trump results.
Safe women choose each other — above the chaos and the laundry and the homework, above sleep or To-Dos or fears. They eliminate expectations and preach a life of love instead of a story of perfectionism. They are the brave ones.
We all need a few safe women, a hand to hold in the dark and a shoulder to lean on when we’re weary. Smiles to share and laughs that are contagious. A knowing look or someone who simply shows up, coffee and cookie in hand.
We all need a few safe women.