Thursday, June 19, 2014

Book Series: Women Living Well - Chapter 5

Never Walk Alone

I had the privilege of growing up in the church and was raised in a Christian home. Thus, I had many opportunities to participate in Bible studies and small groups. In high school I had a small group of girls from my high school, church, and youth group I invited to participate in an accountability group. We got together and prayed together (but mostly was just a good opportunity to get together and eat junk food my mom bought for our times together!). It was nice to have this group of Christian girls to get together with and encourage each other in our faith.

Bible college provided many opportunities for small groups, Bible studies, and my relationships with both the volunteers and homeless women in a local homeless ministry. Post-college, I have lived a very transient lifestyle. Through the loss of my job two times in three years, I moved to two separate communities in Kentucky alone. With all the moving around, I have not had much opportunities to put down roots yet. However, through all my different moves, God has always provided me with at least one close Christian girlfriend and also allowed me to stay in contact with many friends I have met along the way.

My husband made the move to our current community when we got married even though I lost my job a couple months before our wedding. We are hoping to make our current community our home, but are still settling in and making connections in our area. I am looking forward to developing relationships with women in our community and church. Although I have several encouraging Christian women locally in my life who speak encouragement into my life and provide accountability, I don't yet have a small group I am a part of in our area.

I have always had one or two Christian girlfriends at any given time (different ones in different seasons) which have provided me with accountability and encouragement. Although I have walked with God for most of my life, I haven't had a perfect faith journey. These girlfriends have prayed for me and spoken truth into my life when I desperately needed it. My relationships with my girlfriends meet a need my husband can't at times and I can't imagine walking through life without them.

Although I have never had a mentor, I have been blessed with godly women in my family as well as close family friends. These women have provided me with godly role models and provided me encouragement through my growing up years. Prayers, cards, and care packages have been showered on me while I was away at Bible college and also in my adult life. I was humbled by the outpouring of love last spring and summer as these women threw me six bridal showers, helped with wedding preparations, and even brought lunch to us while we were getting ready for my wedding ceremony.

My mom and I recently threw a friendship shower for a young expectant mother in my home church. It was a special time for women in our church to gather and share wisdom from their own parenting experiences. We had a time of sharing where every woman present shared a story of friendship in their own life. There was lots of laughter and tears as these women of varying ages bonded through these shared stories of real life and sisterhood.

Ecclesiastes 4:
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: 10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
What other tangible benefits do you receive from walking closely with another person as you process life with its ups and downs?

This is a beautiful picture of both friendship and marriage. My girlfriends have been there through the years to listen, pray, and empathize with me in my hard times. Sometimes they have just been present while I vented and helped me devour lots of ice cream and junk food. These girlfriends have most importantly pointed me back to Christ and continued to encourage me through the hardship and afterwards.

Likewise, for those of us who are married, our husbands are there to hold us as we cry. My husband has been a strength this year as I have gone through a season of unemployment and trying to figure out what comes next. He has prayed with me and for me to continue trusting God to open and close doors according to His will. He has brought me flowers and donuts when I have a bad day. He has been my rock and provided me the spiritual leadership I have needed when I just want to cry and give up at times. Marriage is truly a blessing and has shown me so much about Christ's love for us.

Take inventory of your life right now. With whom are you walking in an Ecclesiastes 4:9 way?
If the answer is “no one”, spend a few moments in prayer asking God to bring someone in your life who will walk alongside you as you seek to love and serve the King.

In Christ,

*Note: Reviving Homemaking is not an affiliate of or the publishing companies (Thomas Nelson & HarperCollins Christian Publishing). No compensation has been received by either of these entities for the review of the book. All opinions are my own. 

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