Recently a friend called me and shared something she was struggling through. I listened intently and felt the pain in her voice. As she told me her struggle she mentioned that only her husband and I knew about this struggle. He was supportive of her and a great source of encouragement, and now so was I, but there was no one else. Since we are states away and I couldn't run there and sit with her and listen I asked her if she had mentioned anything to her other friends.
Pause in the conversation.
She then explained to me that although she wanted to share with her friends, she was worried about what her friends would think about her. You see, they all go to church together and some of their husbands are deacons. It was there that I felt the words that she said next hit me like a ton of bricks. She continued on telling me that she was worried about their husbands finding out about her struggle since they are leaders in their church. She worried they would think less of her husband and her.
She worried about her reputation at church.
I paused and then I said, “who cares?”.
Really guys who cares what people think about us at church. Why do we sometimes feel as though that's the one place we have to have it all together. That if people knew at church we were struggling they would think that we were less than them.
Really? Aren't we all struggling? Can we just all admit to that. I don't have my crap together and neither do you. Three years ago a group of girls and I went through an intensive discipleship program at my church and it was there that I learned this first hand. I learned that we could all bring our crap to the group, confess it, and pray over it, and move on. They still love me and they know all of me. They still accept me and they know all of me. They still respect me and they know all of me.
My prayer for us women is that we can be friends that encourage one another in our strengths, and we can stand beside one another in our weaknesses. That we can remember Jesus words, “Healthy people don't need a doctor–sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Ladies we are all sinners, so let's stop pretending like we are not.
I urge you to find a friend that you can be real with. Find someone that you can look in the eye and say, I haven't read my bible in two months, and that they will hug you, pray with you, and help you get back into God's word. Find someone that you can look in the eye and say, I'm struggling with lustful thoughts, and they will hug you, pray for you, and help you fight this sin.
I decided a few years ago that nothing anyone tells me that they are struggling with should shock me. We are messed up people, and although we have been forgiven of much, and grace and mercy have been poured out on us, we are still sinners. Sin will havoc our lives until the last breath we take. Let us be women that are not shocked when someone confides in us. Let us be women that look them in their eyes and share the same grace with them that Jesus has shown us. His grace is not conditional, and his mercy never ends.