AWKWARD AT FIRST
Disclaimer: First of all before I even post this post I have a confession to make. The whole night is a blur and I forgot to take pictures. I usually am all over documenting events but I totally tanked on that part of this event. I usually take tons of pictures. Not this time. I seriously grabbed a couple and that’s it. Oh well! It is what it is. I didn’t even get a picture of our panel answering questions….nothing! I would also like to thank my daughter Madison for cooking for the event. Additional recognition goes to my man, ShaneBaby for cleaning my house. I was gone for 4 days before this event took place and they pulled it off. I had very little to do with getting all that done. Thank you to my fam !!!!
God is doing some things within me as of late and I feel like it’s big, however it’s nothing new. It’s almost like God is trying to steer me back to the basics of what community, engagement and sharing His love really does look like.
As I look out at our culture I find as women we are super lonely !
We are caving to the need for perfection !
We are drowning in a sea of loneliness!
We are struggling with the messiness of life, because life is messy !
We have grabbed ahold of the mindset that every other woman has received her certificate in “super womanhood” !
We have the mindset that we are the only one in our immediate vicinity that is on the “hot mess express” !
Can I just say that is a lie from the pit of hell. I believe these are some of the most widely used tricks he uses to keep us segregated.
I am exposing that MESS and stepping into purposely and intentionally debunking that stinkin’ thinkin !
We are afraid to say we are struggling !
We are afraid to say we have problems !
We are afraid to expose our hurt !
We are afraid to admit we have sinned !
We are afraid to be real because everyone else already has their “super woman cape”!
We are afraid to show our realness because it’s not the picture we see from the window as we peek in on everyone else’s life !
I believe God is starting a new season in my life. I have dubbed this season, “Under The Influence”! Whether you acknowledge it or not we are all being influenced by someone. Right now, most of us are being influenced by the enemy that is keeping us discouraged. When we step in to a Biblical model of love and encouragement then we have exposed the enemy and real “to the core” relationships can be built. This night was the beginning of this season. I actually hosted one of these events probably five years back. God has brought me full circle and dropped this in my spirit yet again. I am sure you’ve heard me talk some about community. This is something you are going to hear a lot from me on the facebook page and the website. It’s just my heart. You will see lots of posts and videos about everyday things and issues. We just need a little encouragement to walk through them.
So let’s talk about this event! I hosted this “Under The Influence” event in my home. I love the home events because they are just more intimate. I assembled a panel of older women that would answer some questions the younger women have. This is a Biblical model of the Titus 2 woman. I will say as we sat and talked that I learned some things as well. Even though I was one of the “older” girls in the room, I listened as the young women spoke of their struggles and I also listened to the wisdom those “older” girls on the panel had to give. I was not just the mentor. I was being mentored.
Ladies, we can all grow from one another. If we have the mentality that we are past being taught then we will never be used to the fullest potential God may have for us. Gods desire to mold and conform me to the image of His son will never end. Never Not Ever!
My target “girl” for this night was pretty specific. I wanted young married women. I wanted moms with “littles”. I wanted women in the “almost married” stage of life. This was my goal. We set out from the “get go” that their would be no family bashing, no husband bashing and no children bashing. I don’t do that! It ain’t gonna happen. Our goal for this evening was for God to equip us to be better in any area of life we were struggling. I don’t know about you but most of the time when I am struggling it’s me He changes not my circumstances.
Video invites were sent out to these precious ladies. None of them had been to an event like this before. I have no doubt that they were a little nervous about how all this was going to go down but they did great.
The women on the panel were chosen. I was super selective. These women needed to be women of impact, wisdom and confidentiality. This type of ministry can tear down the body of Christ if the women who serve on the panel are gossips and not women of Godly council. Ladies, if God pricks your heart to begin this type of ministry, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be selective. We hope to have these home events 3-4 times a year.
We started with….chicken salad on croissant ! Yes you guessed it LOL. Seems like if you are going to a women’s event then something on a croissant is going to be served. It was wonderful. Madison “aka” Sony did a wonderful job with the meal. We ate in the dining room, chitchatted and then retired to the living room. Some of the “older” girls shared how they met their spouses. There were lots of “awhs” shared during this time. Ice breakers for sure. Relationships and hearts were already being exposed to each other.
So…the young women brought me questions ahead of time. I put them all in a jar and randomly brought their questions out on the night of the event. I know as the questions were being asked I am sure their hearts probably went, “Oh my Lord”! “Did somebody really ask that?” The beauty of the evening is that everyone gets to grow from the struggles of another. No one knew who asked what question!
It was a little stuffy at first until we just started speaking about real life. The “older” girls never spoke out of condemnation but a place of compassion. They spoke of where they had walked and what they had learned. Questions about in laws, rearing children, boundaries in marriage and some tougher questions that you wouldn’t anticipate we would tackle. Here’s what I say to that, if we want to build up Godly women then they need to trust you with any struggle they might have.
Did we fix every problem that was represented to us that night? No. What did happen is every girl in that room whether she was in her 20’s or in her 60’s felt like her voice was heard and she mattered to the community of women assembled there that night. I can guarantee you every girl in that room learned something as she listened to the hearts of others. We learned everyone is or has gone through similar struggles. Most of the time we didn’t get it right in the moment and we didn’t mind sharing the truth of that. Hurts and struggles were exposed that would not normally get exposed in a formal church session. Ladies…we need more community.
About half way through the night the younger women began to relax and share more intimately.
THIS IS THE GOAL !
I love that Titus 2 tells us that the older women teach the younger, but as I have walked with the Lord I have learned a few things. Some younger women are deeper in their faith than us “older” girls. Everyone has room for growth.
Structured church functions are not enough ! I think we have planned our “time” with our Christian friends as 9-12 on Sundays….maybe you go 3 times a week. Throw a fellowship meal in their a couple times a year and a Sunday school party and we call that intimacy. Nope! That ain’t it !
Often times there is very little “realness” that can get down to the marrow of where we live in structured settings. Ladies get lost in the masses. We suffer in silence and become more isolated. We perceive ourselves as outcast and we drift away from the body.
You weren’t an outcast!
The devil made you feel like you were an outcast!
He purposely uses these tactics because he knows there is strength to be had when girls get together and share how God has walked them through the diffulcult seasons of life. He knows and he is after that influence !
So what do you do? You start small !!!
You want help starting this at your church? I will help you! I would love to come speak with your ladies about starting an event similar to this. I would absolutely love that!
This is our small beginning of the “Under The Influence” season of life.
You will see numerous blog posts coming this next year about this very thing. Practical everyday stuff that every girl can apply !
I am looking forward to this next season with you.