Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Spend Some Time In Her Shoes-Part 2

And what about the women who we judge to “have it all together”? Women who appear to have a perfect life. Often, these women believe that if we really knew who they were, we would not like or accept them. There are many women who are hiding behind the I’ve Got It All Together mask at all times. 

The IGIAT mask is the one we hide behind so that we do not have to reveal anything about ourselves. So we don’t look bad. Don’t get me wrong, it's okay to walk in a positive light with a positive attitude. God wants us there. I’m talking about being afraid to let people in, to let them know that we need prayer, or have issues with our children, marriage, job,etc.  

Hiding behind the mask is harmful to us, but it can also be harmful to others. When other women see us and assume, because we have our mask up, that all is perfect, they may feel inferior. When we are willing to be transparent with other women and allow them to see us as we really are, we can be an encouragement. 

If we are willing to spend some time in another women's shoes, we will find an understanding and a basis for friendship. 

You may have heard the saying “Friends for a season, friends for a reason, friends for a lifetime”. Over the past year, I have been contemplating the meaning of this statement. If you are like me, you’d like to keep all of your friends as friends forever. But that isn’t the life cycle of friendship.

Some friends are here for a season....when our children are toddlers, in grade school, in college or when we become an "empty nester".

Some friends are here for a reason…to encourage, support, listen, or to help us through the tough times.

Some friends are here for a lifetime. If we are very, very lucky we will have friends who are friendships that span our lifetime. Those are the women who are like family. They stand by us through all of life’s twists and turns, and we do the same for them. We may lose touch with them for a time, but then we simply pick up where we left off in our relationship.

The life cycle of friendship begins because we have common interests and goals. Over time, it deepens and we find ourselves confiding our dreams, disappointments, and challenges. Sharing fun times and making memories is a part of this stage. 

Friendships end for all kinds of reasons. A friendship can end abruptly if there is a major disagreement or argument. I find the more common reason is they simply fizzle out. This can be because life takes us in different directions, or more often, a friendship ends because we don’t nurture it.  

What gets in the way of friendship between women? Jealously, envy, and mistrust are a few things that can prevent us from being friends.  Hurtful experiences in in the past with women friends can get in the way.

There is no way to know the details of another person’s life unless we invest in them. 
How would God have us to approach this? We can’t spend time in someone else’s shoes if we don’t have a someone in our life.

My challenge to you:

Be open--Don’t withdraw into yourself. Don’t allow your heart to harden. If you have been offended, work through the offense no matter how difficult it is. The freedom is for you. 

Be intentional--Make the decision that you will reach out. Reach out to women that you may have previously judged or someone who you thought  you never would. 

Be loving--Approach every relationship from a love standpoint as Jesus asked us to do.

Don't wait for an invitation,reach out! The best way to cultivate deeper friendships is to put yourself out there. Join a small group at church. Invite another mom to join you and your kids at the park or the pool. Organize a neighborhood pot luck or picnic. Invite a single mom for coffee or host a gathering in your home once a month.

Aren’t you glad that God does not just look at our outer circumstances and judge us by what appears to be true? The Lord knows everything about us and He loves us unconditionally. 

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