In It Together

eight person huddling
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Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.   And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.  Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.

I Thessalonians 5:11-15

Mother’s Day got me on Sunday!  I was teary-eyed through most of church.  Yes, I hate not being with my own mother on Mother’s Day, but that wasn’t what got me all emotional.   It started when a young lady came to church for the first time in a while to honor her mother.  When I saw the mom’s face when they hugged, I saw every prayer, every tear shed, and all the love poured out on the mom’s face.  I know her heart for her children.  It was written on her face as she embraced her daughter and it got my water works started.   I cried because I love this mom so much.  I cried because I’ve seen her shed tears and heard her prayers of intercession for her children.  I cried because she’s an amazing friend and blessing to me as well as others.  As my pastor preached about the Proverbs 31 woman, I thought about this gift of sisterhood that we, as women, share with one another.  So I cried yesterday because my heart was overflowing with love for all the wonderful women God has brought into my life.

I’ve watched from the sidelines as many close friends and family members raise their children in a fallen world.  I’ve heard their fear and seen their tears as they’ve wondered if they were “good enough,” did they “do enough,” or had they completely screwed up these humans they brought into the world!   My mom friends have never shunned my advice or shied away from talking to me because I don’t have children.  The lack of negative judgement upon me is greatly appreciated.  I’ve never been made to feel “less than” because I don’t have kids.  So this just goes to show the kind of ladies God has blessed me with in my life.  God has given me an overflowing abundance of love for His daughters!  I love the character and attributes God has given to women.  Strong and vulnerable . . . gentle, yet warriors . . . prayerful, encouraging, intuitive, compassionate . . . the list goes on and on!  I believe when He created women, He gave us the best part of Himself.

So I’d like to take the opportunity of Mother’s Day to celebrate all God’s daughters.  Perhaps it’s because I don’t have children of my own that I cherish the women in my life so much.  If they hurt, I hurt.  If they’re happy, I’m happy!  I know I’m not alone in feeling this way.  God created women to be interpersonal in our sisterhood.  We’re wired for connection to one another.  He burdens us in prayer for each other.  He has gifted us with the ministry of encouragement.  I heard a secular definition of love once that I thought was good: “Love is to be the best and to encourage the best.”  Meaning, if you love someone, you want to be the best version of yourself for that person.  If you love someone, you’ll encourage the best for them.  The women God has put into my life give me the desire to be the best for Him and for them.  If I’m a better person, I can be a better wife, sister, daughter, aunt, and friend.  When I’m connected to God, the source of love, I’m more likely to be that person.  In turn, the source will give me an overflowing abundance of love for my sisters, mom, husband, friends, and family.   The product of being connected to the Father is the ability to give His love through the fruits of the spirit.

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:24-25

For the past few weeks, I’ve been leading a Bible study at my church.  The ladies are diverse in age, life experience, and how long they’ve walked with the Lord.  Each week, I’ve seen the women bond closer to one another as they share more in their love for Christ.  We’re all connected to the vine.  Therefore, we desire that not one of our members rots or perishes.  By encouraging one another to thrive, more nutrients flow through the vine.  We’re healthier when we allow His love to flow from one to another.   Whether you’ve walked with the Lord for a short time or a long time, there’s a great purpose for each of us in coming together in earnestly seeking Him.

My cup has overflowed with love and joy each week that we’ve gathered for Bible study.  I’m beyond blessed by the encouragement the ladies have given to me and to one another.  Perhaps you think the Bible study topic “isn’t for you.”  Go anyway.  You may have the perspective on a life issue one of the newer ladies in the Lord needs to hear.  During my life, God has blessed me with many women who have sown seeds of truth, love, strength, and encouragement.  I’ve had a spiritual mentor for over 20 years and I couldn’t imagine where I’d be without her Spirit-filled guidance in my life.   Are you someone’s answer to a prayer for a spiritual mentor?  By taking the time to steer another lady to our Heavenly Father, you won’t lose a thing; you’ll be rewarded as you have a front row seat in watching a sister in Christ become who He created her to be.

As we celebrate another Mother’s Day, I encourage you to honor all the women that have poured themselves into the lives of others around them.  I ask you to examine your own life to see if you’re making yourself available to be a spiritual mentor in the lives of others seeking answers and in need of guidance to the throne of grace.  Are you the answer to someone else’s prayer?  Can you help someone find the key to unlocking overflowing joy, peace, and love?  Maybe you, like me, don’t have children of your own.  Ask God to make you a spiritual mother or father to those around you.  “Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12)

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If you are in the Raleigh area and would like to be a mentor, please visit https://www.caringconnectionsministry.com.

About Caring Connections Ministry:

“We are a non-profit organization empowering women who feel stuck from barriers of poverty, underemployment, addiction recovery, fear or other roadblocks. These hardships may have left a woman unsure which path to take to move forward with decisions and plans and at times, hopeless, confused or alone. We teach women with essential life and job skills, encourage them to make informed decisions, pair them with a mentor who will support and guide them through life’s hardships and help connect them to community resources as they build a life of independence and joy.

Our ministry is designed to show women how much their life matters to our team of women and to Jesus Christ. It is our prayer that all of Caring Connections’ women will feel loved, hopeful and excited to start a journey towards self-sufficiency, and in living a life of purpose.”

 

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