Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill what He has spoken to her!
Mother’s Day is right around the corner and I found myself very blessed this week by an amazing group of women. Over multiple occasions I was empowered, supported and loved from a variety of different women. The circumstances around each incident was radically different, but the one thing that all of those moments had in common was a desire from each of those women to love and support me. Interestingly enough they are all mothers and some of them grandmothers. Like Elizabeth speaking to Mary in the scripture above, these women spoke into my life love and a great deal of joy.
There is a natural instinct in women to love. We were created with the purpose of supporting and loving our families. What was beautiful and amazing to me this week was to see all of these different women step in and love on me, and only one was family. Three of these women I met for the first time this week. There was something so lovely in these experiences. It is truly beautiful when we as people step in to each others lives to strengthen one another. I got that in spades this week. I didn’t even realize how much I needed it until I was feeling all that support. There is this idea in our society that women can be catty or bitchy, and don’t give me wrong we can be, but that is not who we are at heart. We were made for something so much more. We were made to love. We were made to empower and strengthen. Society rises or falls on the backs of amazing mothers and daughters and sisters and girlfriends and wives and aunts and so on.
I came across a quote today that said “behind every successful woman is a tribe of women.” I don’t know who originally said it, but I believe it to be true. Let me tell you a little about some women in my tribe.
The most influential woman in my life has been my mother. That is not surprising because that is the case for most of us. For me, my mother is also my best friend. I’ve told her before and she doesn’t really believe me, but it’s true, she is the person who taught me what love is and showed me the heart of God. The way she did this was by living it out every single day. I don’t know another person who has sacrificed so much for the people in their life. She would give up anything for her family. Every step of my life I have had her supporting me. She is not perfect, she is riddled with flaws, but who isn’t. She is so sincere and generous and has a strength in her that she isn’t even aware of. Despite all of her anxieties and her fears, she was able to build in me an understanding of my worth and a sense of hope and decency. She’s always telling me how smart and capable and talented I am. She told me again this week! She knows how to empower others and I hope that when she reads this she will feel empowered as well.
She’s not the only amazing woman to come into my life, I had this grandmother who we all called our prayer warrior. She was down on her knees every single morning, and I mean physically down on her knees, and prayed for her family, her friends and the world. She was very faithful and very strong willed and she knew how to love and be loved by God. One of the things I found most inspiring in my grandmother was she was a woman who knew herself well. Again, a woman with many flaws, but she was confident in who she was. I see that confidence passed on to my sisters. Both of them had that same type of light like my grandmother, this inner strength and determination that I’ve always been amazed of, and admittedly a little envious of. She was another woman who knew how to build up her family and friends.
I have been lucky to have some astonishing family and friends come into my life, and sometimes they also go out, but while we were in each others lives they never failed to be there for me. My sister Kim always encouraged me to stand strong. My sister Sheril has only ever wanted to see me happy. My nieces, more like little sisters to me, each one bring life and trouble (sometimes good and sometimes bad) into my life. The numerous friends who laughed and cried and rabble roused with me, many years may have gone by, but their words and actions still linger, influencing me to this day. Over the last few year‘s God has been building a community around me and it continues to grow with beautifully authentic women. I have seen God‘s love in each and everyone of them and they remind of my value and my purpose.
Our lives are filled with amazing people who come in and build us up. Our lives are also filled with those people who need to be strengthened and built up. I look around at the people in my life and I see so many who need the kind of love and support I experienced this week and that I have been blessed to experience in my life. I pray that I can step into these lives and be who God designed me to be. Our lives intertwine and mingle and we leave an imprint and I just want to make sure that my imprint is eternal for everyone who crosses my path. I want to take the strength, the grace and the love of all those dazzling women and let the light shine out. This Mother’s Day, honor those amazing women in your life and pay it forward by empowering all those women that God brings onto your path.
I was listening to some music earlier in an attempt to cheer myself up. It worked. The right music, the right message can make all the difference. It is simply too easy to fall back into my bad place. My current financial and work search struggles keep threatening to overwhelm me. Yesterday and today I found myself moping and letting my anxieties get a foothold. That is a slippery slope and I knew it, but sometimes it is simply more energy than I have to pull myself out of that funk. After getting very frustrated, irritated, depressed and so on, I was in my bad place. I usually call my mom to talk those things out and feel better. Unfortunately, she had been dredging through the same issues. She tried to cheer me up, and I appreciated that, but the conversation left me in a darker mood than before. I decided to write about how I was feeling, but I was having trouble clearing my mind enough to string together my thoughts. I’m always telling others, writing in this posts and generally annoying people with the message that we need to “focus on Jesus,” it was about time I took my own advice. This is where the music comes in to the story. My name is Melody, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I love music. I can’t sing, play an instrument or write a sonata, but I sure do love to listen to those who can. I searched out a song and then let the music mix randomly. One fantastic message after another reminding me of what I have and what I really need in my life: “Lord I need you” by TobyMac, “Joy” by For King and Country, “Only Jesus” by Casting Crowns and more. All good messages, all ones that brought energy and light into my bad place. Oh, that beautiful Light. One of the last songs to play before I was finally ready to write this post ends with this message:
"I don't want another day to pass
Not another moment
I wanna live intentionally
In light of eternity
I wanna love like You love
I wanna love with my life"
--Hollyn "Love with Your Life"
I have let too many moments go by, too many opportunities to love and be loved, too many days passed while I was in my bad place. I wish I could promise myself that I would never go back there again. Truth is, I’m fallible and I’m human. Unfortunately, I’m also susceptible to depression. Thankfully, God is patient. With Him, I have faith that my visits to my bad place will happen less frequently. He wants me to “love with my life” and He will always be there to show me how. Dear Lord, help me to live each moment intentionally for You, “in the light of eternity.”