Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Circle of Women

I wasn’t going to write today. I was going to rest, recharge and let my blog lay fallow for a few days. But then I read this post and my heart stretched open in thanks.  She writes to the women who have been hurt  by women and how we, yes we, close ourselves off and try to become invisible until one or two safe souls decide to love us and suddenly we blossom. As a girl, I too had been so hurt by other girls that by the time I entered college I purposely or instinctively, I don’t know which, developed a loving circle of friends who did not know each other. My friends rarely if ever met, the only thing they had in common was me: a rimless bicycle wheel with me at the hub.  See, I had learned that women in groups were dangerous. They eat their own.

Four years ago I entered a tranqil room with misty green walls, a church nursery with no babies in sight. For a year a group of women sat in a circle emblazoned with late afternoon sun and shared our hearts. Wounded sisters whispered fears, entrapping failures, shame filled secrets, hissing lies and eventually tender new hopes. We wrapped each other in warm acceptance, gentle love-spoken truths, fierce loyalty and uncompromising encouragement. Their love changed me. And my love for them changed me. Even now I can pick up the phone, as I did Saturday, and choke out “Help. I’m drowning in my own emotions and I can’t see a way out.” and they are there. They have my back but don’t spare my ego. They are priceless. And I pick up their calls.

The love I received from them allowed me to open up and trust the God whom I had worshipped and served but did not truly believe could or would heal my broken heart or protect me. I learned to trust Him and receive his healing in this sacred circle of trust.

His love allows me to cherish those college spokes still connected to me in a whole new way, focused on giving not getting or keeping. It welcomes new women into my life as friends, in a posture of openness. Love gives me the sweet joy of encouraging a few precious women who are just now stepping into their own new sacred circles of trust. It gives me the courage to reach out and embrace, pray for, and love on you, women and men, friends I only know through your words and pictures afloat in the blogosphere. This love, like rushing water even compels me to accept, shield with forgiveness those whose own wounds lead them to lash out. I cannot heal. I will not hang out to be abused. But I will allow love to rush out and soothe rather than dam the flow, turning fresh love into stagnant pools of resentment. And so much of this I learned from Him in them.

If you have time, I highly suggest reading Ann’s post today. I bear witness to the truth of her words.
Blog Med Sig 4
Linking up with Em and friends

25 comments:

happygirl said...

Oh Joybird. I am so glad you have a group of women that LOVE. I'm still stuck in not trusting groups of women that know each other. I've been bitten and hurt. I think it will be a LONG time before I can open a Bible with other women. Ouch, their love hurts too bad.

Cathy said...

Joybird, how fortunate you are and how fortunate we are to hear the possibilities.

LauraX said...

Such a beautiful post. It is a rare and wondrous thing to have a circle of female friends one can depend on...a deep, deep blessing. I'm so happy that you have your circle of soul sisters and are no longer a rimless bicycle wheel.

Ryan and Melanie said...

Such a beautiful post. Our words are powerful, aren't they? How I long to be a woman who blesses with words.

You are blessed to possess this circle of friendship.

-Mel

Brian Miller said...

smiles. through out my spiritual life i have had small circles of men that have made the greatest impact on my life...held me up, held me to the fire, and cried with me...yes men can do that...

Cindy said...

Joybird, so beautifully shared! I so love the statement: "This love, like rushing water even compels me to accept, shield with forgiveness those whose own wounds lead them to lash out." Wow!

I think I have had "spoke" friendships...I am definitely bookmarking this post : )

Thank you so much for sharing once again so deeply and profoundly...

Blessings...

Brandee Shafer said...

I've been there, too. We're blessed to have found our way OUT.

Anna said...

I also posted a link on my blog to that post you mention above! And you have written a beautiful post about this topic. I love this phrase, "posture of openness". Yes, that is what I want to have, as well-- not protective with shields and walls! There is such freedom in love. It's a blessing that you have such a group of women in your life.

Southern Gal said...

The fellowship of sisters seems to be a theme this week. A wonderful theme, I might add. Love this.

Farmgirl Paints said...

boy isn't that the truth. most of my friends are kind of separate too. i do so much better one on one. get a group going and it's almost always toxic. loved your hub diagram. i could have one just like that:)

Tiffini said...

I SO agree with you. A group never worked for me. In fact growing up I can only name two real friends I had. In the last six months the women God has called alongside me have be a gift that I have no words for. Ann's words were so spirit filled in the moving on women's hearts.
xo

emily wierenga said...

so much i learned from him in them...

joy, i'm so glad you wrote. i always love hearing your heart, and i hope you know how special you are to me.

Cheryl said...

When I became a mother of not one but two daughters, God began a work in me. He showed me how women NEED women and I wanted to teach my girls how to have good girlfriends. I was always the girl that had guy friends growing up and I think I missed out on a lot of things because of that. So for the past 5 years, I have stuck it out with my friends and have been so blessed by the raw, intimacy that comes from authentic friendships. Thank you for this. It was beautiful.

Kati patrianoceu said...

That's so interesting... My world of friends is definitely a spread-out circle of spokes as you describe. I wonder why this is - I never thought of it as an attempt to avoid hurt or separate them from each other. But at the same time, I have no idea how I would start going about bringing them together or how I would be a part of a group.

Anyway, though, thank you for reaching out in the blogosphere. I'm honoured to be a 'friend'

And I'm drinking coffee right now, woohoo!!! :) (At the hotel, they gave me tea without asking and I felt terrible afterwards, but my first reaction was to tell them that I'd wanted coffee today. I didn't enjoy that first cup so much. But the afternoon cup? YUMMY) Thanks for asking.

marlece said...

Joy, I loved this post! For years, I mean years, I have set myself in a group of girls at a bible study and I don't say anything but sit there and get so involved with what was going on around me the tears would usually flow. I would begin to care but always felt nobody really knew me. I WOULDN'T PUT MYSELF OUT THERE, HOW COULD THEY?

Now, I am a bible study leader that I feel the Lord has set me in this position to speak into other peoples lives. There is nothing like that 'girl cheer girl on' kind of feeling. It's nice to know someone is in your boat.

I get the hurt thing, put up wall thing, I am so glad that you are putting yourself out there. THIS, THIS is the way the Lord HEALS, by reaching out to others in their time of need.

Way to go, and love reading your posts! Can't wait to read more, thanks!

Marlece

Old Ollie said...

Thanks JB.

Keep that circle strong.

tinuviel said...

I have done the same thing, "developed a loving circle of friends who did not know each other." The spokes and wheel image is illuminating, as is your analysis of your motives for doing so. That gives food for reflection.

Thanks be to God that you have a supportive circle of women now! That is a gift. I read your Monday and Dead Saturday posts, too, and I prayed for you this morning that "she who is forgiven much [would] love much."

May we both be able to attend worship services tomorrow!

Claudia said...

we so often need others to understand his love for us..thanks for sharing a part of your story and good to hear again that he heals our wounds

Craig said...

Writing in this community I would never dream of saying this – but you did – and I’m not saying another thing. Nope – not one more word. Women as well as men have claws – well – men have more like big club fists that hammer you down. Still it’s an imperfect world with imperfect people. But the reason I write in this community – this niche – is the love – the love that embraced you – the love I read every day – it’s the love – the heart. And it’s why I read you too. :) God Bless and keep you. I really hearted this post. Thank you.

Jenny said...

wow. I don't think I even knew this truth about myself until I read your words. How wounded I had been by women, how I created those spokes of friends, how my friendships are not as deep as they were in those years when I was wounded.

What an amazing group, how much could we all benefit from one of those. Thank you for this post.

kkrige said...

It is a shame that in the moments when we should be pulling together, we splinter apart. I am glad you found yourself some loving souls to help keep you afloat. Be well.

patty said...

miss joybird... i love your spokes image, and all of your photographs seem to be richer and more beautiful as the days pass. i'm sorry you've been hurt (why do females do that?) and i am so on edge about this with my 12 yo daughter. don't want her to be any part of that. also sorry that saturday was rough, but maybe makes the joys of easter more beautiful?
xo

patty said...

and i forgot to say thanks for the link to ann's post... beautiful as always.

Abby said...

Hi there! I need to read this later...but, did want you to know that I heeded your suggestion and made Our Story a stand alone page...thank you friend for the suggestion...actually I'm going to try to read your post in the few minutes I have! blessing:)

Abby said...

oh! just read...this is so beautiful...i shared this post of Ann's on fb, b/c it touched me so. It is still hard and I still feel so hurt--often it is the distance others keep while I am seeking to create a new openness through my own vulnerability which leaves me feeling very alone. The Lord has never left me fully alone, but right now, I'm struggling with just wanting to give up on some--not fair. it never is and it is worth the journey...again, beautiful! bless you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...