This afternoon at our Sister Circle we had to close the door.
It was that kind of afternoon. The kind that has sisters sharing intimate stories of body aches and pains and female stuff and of heartbreak and family betrayals and the pain of grief.
We were busy y’all.
No reverent moments of quiet today.
Reverent moments of conversation and compassion and comfort–yes.
It had us all laughing as we talked about aging and what women still have to deal with even as they age. We compared aches and symptoms and found once again that we all have more in common than different. At one point two others pulled out their bifocals and we were all looking “intelligent-ish” and talking about how important it is not to limit yourself to one point of view. Yeah, we find meaning in almost anything. That and laughter. That’s how we roll.
We were loud and boisterous, and there were tears over lost relationships. There were conversations about sisters and family and how important it is to have good boundaries. Each one of us has been touched by at least one death that devastated us. One of my sisters shared that it had been three years since her Daddy died, and each day he used to be so thankful for another day. She misses that. I understand.
We talked about injustice, about people judging others based on skin color or their body shape or how they live. And how that’s just not right. We shared how hard it is not to judge even when we know it’s not right.
Earlier today I had a “notification” that one of my great writer friends had just posted on Facebook. Only the beginning of her post was showing–“I have no idea what God will do with it…..”
My mind immediately put a “but” after that and I was very curious to see where she was going with it. Before I could click the link, my mind finished it out–“I’m tired of trying to handle it myself, so I’m going to give it all over to God to handle.”
Whoa. Wow. Where did that come from?
I decided to wrap up our session with this phrase and see what each one was thinking and how she would finish it out. This was seriously the only quiet time the whole afternoon.
As each one of my sisterfriends shared her thoughts, I was once again in awe of their faith and strength. It blew me away.
I have no idea what God will do with it but…..
–I always keep Him first no matter what.
–I know He will make the right choice for me.
–God woke me up for another day. And that’s good.
–It’s a gift.
–I will be grateful, good or bad.
After that last thought was shared, this beautiful and compassionate woman said, “It was never said there wouldn’t be rain. There’s rain and sun. It won’t ever be all sun.”
That made me think of a quote from Benjamin Franklin I heard on “Liberty’s Kids” the other day. I believe it was on the final episode.
Today I am thankful for a room full of sisterfriends who love and laugh and think and share, all with passion and a boisterous energy. I am thankful for our kind words for each other and for our being able to gently call each other out on things that are hard. I give thanks for the opportunity to be a part of this safe place where they feel comfortable sharing and forming friendships that last long after Tuesday is over. Each week I am touched by our time together, and I appreciate my sweet friend who first created this opportunity for me. And for the women who keep coming back.
I am humbled by the faith of these women. Each one has had a “hard row to hoe,” as Daddy would say. But not a single one of them lets that slow her down or become her excuse for giving up. I am learning so much from our time together. Today my heart was full to bustin’ seeing how they cared for a tearful sister who just needed to be heard. An amazing group. They not only comprehend the truth in Mr. Franklin’s statement, but they are living it out. Not a single one of them is sitting around waiting for her heaping helping of “happiness” to be handed out. Instead each of my sisterfriends is reaching out and taking a chance, dreaming big, working hard, laughing lots, and loving her Creator–and pursuing the happiness she is seeking. Happiness doesn’t come in a bottle or bank account or briefcase.
Turns out it comes from within.
And it was with you all along. You just had to catch up to it.
Loving the laughter…..love to all.