One of the enemy’s very favorite weapons, sweet sisters.
A weapon that all-too-often creates a spiraling train wreck of emotions. Distancing ourselves from God as we question Him with a flood of “Whys?” Quite possibly the "easiest" weapon for him to use. Because once he strikes through our hearts, we do the rest of his work on our own. While he sits back and watches God's hard work unravel.
And, we make it so. very. easy.
The list of "why's" that spiral from those feelings is endless.
Why do people seem to value her more than me?
Why do her posts receive more "likes" and "love" than mine?
Why does she always look so put together, while I feel like a hot mess?
Why does she get to have a baby, and my body failed me?
Why does she have such a strong friendship tribe, and I feel so alone?
Why does she have such a beautiful home, when mine is in constant array?
Why, God? Why?
I couldn’t even tell you how many people I’ve associated those feelings of jealousy with. Truthfully, I am far too embarrassed to admit. And even more truthfully, most of whom are some of the closest friends sprinkled throughout my life.
But, if I have learned anything from my experience with these soul-sucking feelings over the years, it's this.
My best return-fire? Kindness.
Squashing it with kindness.
It is hard. Oh so hard. It is uncomfortable. Crawl-out-of-our-skin uncomfortable.
It feels awkward and completely opposite of everything our mind is telling us to do. Oh so awkward.
But then? It becomes second nature. Peeling away layer-after-layer of heavy comparisons. Until it becomes an involuntary action. And practice makes perfect.
"Stay in your own lane." "Keep your eyes focused ahead."
We hear it all. the. time., sweet sisters.
And while, I fully believe we each have our very own purpose in God's eyes, we were never meant to journey this life alone. When I think of us driving in our own lanes, within our own boundaries, I imagine God having created a highway millions-upon-millions of miles wide. Each in our own "lane", but driving right alongside one another.
I imagine God fully expects us to roll down our windows. To look at our sister in the next lane and gift her a smile. To honk our horn and flash our lights as we celebrate her success.
Women were created to be natural supporters. Nurturers. Encouragers.
But, sweet sisters, He has given us so many very opportunities to craft this powerhouse of womanhood. And yet we still fail. Over. And over. And over again.
Letting jealousy, intimidation and fear stand directly in our paths. More often than not, standing in our very own way.
We have such an incredible opportunity to create a fearlessly authentic bond that nothing, especially the enemy, can destroy. If only we could push past the mirage of perfection. And the idea of "one-upping" that of our neighbor. Our rival. Even our best friend.
Such an easy concept. Yet, still so hard for so many of us.
When it's as simple as kindness.
You see that friend breezing through a new business venture? Go buy the clothes. Show at her opening. Share her business page.
You know the mama who loves nothing more than to post photos of her new baby after years of heartache? Love them all. Tell her how happy you are for her. Shower her with love.
You see the sweet sister soaring to new heights in her career? Congratulate her. Share her business with others. Invest in her dream.
You see friend sharing photos of her dream house? Her dream vacation? Her dream wedding? Love on her life victories. Applaud her. Cheer her on.
Wouldn’t it be something, if we truly banded together as the beautiful sisterhood of amazing women we are? Creating an unmistakable thunderous roar each morning, as we lace up our shoes, ready to run alongside one another, cheering overhead those entangling thoughts? Wouldn’t it be something, sweet sisters?
It's not going to be easy, but wow, if we banded together, just how much power we could swipe away from the one who loves to bring us down. And place back into the unconditionally loving arms of the One Who handcrafted us to be amazing, just as we are.
Let's break those binds, sweet sisters. Let's break those binds and join hands.
To once again create the magnificent powerhouse He designed us to be.
We've got this.
It's so very easy to judge a book by her cover.
But, it takes intentional effort to open her book and read her God-given story.
Let's make a vow to be so much more intentional.