I'm in an interesting position because I'm in the middle of the road. There are some areas of my life where I'm just starting a long trek - church planting, raising KIDS, writing, speaking, and living an overall healthy life. There are other areas where I've been walking for a few years - blogging, motherhood in general, marriage, and having a relationship with Jesus. I'm rounding the corner to thirty so there's really nothing in my life I'd consider myself an expert in, but there are things I feel more seasoned in than others.
One thing I've noticed about women in Christian culture is the way we respond when we're a few steps ahead of someone. There are always exceptions to the rule, but I feel like we are very quick to warn, caution, or even straight up frighten the women who are coming behind us. It's the baby shower syndrome, you know? Or even the wedding shower syndrome these days. You know the scene I'm talking about - some sweet gal with a swollen belly or heart full of romantic dreams is sitting in the middle of the room and suddenly the conversation takes a scary turn.
"oh just you wait - you're in for a wild ride."
"when you have two kids, you'll understand."
"it's fun for a little bit, until the honeymoon is over."
"enjoy these last days of freedom!"
"these are going to be the hardest years of your life - but they'll be rewarding."
I've been that girl. I've been both girls, really. I've been the scared one opening the gifts and I'm ashamed to say I've been the one trying to warn the sweet lady with all the hopes and dreams. Ladies, WHY do we do this? I'm sensitive to it now because here I am, at the beginning of so many different new walks and I'm noticing the words women have for me. Some beautiful women in my life have used my fresh naivety to speak wild hope into me and it has forever changed the way I want to encourage those who are coming behind me.
The fact is - someone is behind you somewhere and someone is watching you. Whether it's in motherhood, marriage, ministry, work, your walk with the Lord, or even just the way you dress - someone is behind you, following you as you follow Jesus. And they are holding their breaths waiting for you to turn around and tell them,
"It's going to be ok. It's going to be great."
"You can do this. Jesus in you is strong, even when you feel weak."
"It might feel hard - but He has equipped you and He will work in you."
"I'll be there for you, every step of the way."
"The best is yet to come."
Who is coming behind you and how can you encourage them? I'm starting with me, refusing to be the ominous lady at the shower - scaring the one who is opening the gift and looking to me with hopeful eyes.
Let's be the ones, at the end of the road, who are saying,
"I knew you could do it.
I knew Christ in you was more than enough."