I’m sitting in a restaurant waiting for a longtime friend. Anticipating an evening of laughter, good food, refillable drinks, and a whole lot of connection.
It’s hard to find like-minded women these day (or is that just me?). And maybe the pain of this increased my eagerness. In the ever-growing culture of leading ladies, it’s vital to not feel like a ship sailing the open seas alone. I don’t need weeks or days, just a few hours to look at the face of a beloved comrade and simply breathe.
She quickly burst through the doors and our eyes met. We greeted, hugged, and sat down. In minutes we were divulging family, life, and all of their happenings. When suddenly the conversation comes to a screeching halt. My friend looks at me and just confesses her marriage is over.
I sat there hanging on every word. Listening. I mean REALLY listening. I immediately set my heart not to judge, proposing not to do my usual checking off my internal list, confirming I agreed or didn’t agree with her decision. Merely being a sounding board.
I asked lots of questions. She graciously revealed. Giving me a glimpse into the suffering of this type of season. The internal questions … the heartache … the unknown. The conversation gradually came to a close and we were surprised to find our three hours together were over. Just as quickly as she came in, she swiftly went.
Have you ever faced a similar situation? Have you found yourself grasping for words only to feel them slip through your fingers? Only to walk away wondering if you did anything to help.
In chapter 8 of Romans, Paul writes these words in verse 4, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” In the Greek, the verb is reversed so it reads, “For as many as by the Spirit are being led, they are the sons of God.” This version puts the Holy Spirit at the front of the verse, and we are placed behind Him. I’ve found in my spiritual life that my willingness to be led is the key to living well. If we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us we are promised fruitful lives.
It’s not our job to make people leave their time with us feeling better about their lives. In fact, God didn’t give us the title Chief Problem Solver. He firmly keeps that title for Himself. Many times our only role in troubling moments is to look to a God who knows the whole story and ask Him to do what He’s good at … Be God.
Early on in my life and leadership I pushed hard. I pushed the Word. I pushed right and wrong and yes there is a time for this, but make sure you have a present leading and not a knee jerk reaction.
God wants us to be experts in meekness according to the fifth chapter in Galatians. Meekness is one of the attributes, which goes under the radar but is extremely powerful. The picture of meekness in the Bible is a strong-willed person who has learned to submit his will to a higher power. Therefore, you could say he isn’t weak at all but that he’s controlled.
Give yourself grace to not be a strong force in the situation but rather a woman under control. I get it. Sometimes when our situations are similar we assume we have good feedback to give. I suggest we speak when God is leading us to speak and stay silent when He’s asked. I encourage you to be a meek leader. Learn what it means to stay powerful and under control at the same time. Not just self-controlled but Spirit controlled.
It wasn’t more than a few weeks later I received a call from the same friend. She was reconsidering her marriage. Deciding to stick it out. Fight for it. As we talked, I thought back to my reactions. I heard God gently and firmly say to me, “Only I can help you be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” He was right again.