I Think I Touched A Nerve
with this post - I've Always Thought You Were So Beautiful.
I had many sweet comments that really encouraged me. God gets the glory for His work in my life. I also had so many who could relate to what I shared, and that made me sad.
A casual friend sent me a private message. She mentioned how we as woman have bought into the culture - we all judge each other - whether we comment aloud or just give someone a makeover in our minds. It made me think how many times I have thought those kinds of things, too. Her wise words and shared understanding gave me a lot to think about.
My post wasn't about sympathy, but I wrote it because I want to be able to be free. Free of judgement, free of expectations, free of _____ (fill in the blank.) I wanted to open dialogue. I don't want to compete with anyone.
Most of you know I have six children. We had them in 'batches'. The first three are 25, 22, and 20. Then we have a 5 year gap and have three more who are 15, 12, and 9. I bring this up because I saw huge changes in the expectations of pregnant women over those years that I was pregnant and giving birth. By time I had the last two, pregnant women were supposed to do it all and be sexy while doing it! Really?!
Where do these ideas come from?
My weight didn't hold me back from doing things I wanted to do, mostly, but meeting new people or going into a new situation makes me uncomfortable. Will people see me for who I am or just the weight? Will they talk about me behind my back or to my face?
My daughter is a pretty girl with a great personality. She is often judged by people who assume things about her. Some women and young ladies are catty toward her. It hurts her. Why must some people put others down, or speak negatively about them in order to feel better about themselves? She has told me she feels like she can be herself around guys more than she can around women, because of how she has been judged by women.
A friend told me that she had a "friend" who, after my friend lost some weight, asked another woman from church if my friend had gained her weight back! Why? Did it make this woman feel better, if my friend had gained her weight back? Sometimes we feel better about ourselves if those around us are just like us - don't anyone dare rock the boat! I've seen women turn on a 'friend' because the friend has dared to step outside the prescribed box she had been in. Judgement comes flooding in to make the person feel better about themselves.
What if we just decide to opt out of the judgement of each other? What if we just decide to encourage one another? What if we tell each other what we appreciate about the other person?
What kind of confidence might that give us? What an amazing burst of encouragement that would be! What might we be able to do in serving God and one another?
I'm willing to find out. Several years ago, I opted out of competing with others. I live my life for my family, my friends and mostly, by grace, for the Lord. I've focused on encouragement - not of everyone but of those that the Lord has sent my way. I'm working on the judging thing.
So, how about you? Are you in?