I recently met with a group of fabulous friends to pray for 2011, our husbands, children, and whatever else was on our hearts that we wanted to lay before God’s throne. It was a beautiful time as we experienced the presence of Jesus. There was peace and power and such love.
So what else happens when 7 women get together alone? We talk, laugh and cry! We sat in a circle on the floor together and went around sharing about what was going on in our lives, what happened in 2010 and what we were trusting God for in 2011. There were lots of tears as we all allowed ourselves to be truly vulnerable.
At the core of who we are, we all have the same needs and hurts. We have relationships that deeply need restoration that only God can bring. We all have physical needs that we are trusting God to heal. We all have heartbreak that only the love of Jesus can redeem.
I think it is so important for women to know that no one has a perfect life. No one has a perfect husband, perfect children or a perfect walk with the Lord. Because we are not perfect! We are sinful people that desperately need Jesus every second of every day. Some of us try to look like we have it all “together.” That charade is exhausting!
This past Sunday our family had a very stressful morning getting to church and then getting our 3 children in their separate classrooms. As we were waiting for the elevator some precious friends walked up and said “Hey, How are y’all?” I quickly responded, “Hey, we are GREAT!” What? No we weren’t. As I spoke the words to them I was holding back tears, but we went on to Bible Study all the same. At the end of class another dear friend approached me and said, “Hey, How are you?” I burst into tears without uttering one word. She hugged me and loved me and waited patiently. When I was able to talk, I told her what was going on. I immediately felt better. Nothing had changed. My circumstances were the same. When I was real with myself, my friend and Jesus about the burden I was carrying I was able to give it all to Him. I then found real rest in God alone!
As I have thought back on my time of prayer with my friends for 2011, I have smiled in thanksgiving, but God has shown me something else. I don’t always live my life resting in His presence. I tote around heavy burdens instead of allowing God to carry my load (Matthew11:28).
What burdens are you toting around? Maybe today is the first time you decide to let your guard down and not only be “real” with those around you, but with Jesus who wants to carry all your burdens for you. I’m praying that you will find peace, joy and rest as you live as a “real” woman of faith today!